Summer camp has impacted and changed my life so much it is hard to think of what I would be like as a person without it. Originally from Scotland I grew up in a small village outside of Glasgow and first heard about the opportunity to work in the US from a friend who had just returned from working on a special needs camp. His stories of the adventures that he took part in had me hooked and I then decided that I wanted to work on a summer camp.
In the summer of 2010 I began work at Camp Vacamas in New Jersey. Camp Vacamas is a non-profit summer camp for children from the 5 Boroughs if New York City.
Nothing (and I mean nothing!) could have prepared me for how much the kids and other counsellors at camp would impact me, it is something that I will never forget. I will never forget that first time I made a s’more with the campers, I will never forget the first time that I broke up a flight at camp, I will never forget the first time that I slept outside under the stars and I will never forget my time at camp. That sounds silly but camp has now changed into such a HUGE part of my life and changed me as an individual.
As much as camp has impacted my life I would like to think that it impacts the lives of the campers, a HUGE part of this is being able to meet counsellors from all over the world.
A lot of the kids that attend Vacamas every year have never left their block in New York City so otherwise would never have the opportunity to meet someone from another walk of life.
The reason that I love camp and returned for two further summers is because I genuinely believe in the positive impact of the cultural exchange that takes part at camp, not only has the experience changed me as a person but I have had the absolute pleasure to see the positive impact on the children that I have worked with over the last three summers.