A Blog by Ben Walsh
This summer I had an amazing experience working at a children’s summer camp in America for two months. My role was a “general counsellor” which basically means that I taught different activities and was also responsible for my cabin which usually consisted of about 10 children. It was an absolutely incredible experience! One that I will never forget.
I began work in late June, the first week was a staff orientation week in which all of the staff got to know each other and we also got trained and qualified to teach the different activities that we were hired for. I was responsible for teaching/ supervising the following activities: tennis, climbing, high ropes courses, boating, quad biking and just about every kind of field sport. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it was particularly rewarding to see the children progress from the start of their camp experience to the end for which their skills often significantly improved.
The camp I worked at was a sleep-away camp which meant that the children stayed there for a number of weeks overnight without returning home. This made me responsible for my cabin 24/7 which was at times extremely tiring but it was also a highly rewarding experience. It’s surprising how attached you get to the kids and they all look up to you as a respectable and authoritative figure.
One major bonus was that the camp put me up for free board and free food and drink. I was getting paid a fair amount and literally had no costs during my time there whatsoever! All in all, it was an incredible experience, I got on really well with my colleagues and have made friends for life because of this experience.
It was not a mandatory part of the programme, but two months down the line, when my contract had finished at camp, I then went travelling across America which was unforgettable. Using my wages saved up from camp I travelled to: New York, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco and met some incredible people along the way!
I strongly advise students in my position to consider working for a summer camp just like I did as I really can’t speak highly of the program enough. The International Office can help you with this. You meet so many amazing people; not to mention it looks fantastic on a C.V (particularly for those that are hoping for a career working with kids). If you are interested in having an incredible summer, now is the time to apply!