Danny is just home from his 3rd summer on USIT’s Camp USA Programme. What made him spend 3 summers in a row working as a camp counselor? Read below to find out!
I have taken part in the Camp USA programme through USIT over the previous three years. The process building up to summer is straight forward which only makes the anticipation to start travelling even greater. The staff within USIT help whenever called upon, along with step by step processes to how to complete the application successfully from paying your deposit, to returning home at the end of the summer.
Over my three summers within America, I worked on a camp within Pennsylvania focused on sports and arts for children aged 5-16. I predominantly worked in the pioneering department where there would be a range of tasks from rock climbing to overnight camping and everything in between. With the range of activities in this one department alone, work was kept fresh as every hour there would be different tasks and games completed. Whilst I was outside of my department work, I would share a bunk with two other counselors my age, along with 10-12 campers, which we would be responsible for. This would be where I would spend half my day and where the people who I would spend most of my time with could be found. Although it may seem daunting to share a bunk with a large group and to be responsible almost 24/7 for this group of children, there would be a fantastic atmosphere within the bunk along with respect from the campers.
Towards the end of the summer, there is a 30-day period where you can travel around America. The option to travel and the benefits that come from it are endless. Over the previous three summers, I have been lucky enough to have visited over 20 states across North America. By making the most out of these opportunities, it is easy to visit quite a lot of the country, along with focusing on the main tourist attractions. Travelling can be done with people that you meet in camp which I highly recommend. There is no need to book any travel plans before you get to camp other than your return flight home. When you get to camp, you will create bonds with people to travel with for up to 30 days once camp is completed at the end of the summer.
The camp USA programme is a fantastic way to meet new people. When I first travelled to Camp USA on my own in 2017, the owner said the counselors around me are strangers now but will soon become my best friends. At first, I laughed and was in disbelief but today I couldn’t agree more with his statement. I have been on countless trips around Europe, celebrated the last three new year’s, and I’m even moving permanently to Australia – all with people I’ve met in camp! The bond you create with other people whilst in a camp for a summer truly is astonishing. By putting yourself out there and recognising that the people around you are in similar positions, it is easier than you think to make new friends.
Although you may be responsible for a group of campers and there are very long working days, the work is fun. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it work as you are surrounded by friends, constantly having a laugh and enjoying your time in the sun, you’re also being paid for it! It isn’t comparable to anything you would do at home; it truly is an experience that everyone must go through. There is a reason I have gone for three summers now, it has changed and shaped me into the person I am today, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
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