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Poppy - Humans of Camp America (Interviewer)

21.12.16

This gave me my desire to work at a similar kind of camp.As soon as I turned 18 I began my application to work in the states. I decided to go along to one of the Camp Directors fairs and within 5 minutes I was hired at my favourite camp. I had done lots of research into the different kinds of camps I could go to and narrowed it down to Camp Westmont, which is where my last 3 summers have been spent. I had always loved children and had a ‘natural gift’ and was always referred to as the ‘pied piper’ by friends and family.

That summer I took myself off to Pennsylvania to begin my adventure! At the time missing my girls holiday to go to camp seemed like the end of the world, but it was absolutely the best decision I had ever made. The second I stepped off the stereotypical yellow school bus and arrived on camp I realised it was the most wonderful place I had ever been. A place where you realise how truly happy you can be, a place where wearing odd shoes is normal and a place where lifelong memories are made. My first summer I was the arts and crafts specialist. Coming from a family with an interior designer mum and a graphic designer dad, there was not much else I would have been more suited to do. I loved every second of my first summer. The same day that I arrived back in the UK after my first summer, I reapplied for summer 2015. I have now been back to camp 3 times and I’m a group leader for the 7th grade girls, this role entails communicating with parents, overseeing counsellors and being the point of call to the girls. One of my favourite moments from camp was colour war. For most people this term means nothing, but for those who have participated in colour war understand the enormity, the build-up and the excitement of this week on camp.

My camp is a Jewish private camp with around 600 campers. The thing I love most about this style of camp is that the children have all come from similar backgrounds to myself therefore I am able to create such strong bonds with them not to mention the incredible facilities on camp such as the culinary centre, jet skiing and Silks! My camp is full of traditions instilled from generation to generation. To be a part of this was magical and no feeling will ever compare. This love and passion lives on with me today. Since doing camp I have decided that I want to become a teacher and continue this love I was taught at camp. I am now studying a Primary Education degree and honestly don’t think I would be doing what I am, had I not gone to camp all those summers.

My all-time favourite thing about camp is those campers who remember you each summer and cry when you say goodbye at the end. I don’t think I could ever forget about a camper, each so unique in their own way. These relationships you build with the children don’t begin to compare to those made with co-counsellors. I have formed the strongest bonds and have friends all over the world who I speak to on a regular basis, even now, 3 years on. I never expected to have enjoyed the experience so much and I would recommend to anyone to give it a go. I thought it would be one summer of sunshine and fun, but has now completely shaped who I am and has become an enormous part of my life. I now work for camp America as a brand manager, regional interview and have supported my camp at most recruitment fairs.

Camp has enabled me to make lifelong friends, memories that will last forever and travel the states. Over the course of my 3 summers I have travelled to New York (6 times!!), Boston, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Las Vegas, LA the Bahamas and more! I would say to anyone considering doing Camp America… DO IT! It’ll be the best decision you ever make!

Poppy - Camp Westmont (2014-2016)