Sam's counting down the days until Summer Camp USA

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Our fabulous Work Abroad Assistant Sam Beckley is returning to Summer Camp USA this summer for the 3rd time (yep, we’re jealous at all...) So where is her home away from home? Camp Danbee, an all girl’s private residential camp hidden in the green forests of Peru, Massachusetts. Her role at camp is a “Camp Mom” by day – similar to a General Counsellor, but taking care of girls between 6-8 years old – and she’s a super sonic bed time story creator by night. Solid. 

So whether you’re Summer Camp USA alumni or if you’re looking to take the plunge and go for the first time this year, every person’s camp experience is different and equally life changing. Now read Sam’s... 

How would you describe Summer Camp USA to someone who literally knows nothing about it? 

If you want to spend your summer in the US, living on a camp just like you’ve seen in The Parent Trap (yes, BUNAC do actually work with that exact camp), running around covered in shaving foam to cheer the kids up after parents visiting day and making the best mates from around the world, then Summer Camp USA is the one for you. You’ll get to spend up to 10 weeks looking after children aged between 6 and 18 years old, helping to teach sports such as tennis and basketball or activities like arts and crafts and jewellery making.

Camp really helps to build your confidence as you meet so many new people and everyone is friendly and wants to get to know you. You’ll get to try out so many new activities and develop new skills…like being the champ friendship bracelet maker and literally considering having to make a waiting list for all the order requests that come pouring in from campers and staff alike ha! If you’re considering doing the programme but you're not 100% sure whether it’s for you then I definitely recommend going for it. You won’t regret it and I promise it’ll be the most unbelievable and magical summer you've ever had. 

Couldn't have put it better myself, Sam. I'm sold already, but you do have one more thing to sell me on. Everyone who goes on Summer Camp USA thinks their camp is better than the others. Why do you think Camp Danbee is the best camp in the world? 

We get to dance on tables every meal time - breakfast, lunch and dinner. I mean, I guess they’re technically our chairs not the actual table, but still, it’s pretty wild. The staff also get treated to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream every Monday at staff meetings. Our camp is all about keeping the staff motivated throughout the summer, so they host weekly staff awards in four different categories, and whoever wins gets given a spirit T-Shirt. It’s a nice way to show that all the long hours, all the times you were woken up in the middle of the night because a kid was homesick, all of your hard work gets appreciated. 

What has camp taught you the most? In life, in work, in general? 

Gosh it’s taught me loads, too many things to list probably. Definitely the one that springs to mind is that even when you feel the most tired, the most exhausted, literally running on empty when you’re working at camp (which happens a lot) suddenly something will happen which will make you have a burst of energy. Camp makes you realise how long we as humans can stay awake on just a few hours sleep. (Laughs) And everyone always talks about how you become best friends with people from all over the world, but people mention it so often because it’s TRUE. You become best, lifelong friends with people that in real life you wouldn’t think you’d get along with on first impressions. I guess when you actually live with someone, your perception of them changes. Pretty deep, man. 

Why can’t you resist going back to camp every year for more and more and more? 

It’s just a great way to spend 3 months of your summer, plus you get those 30 days of travel afterwards. It’s perfect, really. Another random thought but where else in the world is it acceptable to dress up as a different fictional character every day in fancy dress? I’ve been a pirate in my camp’s raft wars (set in the swimming pool), a zombie for Halloween (in July), and I went as Santa Claus to a baseball game for our camp theme “Christmas in June.” We like to bring winter holidays to the summer at Camp Danbee. 

Yes, I’m starting to see the trend Sam, sounds amazing. You have totally inspired us to get all aboard the BUNAC bus to the stars and stripes! There’s still time to apply for our Summer Camp USA programme and get placed at an awesome camp like Sam’s, but you’ve gotta be quick. Give us a call on 0333 999 7516 or sign up online to start your application. Say hello to new memories…