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A peek into my time as a summer camp counsellor with Camp America

A peek into my time as a summer camp counsellor with Camp America

Author -  Rebecca Spijkerman

A peek into my time as a summer camp counsellor with Camp America

Summer Camp Counsellor Review Camp America

A snippet of what it was like at my camp

Get comfortable - this is a long one... Camp America, and my camp was such an incredible experience that I couldn’t rap it up into two paragraphs.

When I was sixteen I made a decision that one day I would venture off to the big USA to take part in Camp America.

I didn’t know when this would happen or were I would get placed I just knew that A US Summer Camp was what I was made for. At the start of 2012 I started making a late application to be a part of the Camp America experience, I wished I had put more effort into it looking back now, but applications were closing and crazily I listened to people around me and decided to hold off applying.

Of course I later regretted this decision and decided that 2013 (13 is my lucky number) was the year for me and no one was going to hold me back or stop me this time! Look out Camp America.

As soon as applications opened again I was online and by the end of September I had finished my application and by early October I was placed!

Can you believe that!!

Camp America tells me it was my Application Video that sold my application. If you want to see it check it out. Maybe it will give you some ideas for yours!

So, anyway... I was offered a position at a summer camp in Georgia USA called Camp Blue Ridge, which I excitedly accepted after an interview with one of my camp directors. I didn't get much sleep that night!

My camp gave me the opportunity to start at camp a month early to be part of the preparation and retreat team. 

I jumped at the chance to spend longer at summer camp and get paid extra too. During this month the small group of us were in charge of running selected programs for school and church groups that came to Blue Ridge. We also did a huge amount of cleaning and painting “Blue Ridge, Brown” our camp director would say. 

It was fantastic to get so much time to really get to know the other staff that were there and the camp directors. Plus it was summer so I was not complaining when everyone at home was in the cold and wet.

By the end of our first pre-camp month we were looking forward to our family expanding - this is when sixteen became sixty three!. Camp Orientation week was about to begin, we waited for the team to arrive on the well-known yellow bus (the buses became a great hang out spot for some).

Our team was made up of people from all over the world. Listening to all the different accents made me feel like I had just travelled to a different part of the world each time I spoke to someone new. Thrown into the deep end we all got to know each other very quickly. The bonds you make at camp with other staff just can't be described.

After a week of training and socialising we were given our cabins and told our co-councillors (news we eagerly waited for). I was put with the freshmen kids ages 6-9, I was stoked with this age group. At this point I didn’t know much about two of my co-councillors but learnt that they were cool people and we worked well together with our different strengths and weaknesses.

We definitely shared our differences throughout summer camp but at the end of the day we just wanted what’s best for the kids.

Funny story

The day before the kids arrived their bags where delivered to our cabins, we were certain the kids were about to jump out of the bags. The size of the bags and the amount of stuff they brought was incredible (yes I could even fit into the bags).

Summer Camp Counsellor Review Camp America

The next day we had twenty girls arriving to our cabin each arriving with their own unique personality and attitude, no two the same. We learnt very quickly that the kids idolise their summer camp councillors - they wanted to be just like us and know what we were up to every second of the day. It's amazing being a role model to so many but this meant privacy was non-existent and they always needed to ask you important questions when you were on the toilet. LOL

I also quickly learnt that American kids are different to kids back home, from a young age these kids were taught to ask why and saying “because I’m your councillor and I said so” was never an acceptable answer for them :-). It's kinda cool. Imagine the difference this will make to kids over a period of 10-15 years.

During camp I had my fair share of dealing with lice, spew, poo and bed wetting

(not me the kids) but learnt that at the end of the day you will do anything for those kids they become your little family. Even if that means being woken up at 3am in the morning because one of the kids couldn’t find the light for the bathroom. awwwwwww

My camp was a Jewish based, while they didn’t practice it or hold a service for the kids they still did their part in providing the kids with kosher food, and we sung a prayer before each meal. Speaking of food, let’s talk about the food at Summer Camp in America! Ask me below about Kosher food if you don't know what it is....

Some days the meals where fantastic and you would go up for seconds only to discover the oldest boy cabin had already tucked into the last of the grub on the girls side (darn).

Other days the food wasn’t so great and you would start planning what to ask your co-councillor to get you as it was their night off. Lol. Dining hall really is something you will never ever forget, and learn to love.

Because my camp is a sleep away camp it meant we were with the kids 24/7 we got a hour off each day, 12 hours for our day off and 3 nights of the week we got to leave camp from 10pm to 12:30am. Our days started around 8:00am if we were lucky the girls would stay quiet in their beds till then. That's just my camp though. Yours could be different ok.

At 8:25am we would line up at the flag pole for the pledge and our head boy councillors quote of the day (best part of the morning) then breakfast and three periods of activity’s were next. These were different activities that were taught to the children by specialist counsellors. Then came lunch, rest hour and then three more periods of activity’s. Shower time was before dinner and the girls would find every reason under the sun not to have showers when told. They soon learnt that if they wanted story time that night they would have to have the dreaded shower! Nothing changes right!

Summer Camp Night activities came after dinner (and yes just like the movies) followed by canteen and then bed. Only in America do they give the kids candy and chocolate and soda before bed right lol. BUT our camp was different - they got juice and chips if they were lucky. Phew for our sanity right!

After the girls finished getting up five times to go to the bathroom and telling us how much they don’t want to go to bed they would crash out within five minutes of their head touching the pillow.

My camp was divided into two sessions of four week blocks.

Kids could come for one session or both and at the end of each session there was an action packed week known as Colour war week.

(I’ll talk more about this in another blog, all I will say for now is colour war is one of the most incredible parts of camp).

I could keep going on about my Camp America experience - in fact I could probably write a book, but basically I just wanted to give you an insight to what I experienced at camp. I have plenty more stories and would love to answer any questions you have. I update my blog on Mondays and would love it if you came along for the journey after all Camp America is your final destination.

Summer Camp Counsellor Review Camp America

Remember this is just a small glimpse of what my Camp America experience was all about.

Comment below to let me know if you have any questions and I'll reply.

~ Rebecca Spijkerman

A peek into my time as a summer camp counsellor with Camp America

Get comfortable - this is a long one... Camp America, and my camp was such an incredible experience that I couldn't rap it up into two paragraphs.

A peek into my time as a summer camp counsellor with Camp America

Summer Camp Counsellor Review Camp America

A snippet of what it was like at my camp

Get comfortable - this is a long one... Camp America, and my camp was such an incredible experience that I couldn’t rap it up into two paragraphs.

When I was sixteen I made a decision that one day I would venture off to the big USA to take part in Camp America.

I didn’t know when this would happen or were I would get placed I just knew that A US Summer Camp was what I was made for. At the start of 2012 I started making a late application to be a part of the Camp America experience, I wished I had put more effort into it looking back now, but applications were closing and crazily I listened to people around me and decided to hold off applying.

Of course I later regretted this decision and decided that 2013 (13 is my lucky number) was the year for me and no one was going to hold me back or stop me this time! Look out Camp America.

As soon as applications opened again I was online and by the end of September I had finished my application and by early October I was placed!

Can you believe that!!

Camp America tells me it was my Application Video that sold my application. If you want to see it check it out. Maybe it will give you some ideas for yours!

So, anyway... I was offered a position at a summer camp in Georgia USA called Camp Blue Ridge, which I excitedly accepted after an interview with one of my camp directors. I didn't get much sleep that night!

My camp gave me the opportunity to start at camp a month early to be part of the preparation and retreat team. 

I jumped at the chance to spend longer at summer camp and get paid extra too. During this month the small group of us were in charge of running selected programs for school and church groups that came to Blue Ridge. We also did a huge amount of cleaning and painting “Blue Ridge, Brown” our camp director would say. 

It was fantastic to get so much time to really get to know the other staff that were there and the camp directors. Plus it was summer so I was not complaining when everyone at home was in the cold and wet.

By the end of our first pre-camp month we were looking forward to our family expanding - this is when sixteen became sixty three!. Camp Orientation week was about to begin, we waited for the team to arrive on the well-known yellow bus (the buses became a great hang out spot for some).

Our team was made up of people from all over the world. Listening to all the different accents made me feel like I had just travelled to a different part of the world each time I spoke to someone new. Thrown into the deep end we all got to know each other very quickly. The bonds you make at camp with other staff just can't be described.

After a week of training and socialising we were given our cabins and told our co-councillors (news we eagerly waited for). I was put with the freshmen kids ages 6-9, I was stoked with this age group. At this point I didn’t know much about two of my co-councillors but learnt that they were cool people and we worked well together with our different strengths and weaknesses.

We definitely shared our differences throughout summer camp but at the end of the day we just wanted what’s best for the kids.

Funny story

The day before the kids arrived their bags where delivered to our cabins, we were certain the kids were about to jump out of the bags. The size of the bags and the amount of stuff they brought was incredible (yes I could even fit into the bags).

Summer Camp Counsellor Review Camp America

The next day we had twenty girls arriving to our cabin each arriving with their own unique personality and attitude, no two the same. We learnt very quickly that the kids idolise their summer camp councillors - they wanted to be just like us and know what we were up to every second of the day. It's amazing being a role model to so many but this meant privacy was non-existent and they always needed to ask you important questions when you were on the toilet. LOL

I also quickly learnt that American kids are different to kids back home, from a young age these kids were taught to ask why and saying “because I’m your councillor and I said so” was never an acceptable answer for them :-). It's kinda cool. Imagine the difference this will make to kids over a period of 10-15 years.

During camp I had my fair share of dealing with lice, spew, poo and bed wetting

(not me the kids) but learnt that at the end of the day you will do anything for those kids they become your little family. Even if that means being woken up at 3am in the morning because one of the kids couldn’t find the light for the bathroom. awwwwwww

My camp was a Jewish based, while they didn’t practice it or hold a service for the kids they still did their part in providing the kids with kosher food, and we sung a prayer before each meal. Speaking of food, let’s talk about the food at Summer Camp in America! Ask me below about Kosher food if you don't know what it is....

Some days the meals where fantastic and you would go up for seconds only to discover the oldest boy cabin had already tucked into the last of the grub on the girls side (darn).

Other days the food wasn’t so great and you would start planning what to ask your co-councillor to get you as it was their night off. Lol. Dining hall really is something you will never ever forget, and learn to love.

Because my camp is a sleep away camp it meant we were with the kids 24/7 we got a hour off each day, 12 hours for our day off and 3 nights of the week we got to leave camp from 10pm to 12:30am. Our days started around 8:00am if we were lucky the girls would stay quiet in their beds till then. That's just my camp though. Yours could be different ok.

At 8:25am we would line up at the flag pole for the pledge and our head boy councillors quote of the day (best part of the morning) then breakfast and three periods of activity’s were next. These were different activities that were taught to the children by specialist counsellors. Then came lunch, rest hour and then three more periods of activity’s. Shower time was before dinner and the girls would find every reason under the sun not to have showers when told. They soon learnt that if they wanted story time that night they would have to have the dreaded shower! Nothing changes right!

Summer Camp Night activities came after dinner (and yes just like the movies) followed by canteen and then bed. Only in America do they give the kids candy and chocolate and soda before bed right lol. BUT our camp was different - they got juice and chips if they were lucky. Phew for our sanity right!

After the girls finished getting up five times to go to the bathroom and telling us how much they don’t want to go to bed they would crash out within five minutes of their head touching the pillow.

My camp was divided into two sessions of four week blocks.

Kids could come for one session or both and at the end of each session there was an action packed week known as Colour war week.

(I’ll talk more about this in another blog, all I will say for now is colour war is one of the most incredible parts of camp).

I could keep going on about my Camp America experience - in fact I could probably write a book, but basically I just wanted to give you an insight to what I experienced at camp. I have plenty more stories and would love to answer any questions you have. I update my blog on Mondays and would love it if you came along for the journey after all Camp America is your final destination.

Summer Camp Counsellor Review Camp America

Remember this is just a small glimpse of what my Camp America experience was all about.

Comment below to let me know if you have any questions and I'll reply.

~ Rebecca Spijkerman

A peek into my time as a summer camp counsellor with Camp America

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Camp America Blog

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