Everyone should experience life working at American Summer Camp
Nothing else compares
So how do you find yourself in a crowded dining hall, sitting at a wooden table surrounded by over excited kids saying grace and getting stuck right into American culture?
Well it’s pretty simple. Sign yourself up to one of the many companies that offer summer camp jobs. It might cost you your student loan, but it’s a priceless life experience.
A lengthy process of application filling (and yes you do talk about yourself a lot) to a few interviews of impressing and meeting a few interesting individuals along the way. And done, you’re ready for the full camp experience. It does help if you like children or can be reasonably calm around their presence. Just saying.
I went from being a typical ‘student’ drinking the nights away, treating social media as close to a priority as oxygen and living for a good drinking game. But this was the opposite of what I got myself into, and all because I couldn’t face being at home for summer. I wanted to be ahead of the other 18-year-olds in my age category.
Weeks prior to my flight to the states I religiously watched ‘Camp Rocks’ and ‘The Parent Trap’ to kind of prepare myself, but it didn’t seem too bad on screen.
But the Disney films tend to gloss over a few things. They conveniently forget to point out how nature is a massive element in working at a summer camp. Think insects, rodents, snakes, coyotes, and yeah screaming children.
Prior to camp, the only thing I’d chant in a group harmony would be typical student fresher chants while downing dirty pints. But there I was chanting songs about love and life through numerous hand movements. Big difference I know.
But giving up the student living for the summer months to become a parent to hordes of young children through all their tears, tantrums is possibly the most rewarding job you could ever achieve.
Dealing with children teaches you to prepare for all kinds of things. One of my kids got the tip of her finger chopped off while sitting in a car, holding her finger covered in a cloth looking like a bloody butcher. We both sang Mr Moon in aggressive tones until we got to the hospital. Of course this kid was the most stubborn of the bunch and had me clean her chopped finger before stitching.
Forget about bucket lists. An endless pile of achievements are made just by working at a summer camp in America. From having the full campfire experience with smores and sleeping under the stars to covering your head at all times as you just don’t know what will find it’s way into your brain.
It’s all about reliving your childhood with no internet, playing board games and being fascinated just by what you could possibly make in arts and crafts with a piece of glue and paper. Not to mention seeing children truly admire you like superheroes and wanting to be with you for all of eternity. And yes, there will be times your camp mate will resent you. They may show this by kicking you in the face or pulling your hair. But it’s all about that growth progress. Yay team.
Forget being thrown into the deep end. At camp you’re thrown right into the ocean and told to survive.
When I first came to camp I honestly felt like I’d been reborn Amish. No internet, hard floors and nature everywhere. I made my first friendship over a mouse bonding trauma experience where it was sink or sail. It was probably a sink situation as I screamed the whole village down.
There is no other place on earth where you will learn to be a parent to a group of children. Where else could I manage a miniature soccer team, preach about love with our camp guru and develop in-depth knowledge about the difference of every type of leaf in the forest?
Summer camp really is something special.