Q&A: The Life of a Creative Arts Instructor
Meet Amy! She is originally from Gateshead in England.
Amy took part in our Camp Canada program during the summer of 2019 and worked as a Creative Arts Instructor at a camp in Ontario.
Here’s a glimpse into Amy’s summer working as a Creative Arts Instructor.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Amy! I am 25 and originally from Gateshead in England. I first gained the travel bug when I was 21 years old and working/travelling around the United States and Canada. This is also where I first discovered my love for summer camp. Fast forward a few years later, I am now working my third summer at camp.
2. Tell us about how you find out about Camp Canada.
I originally found out about Camp Canada while working at a summer camp in the USA. Once camp finished, I was looking for other work opportunities to continue my work abroad experience. That’s how I found out about the Extended Summer Program offered by Camp Canada.
3. What made you want to work at a summer camp in Canada?
When I was around 14 years old, I heard about another company that offered camp positions in the USA. From that point onwards I always knew I wanted to work at camp.
I have always loved working with children and aspired to be a teacher, so it only felt natural for me to work and live in an environment like that. Little did I know that when I turned 21, I’d have finally built up the courage to apply.
4. What was your role at camp?
For my third summer at camp, I was hired as a Glass Specialist, which later led to being a Copper Specialist.
5. Did you originally apply for this position?
I applied with a very open mind knowing that every camp is different and offer slightly different programs. I wanted to be within the Creative Arts program, but I was happy and open to work in any area.
6. How much experience did you have in this specialty before you worked at camp?
Before coming to camp I had only ever worked with glass once before. I took a day course a few weeks before I left for camp, so I had some idea as to what I was working with. However with Copper, I’d actually studied Silversmith at university for a year so I had significantly more experience.
7. What were your first thoughts when you got hired as an Activity Specialist?
I WAS SO EXCITED!!! I couldn’t wait to spend all summer working at an amazing camp teaching such a cool activity! My mind went into overdrive thinking about the exciting activities I could do with the campers.
8. What did your first week at camp look like? Did you receive any support when you first arrived at camp?
When we first arrived at camp, we were greeted by the directors of the camp who gave a welcome speech and introduced everyone to the head staff. We were then taken on a tour of the grounds, shown to our cabins and then work began. Although there weren’t any children yet, there was still a lot to do to get ready for their arrival.
We had areas to prep, received orientations, attended staff meetings, and played some ice breaker games. All the staff received a lot of very useful advice on how to work with the children, what to expect at camp, and we were shown emergency procedures.
9. How much interaction did you have with the campers?
As an activity specialist, it was my main job to interact with the campers on a daily basis and teach them how to create things in copper. I would spend up to 6 hours a day delivering sessions.
I would also join the campers to eat all meals together in the dining hall and then sometimes join in with evening programs for certain cabins. I slept in a staff cabin, so did not have the responsibility of waking up the campers or putting them to bed.
10. What do you wish you knew about working as an Activity Specialist?
I feel like I was very well informed before arriving at camp as to what to expect from my job. However, I wish I knew more about how the sessions were structured and what materials/ resources were available so that I could have had a better idea beforehand of what activities I could deliver to the campers.
11. What did you do during your time off at camp?
My camp was located in a very small town in Ontario. Days off were mainly spent hanging out in the town, going for food, spending time in the lake and stocking up on snacks to take back to camp.
I would always try to end a day off by jumping in a kayak or going for a swim back at camp. Another option was to spend our time off trying other activities at camp. As the camp days are very busy and full-on, most of my days off were focused on relaxing and having fun.
12. What’s your most memorable moment about working at a summer camp in Canada?
For me, the most memorable moments are the little moments when you just stop and appreciate everything that you have been experiencing.
This summer, that moment happened during a day off; my friends and I had spent the day in the nearby town and decided to take a picnic down to the lake and go swimming and sun bathe. Simple, yet very memorable!
13. Describe working at camp in three words.
Life changing experience!
Does an Activity Specialist role at summer camp sound like the right fit to you? If so, learn more about the types of Camp Canada positions we can offer.