My experience of US summer camps
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What comes to mind you think of childhood summers? Rock climbing, water skiing, a spot of archery? No, me neither, but that’s the reality for thousands of American children who attend Summer Camp every year. I spent the best part of ten days travelling around the East coast of America visiting a variety of different summer camps. I emphasise the fact that it was a variety because each camp was different from the last, whether that be who attends or the activities they offer or even the size of the camp itself. On my trip I was able to speak with lots of British participants who had gone to America to spend their summer working as a counsellor. Essentially, counsellors make up the main core of staff as they provide the teaching skills element to summer camps and are generally responsible for a set group of children. Many counsellors are from overseas and camp directors love having staff from all over the world as it increases the diversity of the camp and the children get to learn about new cultures. Most counsellors are hired because they have a certain skill to offer; perhaps experience in a sport or musical ability, although some camps look for general counsellors who should be confident with kids. Some aspects of camp were just as I had imagined them: wooden cabins, huge campfires all surrounded by luscious woodland, and others were not, for example I didn’t know that some had such impressive facilities like fully equipped theatres or working radio stations. The opportunities on offer are not exclusively for the campers, many counsellors have used their summers to learn a new skill and some are even teaching their new activity instead.
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