Having grew up in the North of Ireland, for the first 19yrs of my life I was constantly surrounded my sectarianism and narrow-minded teaching. In the summer of 2012 I was given the opportunity to work at a summer camp in South Carolina, which I accepted. From the first day I set foot on camp I just knew that my life was going to be impacted upon for the better. Within the first two weeks at staff training I learnt the importance of respect for other people from other communities, something that is totally overlooked in my home country. I learnt to be independent, and to have more confidence in myself. I have learnt to be a lot more open-minded and accepting towards other people, something that I certainly would not have learnt from home. The whole experience gave me the confidence to grow up that I needed, whilst still enjoying a fun-filled summer as a crazy camp counsellor!
Whilst other young people can find their way in life through other experiences, I know that I speak for myself and the thousands of others that have found their way through working at summer camps in America. These camps have helped develop and shape us into the people we are today. We go to summer camp not only to enjoy the summer, to become better people in ourselves, but also to give kids across America a truly amazing experience- an experience that can't always be achieved through American camp counsellors only. Whilst we as camp counsellors become a lot more open minded and respectful, it also gives the children the chance to learn about other countries, to be more respectful of other communities and ultimately gives them and ourselves the chance to be ambassadors for our countries.