6 Reasons to Work at a USA Summer Camp with Wild Packs
It’s that time of year again and the January blues have well and truly sunk in. The Christmas decorations are all boxed up and the Christmas chocolates have been all scoffed up. If you’re one of the unlucky ones, January exams are looming. All around the country students are preparing for a new semester of books, lectures, essays, reports and *shivers* dissertations…
But do not dismay, for soon, the spring will arrive, and before we know it, summer will be here. And so, it means that NOW is the time to be planning your 2018 big summer adventure!
Is there anything more exciting than summer adventures? New friends, new places and new memories. If you ask me, summer is the most wonderful time of the year!
If you need some help deciding your next big adventure, read on...
Tucked away in the mountains of upstate New York, on the banks of a beautiful lake, is a magical and wonderful place – summer camp. In the summer of 2015, I spent the best 12 weeks of my life here, working as a camp councillor and life guard. Reflecting on my experience, I’ve listed 6 reasons why you should contact Wild Packs and have a chat with one of their incredible staff members about working at a USA summer camp this summer.
1. It is the Perfect First Big Adventure
If you have never travelled alone before, then going to camp is a fantastic place to start. Prior to the summer of 2015, I had never been on a plane without my parents and the furthest I had been from Glasgow was Tenerife (I was nine years old). I was incredibly anxious about travelling to America alone but the staff at Wild Packs helped my plan my journey and helped me to be as prepared as possible! Every time I spoke to any of the Wild Packs staff I felt reassured and confident that my journey would all go to plan.
Once I arrived at my destination, I was picked up by a camp leader and she took me to camp. I had arrived and now the adventure could really begin!
The staff at camp are made up of locals (who have cars!) and internationals. On our days off, we would pile into a car and explore the local areas. From the best local ice-cream shops to hiking along the most beautiful valleys and finding weird and wonderful caves, I never had a boring (or restful) day off.
Getting out of camp on days off to explore the local areas are incredibly exciting and will make for plenty of stories to tell when you return home. But staying within the boundaries off the camp will also provide plenty of opportunities for adventure! Whether its kayaking across the lake, swimming in the river or taking walks through the forest – the opportunities are limitless, there is always something new to discover.
If you are like me – a little anxious but adventurous, then heading to camp is the perfect way to have adventure with all the support of Wild Packs, camp leaders and the wonderful friends you will make.
2. You Will Learn Many New Skills
Whether its first aid, lifeguarding, wall-climbing, or putting up a tent and starting a campfire, there are so many things for you to learn. After a summer at camp your brain will be bursting with new skills! You will learn to do things you may have thought you could never do.
And with these new skills comes a new-found self-confidence and self-belief. By the end of the summer, you will not hesitate at any new challenge! Anything is possible at summer camp, and you can achieve it.
When you return home, perhaps to begin a new semester of college or university or a new job, the skills and confidence that you gained at camp will stay with you and carry you through to your next adventure.
3. Spend Time with Nature and Log Out!
Camp is bursting with wildlife! From chipmunks in the staff room, to deer at the swimming area first thing in the morning; from ducks in the lake to wild turkeys cutting across your hiking path, there is always something new and exciting, perhaps unexpected, to see. By the end of the summer, you will feel truly connected with the natural world and your mental and physical health will benefit from spending so long in such a remote, natural corner of the earth.
Some of my fondest memories of camp are the times where we could be still and take in our surroundings. At end of each session, we would take time to sit by the lake, watch the late sunset and reflect on past two weeks. With fireflies buzzing around us, the bullfrogs croaking, and the endangered loons singing from their resting points, these were some of the most magical moments of my time at camp.
It is also likely that your camp will ask you to turn off your mobile phones (and if they don’t its unlikely you’ll have any time to look at it while you are working). Take a break from Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram this summer! On your days off, you can catch up with friends and family back home on social-media, but you’ll probably be having too much fun to care about likes. Social media will take a back seat and will move down your list of priorities.
This summer, log off and breathe in some of that incredible air.
4. You Will Get Fit While Having Fun
Almost all camp activities involve some sort of exercise; even at meal times, you’ll find yourself dancing around the dining area to a song that is all the rage that summer. You will spend each morning, afternoon and evening taking part in energetic games, hikes, water sports or campfires. You will be tired, very tired! But you will be too busy and having too much fun to even realise it, at least until your head hits the pillow each night. Then the next day, you will get up, and do it all over again.
As a lifeguard, I was regularly on the water, lifeguarding from a kayak. I would kayak for up to 6 hours a day, and I never once got sick of it. By the end of the summer, I was stronger than I’d ever been thanks to hours spent rowing in my kayak!
By the end of the summer, you will be feeling fit, fun and fabulous!
5. The Friendships
The four points I’ve already made are important, but do not come close in comparison to my fifth point.
Camp is bursting with friendship and love. Friendship is truly at the heart of camp and is its strongest core value. From day 1 of staff training, you will realise this. Each staff member is there to give their all to be the best camp councillor they can be; camp is full of good, caring, giving people who value friendship above all else.
You will likely have a co-councillor, a person who you will share a bunkbed with (or a tent), possibly for the entire summer. You will share all sorts of incredible experiences together which while drive a new friendship, unlike any friendship you will have had before. You will become reliant upon one another; you will pick each other up on days one of you feels tired or a little homesick. You will help each other overcome any challenges you may face.
6. Be a Role Model
As a camp councillor, you are more than just someone who helps run fun activities and games. You are a role model.
The children who come into your care will look up to you and will admire you. If you have a drive and passion for life, then being a camp councillor is the job for you. Use this drive to encourage these children and young people to be the best, kindest, most responsible person they can be. They will appreciate everything you do for them. You may have to leave all your clothing behind to have room in your suitcase for all the letters of thanks they will write for you on their last day.
I hope I have said enough to convince you to go and experience camp for yourself. I hope you all have a wonderful summer and return with lots of fantastic stories and tales!
By Jenny Pearson
If this experience appeals to you contact Wild Packs today!
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