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Phoebe's profile picture

Phoebe

Exeter

2017 - 2019

Lindley G Cook 4-H Camp

New Jersey

Student

"If I’m being completely honest, I saw Lindley G Cook 4-H Camp on the list of camps for the London Recruitment fair, and because it said, ‘tech free’, that wasn’t something I was particularly enthused by! How wrong I was- luckily, I didn’t discount it before I had visited the stall at the fair! I found out that the camp just doesn’t allow any technology during the week for either counsellors or campers, to encourage truer friendships and limited distractions, and it’s a policy we’ve all learnt to love.

If I could say one thing to people considering applying for Camp America, I would say you must be absolutely insane, but in the best way possible! Just do it, get the application started and start to realise why we all won’t stop talking about our summers once we’ve done a season of camp craziness.

One of the girls I had in my cabin for a week had Downs Syndrome, and I will genuinely never forget her! Our camp is private, but we do still have special needs kids too, and time with them is so rewarding. She adored swimming, so we went in the lake everyday and played loads of games with the other campers in the shallow end, who made her feel so included. She is one of the funniest kids I’ve ever met, and when she won an award at the end of the week, she found it hilarious that I was crying because I was so proud!

Camp friends aren’t friends, they’re family. We call them a summer family for a reason! When you work with the same people, 24/7 for 2 whole months, you become a massive dysfunctional family. You are forced to help each other and lean on each other, and that just reinforces the bond stronger. The shared experiences you go through means that you’ll always have something to talk about, and only being able to see them occasionally during the year just means catching up is so much more special.

After my first Summer, my family flew out to meet me after camp ended, and we did a road trip through New Jersey and upstate New York. It was amazing, and so great to be able to share the experience of my Summer with my family too. We visited Niagara Falls, hiked in the Catskill Mountains, spent a week on Long Island, and of course, visited the iconic New York City."

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