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By Camp America on 08/08/2017
Andrew (second right) went to Camp Laurelwood in 2000 with his friend Steve (first left) and had the experience of a lifetime!
I was looking for an adventure to finish my first year at university. I had been involved in Scouting in the UK and this had taught me many skills for life. It felt like a massive thing to do, jump on a plane and travel 3,500 miles to a part of the world I hadn’t been to previously. I didn’t know anyone, but my time in the Scouts had shown me it’s always best to say yes to opportunities and just go for it!
My favourite memory was actually one of the saddest. After camp had finished we all stayed in a hotel in New Haven and had a huge party. The following morning we were sad to leave, we knew that many of us wouldn’t see each other again but we knew we had shared a special summer.
Camp really developed the skills and outlook that I had started developing through Scouting in the UK. It really taught me grab opportunities and go in to new situations with real confidence. After I finished university I realised that I wanted to retrain and I went in to communications. I’ve been lucky enough to work with many high profile people, from Bear Grylls, to UK Prime Ministers and the King of Sweden. There’s a natural nervousness when you meet new people, but nothing comes near to welcoming a new set of campers and taking on the responsibility for them having an awesome summer. If you can do that you can do anything!
I’ve recommended Camp America to many friends, 4 have taken up the challenge and they have all loved it! You make amazing friends and get put in situations where you learn so much about yourself. I look back on so much of that summer with a smile on my face, it was a total blast. My one message would be have no regrets, make the most of it, push yourself and even when you are more tired than you can believe keep going!
I speak to many camp friends on Facebook, but my cabin mate has turned in to a lifelong mate. Steve Dorman and I met up shortly after we returned to the UK and forged a great friendship. We’ve travelled across the world together, Africa, the Far East and across to Europe. Over the next year we have trips to Ukraine, Israel and a backpacking trip across the Balkan’s booked.
Steve attended my wedding and is godfather to my son James, he’s like one of the family.
I’m currently helping him launch his new businessAlexandra Weymouth Hotel, a boutique hotel and eatery in Dorset. It would make the perfect location for a Camp America reunion, if anyone is looking to recapture the vibe of the summer!
Camp taught me to embrace travel, try new things and not be worried about change. Through my work I’m been lucky to be dropped into events throughout the world. A great example of this was the 24th World Scout Jamboree in Japan. At short notice I was asked to go and support the media work at the event. It was a country I knew little about and involved working with an international team. Camp taught me to look for solutions and build relationships, skills that are invaluable in life.
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