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Human's of Camp America: Carlos Merchan

13.01.17

“I am Spanish and had not really head of Camp America until, as with many people, I first heard about CA from a good school friend who returned home after summer at camp and he spoke so highly and enthusiastically about it that it had me intrigued. I had attended a summer camp as a kid and knew how much fun it was back then, and although I knew this time it would be different, I could not wait to see what it had in store.

I was placed at Camp Barney Medintz, which is based about 1.5h north of Atlanta (GA), next to a small town called Cleveland, in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. My camp was an over-night Jewish summer camp however, I am not Jewish or particularly religious either so when I was first offered the place I was apprehensive to accept but I was up for the challenge and very open minded so I thought I’d give it a go.  I could not more happy with my decision as from the very first day, none of the religion was imposed upon us; we were free to experience it and learn about it if we wished but never forced, which was fantastic. I was able to learn, comprehend and understand a lot more about Judaism, as well as meet people from many different cultures, and that has opened my eyes a lot more to different cultures/religions.

I can easily say that working at a summer camp is one of the best experiences I have ever had and in no way whatsoever did it feel like a job. Getting paid to spend time with kids, teach them new skills, meet new friends, play, laugh and having a blast all at the same time, simply cannot be classified as a job. Camp has changed the person I am today, it has taught me many invaluable skills and abilities, and it has also brought out and greatly developed hidden skills such as optimism, teamwork, empathy, patience, self-confidence, self-growth, inter-personal skills... the list goes on.  The experiences you have at Camp, the people you meet, the kids' whom lives you influence, it all shapes you and brings out your best version. Not only do you change and grow as a person, but you also make many amazing connections and friends whom I can easily say are forever.”

Carlos Merchan (Camp Barney Medintz, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016)