AmeriCamp As Told By AmeriCampers!

This generation has been enthralled with the idea of American summer camps ever since Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers graced our screens with the all-singing, all-dancing feel good film of the year, Camp Rock. In the movie, you see the characters fall in love, make lifelong friends and most importantly, having amazing experiences.

I know what you’re thinking, surely it can’t be that good in real life? You’d be right. It’s not that good. It’s much, much better. AmeriCamp gives you the opportunity to use your special skills to help give some special kids the summer of a lifetime, whilst making memories (and money!) of your own. Whether you’re a great sportsperson, a talented musician or an amazing listener and friend, AmeriCamp will make sure you’re #PlACed somewhere that your skills make the biggest impact. Even more astoundingly, with Campus Group, there are endless opportunities to travel and make a difference, not just in America, but all over the world!

But don’t just take my word for it. I’ve spoken to people that have had their best summer ever through AmeriCamp, and they want to share their experiences with you.

First up we have Leo Westbrook who worked at Lake Greeley Camp, Pennsylvania last summer.

“Thanks to AmeriCamp, I had the best summer of my life!

I had wanted to do Camp America since sixth form, and during my first year at university I found out about AmeriCamp, who offered a more personal and helpful experience, higher wages, lower fees and FREE BISCUITS! I started to fill out my application immediately and never looked back. As a gymnast with experience in circus skills and rock climbing instruction, I found that camps were fighting over me! I decided to go with Lake Greeley Camp, signed the contracts and got placed on the spot! I was going to America!

AmeriCamp couldn’t have been any more helpful throughout my application, even when my forms were sent to the wrong destination the day before my visa interview or when my dog ate my documents the week before my flights! They were always on call night or day to help me out and it was clear that they genuinely cared about me.

At Lake Greeley Camp, I was put in a cabin of boys aged 12-14 and we had an absolute ball! We became known as the “frathouse of camp” thanks to the music we blasted from our porch for the entire camp to listen to and all the antics we got up to over summer. I learned the art of flying trapeze, and was trusted to teach this to children of all abilities, from those with vertigo to pros who had done this activity for up to 8 years or more. As well as this, I coached gymnastics, where I introduced new activities to the camp such as “the floor is lava” and two person acrobatics, opening this usually quiet program to every child. I was even put in charge of the entire gymnastics program for a week while the director had to go to a competition. It was great to be trusted with that level of responsibility!

There are too many amazing moments to pick a favourite, and looking back I can see that camp has made me a drastically different person; more confident, more responsible and a whole lot more fun!
I was picked as a captain for Camp Olympics (Go Australia! We love Vegemite!) and didn’t sleep for three whole days, but I loved every second! I was the leader of Greeley Ninja Warrior where the kids competed against me in a series of gymnastics, adventure and waterfront obstacle courses. One of the kids in my cabin was voted prom king which was a proud moment. I was the chief spirit ghost on the haunted trail night. My cabin dressed me as Uncle Sam for July 4th, shaving foam beard and all!

I could go on but I’d be here for hours!

AmeriCamp has provided me with a summer of friends, skills, memories and experiences which will stay with me for the rest of my life, and all I can say is bring on AmeriCamp 2017!”

Louis Bird worked in Camp Loyaltown, New York in the summer of 2016.

“Camp Loyaltown is for people who have developmental disabilities. Some of the campers I worked with ranged from autism to down syndrome to Cerebral Palsy (CP). This was definitely the hardest but most rewarding summer I’ve ever experienced.

It was certainly a challenge. I had to change nappies and learn American Sign Language, but I learned skills I’ll never forget and couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. One deaf camper loved his soda and where else would I have had to learn ‘soda’ in sign language?

We would take the campers to get breakfast and one of my campers needed to be fed by hand as he had CP, it was great being able to help him like that. The daily activities ranged from arts and crafts, drama and nature walks to swimming in the pool, which was everybody’s favourite! Some of the campers would need quite a lot of encouragement to join in, but once we got them involved they loved it!

There would always be an evening activity which would be something really fun like dances and super-hero nights. The campers all seemed to love the evening activities! My favourite one definitely had to be having nights around the campfires outside making S’mores! It was the first time I’d ever had s’mores and I have to say that they were really yummy, if I didn’t have to share I could have eaten a lot more than just the one!”

Finally we have Levi Tucker who also went away last summer, working at Camp Airy, Maryland.

“Camp made Summer 2016 the “Best Summer Ever!” Because it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was 14, and it was so surreal that it was finally a reality! Camp was a place where no-matter what happened, I always felt at home, appreciated, and loved. I’ve never had a summer where I enjoyed every minute, and never once felt bored. Experiencing a new culture, and being part of something bigger than just yourself is mesmerising, and I can’t describe enough how much it changed my life! Camp doesn’t just live for the summer, it has a pulse that stays strong for forever afterwards – this lives on through friends you make, and memories you keep. Anyone who gets the opportunity to do it, definitely needs to grab it with both hands and run with it! I loved it so much, I’m returning to Camp for Summer 2017!”

Lauren Goodfellow.