Sam's Farewell to Summer Camp USA

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She's been taking over BUNAC's Instagram all summer, making everyone super jealous of her all-American adventure on Summer Camp USA. Yes, summer camp superstar Sam has just finished her THIRD Summer working at Camp Danbee in Peru, Massachusetts. We've caught up with her to hear all about her camp highlights.

Sam's Farewell to Summer Camp USA

1) Last time we spoke you were mid-way through camp, having a ball. What have you been up to since?

So much has happened in the last few weeks of camp! We got to go on another trip to a local activity park which was a lot of fun. There was a train, a petting zoo, bumper and pedal boats as well as ice cream at the end. The campers absolutely loved it and it was great to have a day outside of the campground. That night we went to a local theatre and watched a performance put on by local teenagers. We've also had a trip to the cinema on a rainy day.

Closing activities run for the whole last week of camp: Counsellors' Service is where the counsellor's all write something about the kids in their bunk and read it out loud in front of the whole camp. We sing goodbye songs and blow out candles. We have Dancefest, which is a showcase of the campers who have been learning dances through the summer. On the last night, the oldest girls put on a banquet for the whole camp. They transform the mess hall and cover it in murals of a theme they've chosen. This year's theme was the film Tangled and the murals were amazing! After the banquet we all headed down to the lake to put wishboats in the water.

2) Have any of your kids really grown throughout the summer? What have you noticed?

It's amazing to see your kids grow throughout the summer! As I looked after the youngest, I could really see the difference from the kids they were when they arrived to when they left. Their confidence grew hugely and they learnt how to make their beds in the mornings and get themselves organised for the day without having Counsellors doing it for them. It was great to know that I was a part of them becoming more independent and growing up learning new skills.

3) What are your favourite things about the summer camp lifestyle? (Food, activities, routine etc.)

I love that at camp you never know what could happen! During packing day (which is pretty hectic as you can imagine), our Camp Director announced that everyone should stop and head down to the lake. We got there and there was a huge caravan which had been converted into an ice cream truck! It was great to take a break and 'chill out' before we finished the packing.

4) Is there anything you’ve done this time at camp that you didn’t do last time?

I got to go on the zip line and the big swing this year! I'm pretty afraid of heights but with the support of the kids I tried it and it was so much fun!

5) Is it true that you sleep better at camp than you do at home?

Definitely! You are so busy through the day and by the time you get into your bed, you'll never want to leave! I don't even feel like I've been asleep at camp as I fall asleep so quickly and then suddenly I hear the bell ringing for another day beginning!

6) Summarise your summer 2017 in one amazing paragraph!

Summer 2017 has been one of the best so far! I've taken on a new role with more responsibility as a group leader for the youngest age group and although I was nervous to begin with, I've had so much fun! Coming to camp was one of the best decisions and since my first year in 2015, I've looked forward to it all year. Everyone always asks the question at the end of the summer: "Do you think you'll come back?" and every year it gets harder and harder to think that maybe you won't.

7) What is the first thing you’re going to do when you’re outside of the camp bubble, back in the real world?

Sleep! I cant wait to sleep in a double bed and not be thinking of what the time is and where I need to be next! It's going to be so weird to not have kids around me all the time and to eat a meal with metal knives and forks and not plastic ones.

8) What was it like saying goodbye to some of your friends – the other camp counsellors?

Saying goodbye to anyone is hard but saying goodbye to camp friends is the absolute worst. You started the summer as strangers but you've been through so much together over the last eight weeks that now you can't think about being apart. They've been there through the laughter and through the tears, got you through the times you've thought that you have no energy to carry on but then get you up dancing crazy in the dining hall! Camp friends really are the best friends.

Has Sam's all-American adventure made you green with envy? Summer Camp USA is OPEN for 2018 applications! Sign up today and prepare yourself for the most camp-tastic summer ever.

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