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Josh - Humans of Camp America

By Camp America on 18/10/2018

Josh has spent the last two summers at Camp Awosting. Here is his story...

The summer of 2016 ended and I sat down before starting college again and I felt like I hadn’t really done anything. Yeah good times with friends and working shifts here and there at work but I hadn’t achieved anything. I remember telling myself “2017 is going to be different”. That night, I applied for Camp America. I had heard great things about it from two friends at work and I felt like it would suit me down to the ground, so I took the plunge!

Luckily, at the recruitment fair in Manchester, I was hired as the Fencing counsellor at the greatest place on earth: CAMP AWOSTING. Next year, Awosting will be celebrating its 119th summer.

Both times I have arrived home and I get asked the same thing every time “what is your favourite memory of the summer?”. I just can’t tell them. I have no answer because we would be sat there for 24 hours!! I feel lucky that I could have an impact EVERY single day on a camper’s life. The people make it a magical place. This is as magical as any vacation or trip to Disneyland this is just the best part of childhood all wrapped into one place. This allows you to be a child again. Camp life is everything, you can be the goofiest/silliest person in the room and it will just put a smile on everyone’s face. You sing, you dance and you laugh. It can be at breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s as you wake up and right before you sleep. You are having fun and not caring about anything, just being yourself. Nobody but yourself and camp doesn’t just appreciate you for that, they love you for that.

Before camp I was like “are they going to like me?” and “will I get on with the other counsellors?” and after it all I was like “I don’t want to leave!”. You really don’t feel like you are working and that makes you the absolute luckiest person in the world. I didn’t expect how close you become to the campers and counsellors. They become your brothers, they are everything that’s good in life. They are hilarious, they are kind, they listen and they are there for you and so accepting. When you step foot into Camp, especially Awosting, you enter a completely different world. You become this like superhero. You’re not one name anymore, you are a stupid nickname and that’s part of the magic of camp.

Camp Awosting changes lives. The campers and counsellors come and I’d say they spend most of their day to day lives on their phone or in front of a screen but when they get to camp they are outdoors all day and there is a no phone policy so this way we make friends and laugh and make genuine connections which are special. If I could, I would stay there forever.

Before I went to camp, I was a bit disenchanted with education. I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do with my future. I was in two minds. However, after working with other people and hearing their stories and working with campers day in, day out it showed me that I am passionate about what I want to do (teach) and that I am capable. Camp Awosting and Camp America in many ways restored my confidence within myself.

Camp Awosting is my favourite place in the world. The best part is the people. They come from all over the world and they are the happiest they have ever been in their entire lives. So when that group of people come together the things that happen are simply amazing.

Camp is a crazy, crazy place. There is a constant energy and buzz around the place. This is camp spirit, I didn’t know what this was 2 years ago and its just a feeling you have at camp.

This is why I would encourage anybody to apply for Camp America, it changes lives.

Strong as bears,

Josh Stocks



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