It’s six weeks or so into this year’s Camp USA and it is HOT! We checked in last week with Camp Counsellors Aideen & Eoghan in Camp Weequahic in Pennslyvania and Aoife, who’s stationed in Virginia with Camp Horizons.
Fairly surprised to hear that none of them had melted in the sun just yet and not so surprised at how much they’re enjoying their summer in the US!
What’s been your highlight so far?
Aideen: My highlight so far has been working in my programme area. We performed Aladdin last week and it went so well! I also loved my kids I had the youngest of the juniors and the canteen raid is definitely up there with one of my best memories from camp.
Eoghan: Being selected as a Tribal Leader! My team didn’t win, but getting to lead a team of 130 campers and counsellors was an amazing experience that I will never forget!
Aoife: The entire adventure has been a highlight so far, it’s hard to pick one out. The other staff members here are really fantastic and we are all having a blast together.
What’s Your Favourite Thing To Do?
Eoghan: Story time! We tell stories before bed every night, usually involving great adventures around camp with goblins, fairies, and mermaids. The kids absolutely love it and beg for stories every night!
Aoife: My favourite thing to do by far is to sing and dance and just act silly with the campers. It’s more acceptable here to do that!
Favourite thing about your Camp?
Aideen: My favourite thing about camp is all of the amazing new people I’ve met. All the counsellors are so driven and inspiring. Also, I love how you can just be a big kid in camp like dancing and singing in the dining hall with all your campers.
Eoghan: The counsellors! Camp invests a lot of time and effort in finding the right people to create an amazing experience for their kids, so you are surrounded by a bunch of hand-picked, fun-loving, outgoing counsellors. It’s incredible!
Biggest challenge you’ve had so far?
Eoghan: Dealing with the heat! I spend six hours a day on the tennis court, and going back to a bunch of eight-year-old kids yelling and playing in the bunk can be pretty taxing. You manage to work around this with your co-counsellors though!
Aideen: As much as I’ve loved camp, it has been really tough too. I find it difficult being surrounded by people 24/7 and never having a moment to yourself. I think it can be difficult to work successfully alongside co-co’s sometimes trying to find your role as a counsellor while also trying to create a great experience for kids. It’s a lot of pressure especially when you are trying really hard to do your best.
Aoife: Being so far from home was challenging at first, but now I have made my own family here at camp they are always there for me when I need them.
Best tip for anyone thinking of going next year?
Eoghan: Camp is an experience like nothing you have ever or will ever have again. It is tough, it is tiring, but it is worth it. My advice is to jump right in and go for it!
Aideen: The best advice I can give is to give 100% to every job you do whether that’s caring for your campers or your programme area. I think you need to be completely committed to your role as a counsellor whatever you’re doing. Also, try to take time out when you can to recharge because it’s absolutely exhausting and difficult to keep your spirits up. Finally, I would say go there with an open mind willing to try new things, work hard and expecting to be pushed outside your comfort zone.
Aoife: If you are applying to this program, be open-minded! There are so many different types of camps out there! Working at a special needs camp has really opened me up and now I can’t imagine being at any other camp.
Where Do You Plan On Travelling To After Camp Is Finished?
Aoife: For travel after camp, my friends and I have planned to go to the deep south and travel to Nashville, St.Louis, New Orleans and then to New York.
Eoghan: America offers great bus services – last year I travelled from New York to Philadelphia to Washington DC to Atlantic City – all on buses that cost less than $30 each. New York is a must, and Washington DC is a personal favourite!
Aideen: After camp, we are planning to go to Orlando, Washington DC and New York. Soo excited!!
As excited as Aideen to head for the US next summer? Camp USA offers you a full-time, paid job, a summer full of exploring the great outdoors and a brilliant way to experience American life.