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"A Message from a Specialist" by Rachel Kay (Liverpool Brand Manager)

10.02.16

Hi, I’m Rachel, I’m a Camp America interviewer in the Warrington/Liverpool/Crewe area (yep, cover a lot of land!) and I was a specialist (and a general for one summer) during my camp summers. After interviewing over the last couple of years I’ve realised that a lot of people are clueless when it comes to the question “general or specialist”. A lot of applicants are apprehensive about missing out on the “fun” parts of camp by being a specialist. I’m here to share my experiences of being a specialist, to show you guys what the reality of it is. Of course this is subject to camp, all of them are different, but from comparing experiences with my colleagues and with applicants I’ve had in previous summers, they seem to have had similar experiences. The camp summer I’m going to talk about was my first summer at Camp Kweebec in Pennsylvania. 

So I got hired as a general (not what you were expecting me to say was it?). I had listed computing, school teacher (in training) and rock climbing (which I’d done a few times recreationally). I got to camp and found out I was a ropes counsellor and was given 2 weeks of outstanding training. There were 6 of us, 3 lads, 3 girls and we all were new to adventure and did little back in home. On the plus side we had a brand new zip line that was new to Camp Kweebec that summer so we knew it was going to be popular and tonnes of fun for us too. 

I was given a bunk of 15 year old girls to look after. In a bunk there was an equal split of generals and specialists. We had 12 amazing girls, 2 generals and then there was Amy (a lifeguard) and myself who were specialists. So when the girls arrived the other specialists were still pretty upset that we wouldn’t get to go jet skiing, quad biking, play hockey, go swimming, kayaking, archery, etc.. On that first day we received a time table and found that some periods throughout the day we only needed a fraction of the staff because we may have only needed the zipline open and nothing else, which meant we could manage with just 4 staff and so 2 people could go off and spend time with their bunk. So the 6 of us, would work around the timetable and one another to arrange time with our children. I did everything at camp that summer, and thanks to the amazing team of ropes staff I had an exceptional summer as a specialist. Even to this day I have a great friendship with my team and the counsellors on camp, they were my best friends for 3 months of camp and I couldn’t have been more grateful. 

Rachel Kay – Camp Kweebec