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"It's been one and a half years since I went over and I still think about it almost every day."
I had no idea what I wanted to do after I left high school. I definitely wasn't ready to go to university so I applied for camp America, hoping to get some travel under my belt while I was still 18.
For me, being barn staff and vlogging for camp America it was very early mornings with the horses and some very late nights editing videos - but I wouldn't change it for the world. There was a great balance between feeling like you're working and playing at the same time. My camp gave us so much freedom to input ideas to our programmes to make it more fun for the kids and the staff and I'm very grateful for my director that was so open to new ideas to let us have the best time we possibly could while still working to make the kids everyday life magical.
I've been really lucky to have travelled to America multiple times before I went over for camp - but it was always just for vacations, this time it felt so much more homely. It sounds weird, but doing mundane or 'normal' everyday things in a different country is such a cool experience, to go grocery shopping or to Walmart, visiting the university campuses with my best friends, or staring out of the window at a corner coffee shop acting like I've made it as the main character in a movie. As I said, it sounds stupid, but we are all raised on American media and pop culture so once you're experiencing it for yourself it can totally feel like the "American dream.”
The people. You can travel to the other side of the world and go to all the places on your bucket list and live out every single dream you had planned for yourself, but it was truly the people I had around me that made the experience so much more magical. It was so special to be surrounded by people that I still talk to every single day because of the experiences we shared at camp.
What Type of Camp Was Yours?
I worked at a girl scouts camp which actually turned out amazing for me. Being at all-girls schools all my life, I was definitely in my comfort zone with the values behind girl scouts and the importance of empowering young women. My camp was also a lot more rustic than a private camp which made me feel like it was more of a genuine American camping experience for both myself and the kids. Personally, I think I would have struggled at a private camp, but I understand girl scouts isn't for everyone. I knew from when I handed in my application that private camp wasn't for me, and when I got offers from a few different private camps it solidified my decision to go more ‘rustic'
It's been one and a half years since I went over and I still think about it almost every day. It's hard to pinpoint one thing, and apart from my friends that I already mentioned, it would have to be what it did for me emotionally. Travelling to the other side of the world by myself was such a massive deal at the time because I wasn't confident in myself at all. The things I learnt about myself in the few months I was over there still helps me grow today. It forced independence and confidence on me, which I always struggled with growing up. I think I think about my time over there so often because I think about who I could have been without it. Probably still nervous and awkward like a baby giraffe trying to find its feet. I thrived during my time at camp and it opened so many opportunities when I came home, including working at another kids camp for a year as I fell in love with the job.
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