My Summer Camp Story
My name is Harry, I’m originally from sunny Southampton in the UK and I’ve recently joined the Placement Team here at Camp Canada.
Since 2016, I’ve spent three summers working at a summer camp in Eastern Virginia in the United States. While at camp, I worked my way up from Ropes Instructor, to Sailor, and eventually to Program Director.
Here's my summer camp story.
I have been fortunate enough to travel. Currently, my country count sits at 37; I’ve been surfing in Australia, snowboarding in Canada, hiking on the Great Wall of China, and even boarding down active volcanoes in Nicaragua - but the one travel experience that comes out on top is working at summer camp.
It may seem a bit silly that one summer in a cabin with kids who have too much energy for their own good, in the middle of nowhere, takes the top spot...but it’s true. What kept me coming back year after year and led me to work my way up from Camp Counsellor to Program Director are the friendships I made along the way and how I have become a better person.
I originally went to summer camp as a result of cutting my travels in South East Asia short. Because I returned home earlier than expected, I was able to bump into a friend of a friend who worked at summer camp in the US. Who knew that this conversation would turn into me going to camp there and become my American home away from home for three consecutive summers.
Summer camp was something I had quite frankly thought was only in the movies...I had no idea it was actually a real thing! Returning home to the UK after travelling gave me a serious case of the travel bug and I had to urge to give this summer camp thing a go.
I used an agency to work at summer camp. Despite travelling extensively, I was still feeling nervous about sorting out work visas, insurance, flights, etc. The whole process of doing that on my own seemed overwhelming.
Using an agency like Camp Canada made the whole experience super easy and streamlined! I went to a Job Fair in London, knowing exactly what camp I wanted to go to. 15 minutes after walking into the fair, I was hired on the spot as a Camp Counsellor! There are loads of ways to get hired for summer camp. Some of the international staff I worked with were hired online, without having a face to face interview.
From the moment I got hired at the Job Fairs up until getting on the plane in London a few months later, it was easy sailing. All the hard work was done for me, I was kept informed about odd documents I forgot along the way, and before I knew it I was on the plane for the best summer of my life...summer camp here I go!
Summer camp is honestly where I am my best person. I like to think of summer camp as a bubble where nothing from the outside world (the news, drama and all the terrible things that are happening in the world) gets in and all the good stuff that happens at camp just stays there and gets multiplied by the bubble.
99% of the time at camp my biggest worry isn’t about coursework, the future, jobs, what to do when I get home etc. My biggest worry is whether the kids are having fun and what I can do to make sure these kids are having the best summer ever.
Ensuring the kids have fun is one of the main reasons that kept me coming back summer after summer. At the end of almost every session, I would come up with a really cool idea for a cabin game or activity that I just had to try. I had to keep returning to camp until I had depleted all of these ideas on my endless list of activities!
So what now? My bucket list keeps growing and I am far from done with camp...which ultimately brought me to work at Camp Canada!