Thoughts: 56 Days on US Summer Camp in New York

2 Months into my US Summer Camp experience for 2018 in New York. I am on camp at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts and I want to share an honest account of my experiences. It's fun but tiring, exciting but stressing whilst all at the same time being rewarding every single day. - heythereChannon //
Written by Channon Gray

I have been on a US Summer Camp for 56 days. This is well over half my 12/13 week long stay. It seems crazy to think that I have been living in the USA in New York state for over two months now; although, I really miss Roast Dinners on Sunday’s and toilet doors with locks on them at this point. It’s the small things, ya’know?

The Honest Truth About US Summer Camp…

US Summer Camp as been an interesting experience; it’s been fun but tiring, exciting but stressful. It’s a real once-in-a-lifetime sort of opportunity for me. I’ve learnt a lot about myself as well as others. The challenge of living with 15 other people (kids included) is something that I never expected to struggle with as much as I have. There is no privacy, downtime or space to just be on your own, gather your thoughts and relax for just a minute.

However, Camp has been rewarding. The highs are worth the occasional lows and exhaustion that comes with working extremely long days (and sometimes nights). It’s our job to ensure that the kids have a great summer; and so far, that is going pretty good!

Camp America make it clear that being a Camp Counsellor is ‘the hardest job you’ll ever love’ and this couldn’t be more accurate.

I’ve faced it all since departing for camp including a lost visa certificate before I’d even left England; a bunk change following session 1 that left me completely devastated and the jump from 10-year-olds to 14-year-olds was far greater than anticipated; I ended up very unwell due to an allergic reaction to the 38+ degree heatwave that caused my asthma to throw a hissy-fit; constant department changes due to the loss of International Staff; and having to learn an entirely new skill of ‘Silkscreen’ in a very short amount of time (which I LOVE)! I’ve also had family issues happen at home. However, I enjoy a challenge and I’ve overcome all the problems thrown my way. This is something I am immensely proud of and I’m not even at the end yet.

Would I recommend applying US Summer Camp?

Absolutely. But you should be aware of exactly what you are getting yourself into. This experience isn’t for everyone; however, you should consider giving it a go at the very least. If you want to work with kids, can cope without much sleep and are quick to learn new skills, then this is for you.

If you’d like to know more about US Summer Camp, then you can contact me here. Why not share your experiences of working abroad/with kids in the comments below?

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About the author

Channon Gray

I'm Channon and yes, it's spelt wrong, but that is interesting right? I'm 23 years young. I like to write, create art and travel. Cornish bumpkin who studied in London then Cambridge. I'm now a Postgraduate Student, Stationery Addict and all-round Life Enthusiast.

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