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"Do the things that scare you..." by Liverpool Brand Managers

17.12.15

As many of you will now be well underway with your applications and interviews, and with our recruitment fairs coming up in January (Exciting!) I wanted to offer one golden nugget of advice; one in which, if I hadn’t followed, I wouldn’t have had the summer of my life!

So here it is… The key in anything is being open-minded! You’ve probably heard this a thousand times and are probably fed up of hearing it, but if I hadn’t have taken this advice from my interviewer, I wouldn’t have had the most amazing summer of my life!

Back in 2014 I worked as a General Counsellor on an underprivileged camp which catered to homeless children from New York City’s homeless shelter system. I have to confess that when I first found out where I would be spending my summer I felt a bit daunted by it. I wondered what it would be like to work with children from such a different background to my own. I even looked at the camp website and the camp looked very different to how I imagined my camp would be. The moral here is to not try to build up an image in your head too much because I had the best summer ever, it was nothing like I had imagined it to be and I’m glad! It’s good to scare yourself every now and then, this experience certainly scared me, it doesn’t become real until you get that email saying you’ve been placed, but just go with it! Working at an underprivileged camp is immensely rewarding, and it is such an experience to have. I worked with people who come from all walks of life and interesting backgrounds. Being in New York too I have some great connections if ever I want to visit the city again! ;)

What’s more the work you do with your campers is double rewarding, because they really deserve to have a great time on camp and most of them live to come to camp for two weeks in the summer! At times it can be tough, often underprivileged camps can be less luxurious than those big grand private camps, mine was the basic of basic. But in some ways this is better. It just shows how much you can survive without! When you live without  electricity in your cabins and literally one computer with internet connection, you’ll soon find that all you need is the people around you. At night we’d all sit and chat, share each others Cadbury imports (these are like gold on camp, one guy used to sell his cadbury chocolate!) and just enjoy the company. Oftenwe’d sit around and laugh at who’s camper said the funniest thing that day, (you’ll find that even when your kids have gone to bed they’re on your mind!). I remember on our last night, our Camp Director’s partner said to us ‘You guys didn’t come here for the money, but where you lack in money you’ve become richer in experience’ and it is so so true!

So as cliche as this all may sound, your co-counsellors become your family and in nine weeks together you know everything about each other (really, everything!) and you become this big team who support each other and work together!

I’ve come away with friends for life from all over the place and the bug to travel. All it takes is a little open-mindedness and stepping out of your comfort zone, and this goes for any form of travel. Until you’ve been there and done it yourself you’ll never be able to imagine what you’ll do.

So when you’re roaming the recruitment fairs or ticking those boxes on your application, make sure you tick them all, because you never know where it might take you!

Laura,

Liverpool BM