January was a pretty busy month for me, camp-wise. Obviously the first thing I did was start my annual camp countdown, which is something I look forward to every year. Then it was on to organising a couple of things I still needed for my BUNAC application. I sent off for my ICPC Police Check – BUNAC will send you instructions on how to do this, but it’s really simple, you just head to the ACRO website and apply online. You’ll need to make sure you have all the correct documents in order to complete your application, which includes 2 proofs of address, a copy of your passport, a passport photo and the letter BUNAC will provide you with confirming your place on the Summer Camp programme. Once I got my Police Check back, I uploaded it to my CIEE account and that was me all set with the required documents.
About mid-way through the month, it all got super exciting, as my Camp Director came to London for the BUNAC camp fairs, so we had an awesome reunion with people from loads of different summers – it was so much fun to see everyone and introduce people who had never met. My Sloane Family is amazing!
And then it was time to help out my Camp Director at the London camp fair. In my new role as Program Director I was helping with doing the actual interviews for Camp Sloane this year and it was really interesting to be on the other side of the table. I loved meeting all the applicants, hearing about why they wanted to go to camp and what their different skills and experiences were. I’m mega excited about the people we hired and think they’re going to make great additions to our staff team for Summer 2018!
The following weekend I headed to Amsterdam with my bestest camp friends to meet up with our Camp Director again, who was there doing the final camp fair. We had an amazing weekend exploring the sights of the city, cycling around Vondelpark, taking a canal boat tour, visiting a sky bar with an incredible view over the city, taking the classic tourist photos at the ‘I Amsterdam’ sign and of course, talking all things camp! Sometimes it amazes me how much going to camp has changed and influenced my life. And it’s all thanks to BUNAC for getting me there back in 2011… without them I wouldn’t know all the incredible people I do now, and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
One last super exciting camp thing that happened in January was that I booked my flights to New York! I’ll be flying out on April 29th, staying with a friend in the city for a few days and then heading to camp to kick off Summer 2018 at the start of May! Now the flights are booked, it all seems crazy real… only 85 days to go!
The next and final item to organise on my camp to-do list is the J1 visa. I’ve talked about this before, but now that I’ve done this so many times, it seems like such a long and boring task, a formality really, and I just want to get it done. I’m just waiting for the dates on my Placement Agreement Form to be finalised, my visa paperwork to be issued, and then I’ll be filling out the DS160 application and booking the first available Embassy appointment (I’m excited to see the brand new US Embassy in London too!).
And that’s January. Hopefully in the next update I’ll at least have my visa appointment booked, and then its just a waiting game!
**I’m returning to camp this summer with BUNAC who have been sending people just like you to camp for many years. Get in touch with them via their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, by phoning them on +44 333 999 7516 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.**
Disclaimer: BUNAC are waiving my camp fees in return for this blog series, but please rest assured that all opinions are honest and my own.