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"Step 1: The (Camp) American Dream" by Carys Louie Tellyn


I am in the midst of chasing my Camp American Dream, also known as “Ready to be placed — your application is currently being circulated around camps/resorts”.

So, this is me, a keen writer and a first time CA applicant who can’t stop thinking about what next summer could bring. What better way to feed my placement-cravings than to write about it to pass the time? The plan is to write about my experience step-by-step, in the hope that I can continue to write in the lead up to camp, at camp, and after camp…IF my CA dream comes true.

I welcome you to STEP 1, please do join me on my journey, as I wait patiently in the early stages of my Camp America application.

Let me take you through my experience so far. After hearing my dad’s incredible stories about his own experience, working at Camp Hillcroft for several summers when he was my age, I instantly knew I wanted to apply. That very same day I was clicking my way around the CA website and before I knew it I was registered and filling in the first few details of my application form. It all happened very quickly from that point on.

Soon, I was sitting outside of my local interviewer’s house, suddenly questioning whether this was right for me- talk about cold feet! Sitting there in the awkward, nervous quiet of the car, with my dad by my side, it all of a sudden dawned on me that within a couple of weeks I had gone from dreaming excitedly about a summer at camp, to being one step closer to making such dreams come true. It was that sudden sicky feeling of “omg, is this really something I want to do?” For some reason, for me, the interview seemed like a commitment to 3 months in America away from my family, Yorkshire tea and Cadbury chocolate. Would I cope? Turns out I’m a massive over-thinker and was worrying unnecessarily! Once in the interview, talking excitedly about why I would be great for camp, I felt sure that I was embarking on the most incredible journey of my life. Interview- passed and in the bag. CHECK.

I spent the next few weeks tweaking my forms, making my application video, and soon found myself at “Ready to be placed — your application is currently being circulated around camps/resorts”.

And so I find myself sitting in my student house, in the middle of England, dreaming of a far-away land, and pondering that the phrase “playing the waiting game” is the stupidest phrase I have ever heard. Playing games is fun. Waiting is not.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of applying for Camp America, I cannot be sure when STEP 2 will be published. I also don’t know what STEP 2 will entail. Will it be an excited jumble of letters that jigsaw together to tell you guys that I have been placed? Or will it be another slowly-written blog about how recruitment fairs could save our impatiently-excited souls? Who knows?

Good luck and best wishes to all of my fellow Camp American Dreamers!