It was an obvious choice for me to go to summer camp back in 2008. I knew plenty of inspiring people who had done it, none more so than my older brother. Little did I know at the point I submitted my first application how much it would take over and change my life - for the better!
6 years on and I am preparing my first summer back on English soil, rather than being in the beautiful surroundings that the state of Maine had previously provided. Driving from NYC up to Oxford, ME (what a journey!), was the first view I'd had of 'real America' rather than just the touristy sights of Disney Land. It was those first views and my first days at camp that got me hooked and I knew this was a fantastic opportunity and one that I would continue to enjoy for a number of years.
The experiences, friendships and bonds that are gained and formed at summer camp are in-comparable to anywhere else. Friends that I would usually only see for 9 weeks a year, will be friends for life. From Oklahoma, to New York. San Diego to Chicago and even back here in the UK I have been lucky to meet this people and share with them great times at camp and beyond.
Being involved in a 'camp family' is an amazing feeling. Not many people would seek adventures outside of my hometown at the age I was when I started camp and I cannot count the amount of people who say they're jealous of the stories I tell them at the end of each awesome summer. Being in an environment where the people who employ you, the people you work with and the people you look after can be from the most opposite cultures/upbringings but are brought together as one family, is truly something that cannot be put into words. It has to be seen.
Being a camp counsellor has absolutely changed my life and benefitted me immensely. I owe so much to the summer camp experience and the people I have met and worked with over the last 5 irreplaceable summers.
I sincerely hope young people can continue to embark on the amazing adventure of being a camp counsellor so that they can have their eyes opened and lives changed in the best way possible.