Confessions of a Summer Camp Counselor

With fees as low as £525 (oh yes and that included flights!) it is no surprise that so many students are now choosing to spend their summers in America singing around a campfire, eating S’mores and being paid to jet off over the pond to have a great summer … The only catch you have to spend the summer with quirky American children asking you if you know the queen or if you went Hogwarts, however, like many camp counselors would tell you it’s the kids that really make the experience such a unique one.

Sophie Grey (Known at camp as Robin) spent her first summer at camp in Provo Utah at Girls Scouts Camp “Trefoil Ranch” where she was a general counselor. Sophie signed up for camp as she wanted to explore America and live the tradition, she expected to get a lake and sleep in cabins but what she experienced was by far so much different, instead of a lake she got mountain views and horses and instead of the comfort of cabins she got the joy of sleeping of in a tent. “The experience was defiantly not what I was expecting, however I would never change the experience, I loved the views and the opportunity to work outside all summer and visit a part of the world I probably wouldn’t have visited if I didn’t work at camp there!”

“There are too many funny stories to choose from! American girls are funny little things, however closing campfire was always a highlight at camp where the campers and counselors would make up funny little sketches that you would spend the week planning, and you would get to campfire on the Friday the younger girls would try so hard to act out their skits in costumes that were always way too big! One moment that does stand out was when I had the ponytail group (typical age 5-7) and as a ice breaker we played 2 truth 1 lie and it got to this one girl’s turn and she says I have two dogs, I wear pull up to bed and I sometimes wet the bed. Well turns out she doesn’t have any dogs.”

However, for some people it is not just a once in a lifetime experience but becomes their yearly summer job, Chantelle Jones is going to embark on her 5th time are working at camp “I work there every summer because I love being outside and making a difference in the girls I work with life and also teaching the skills like building fires.” She adds “My first time year working at camp whilst all the girls were sleeping in their tent me and the other counselors to sleep in our sleeping bags under the stars, however, we forgot that the sprinklers came on. So at 3am we all got woken up and got drenched. We screamed with the shock of getting soaked by the sprinkles and ended up waking up and we all just ended up dancing in the sprinkles with the girls in the rain. That is a moment I will never forget.”

Camp Cloud Rim Director Laruen Raibble has hired international staff the last three years and this year is no difference, she believes that having international staff adds a unique experience for the girls at her camp as it allows them to see a part of the world from almost their own home. She says, “The girls love the international counselors. Their favorite part is learning about the how objects are called different things throughout the world. Our families are also very pleased that we have international staff and are able to introduce their girls to a variety of different cultures while they are at camp.”

 

Paige Bradley

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