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The internship of a lifetime, with BUNAC: Part 2

Early last month, we got to read about the hiking adventures of Elena Hunt, who won the internship of a lifetime courtesy of BUNAC and Trek America. Today she's telling us about her experiences of working at a summer camp!

I don’t know about you, but my childhood summers were full of freezing paddling pools, ice pops and sitting in front of a mini fan auto tuning my voice. Luckily for American children, summers seem to be centered around Summer Camps; where the activities are endless and the chance of sunshine is infinitely higher.

Elena took part in a variety of activities

I was lucky enough to spend the last ten days travelling around the East Coast of America, visiting a huge range of camps. Before going, I was under the illusion that “camp” was a pretty consistent term, but I was proved totally wrong when I encountered silver-smithing jewelry as an activity, followed by water skiing. Camp is such a vast and varied industry that any skill, no matter how seemingly random, has a place somewhere. Activities can range from water sports, archery, horse riding and pretty much any other terrain sport; to crafts, piano playing and dancing.

From physical activity to crafts - you could teach it all

With thousands of kids flocking to these places every year, camps need a strong body of staff to take on the influx of campers. That’s where international staff come in! Many camps are now reaching out to find counselors from overseas to fill positions or skills in their programmes, meaning thousands of young people are getting to spend their summers in the USA.

Camp isn't just the outdoors!

After speaking to many camp directors, they made clear that the main deciding factor for a counsellor was down to personality. So even if you’re not a qualified lifeguard, but you’d love to give it a go, then I would apply and see what happens.  Also, if you are thinking of applying, then be sure to research and read everything about each camp - they are so different from one another. Some have swanky log cabins whilst others opt for traditional platform tents - if that matters to you, then know what you’re getting into before you leave.

Accommodation varies from camp to camp

I’m not going to lie, it took all of about 6 hours for me to be very tempted to sign up for next year. With early starts and general dedication to their kids, it’s easy to see how hard the counsellors work, but it’s even easier to see how much fun they are having. The counsellors really get involved with every aspect of camp life whether that be camping in the woods one night, or participating in a colour war the next, they are just as committed as the kids. Though the style and ethos of camps varied hugely, the energy and vibe was unfalteringly positive and was a pretty infectious atmosphere to be in. It’s understandable that so many counsellors return year upon year as there is also so much opportunity to learn and teach new skills, whilst meeting people from around the world and doing an incredibly fun-filled job.

Oops, I think I’ve just convinced myself all over again, I’ll be clicking on the link - feel free to do the same for an unforgettable summer with BUNAC!

Check back soon to see where Elena is exploring next!