Camp Counsellor of the Week : Elliot

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Each week we'll be showcasing our awesome camp counsellors who headed over to the USA on BUNAC's Summer Camp USA programme. We'll get the lowdown on their experience, find out what life is like at camp and why you should definitely take the plunge and apply to the programme and experience life across the pond as a counsellor next summer!

Name: Elliot Mateus

Age: 22

Name of Camp: Camp Pontiac & Camp Greenbrier 

Position(s) at Camp: Assistant Head of Kayaking, Baseball Coach, Zip line/Ropes Course/Climbing Wall Specialist

1. What were your first impressions of camp when you arrived? 

After a long bus ride from the airport with my fellow BUNAC-ers, it was a great feeling to step off the bus and check out our new home for the rest of the summer. I was really surprised at how fast everyone bonded as a team during the orientation, and by the end of the week it felt like we had known each other for years!

2. What is your role at camp/what are you teaching?

I was responsible for a group off twelve 11 year olds, and during the day I was an Outdoor Adventure Specialist.  This was a really fun job, and as the name suggests it was great to be outside all the time and embrace the sunny USA weather! The job involved teaching rock climbing, high ropes course, and the 50ft zipwire!

3. What has been your favourite moment so far?

It isn’t easy to narrow it down to just one moment, but Colour War would be right up there! It’s a camp wide competition that see each camper and counsellor get assigned to one of two teams, and they compete in a bunch of different challenges. It’s an event that creates a massive sense of summer camp spirit!

4. What has been your biggest challenge since arriving at camp?

Working at summer camp is a 24/7 job and it can be hard to find some time for yourself. This is something more noticeable in the first couple of weeks, but once you’ve got used to the routine there is so much excitement going on for you that you won’t really notice anymore! I had three nights and one full day off-duty a week, so this also was a great chance to enjoy some free time!

5. Has camp met your expectations?

I had done some research about what being a camp counselor would involve before I flew out there, but ultimately every camp is different. I didn’t totally know what to expect, and Camp Pontiac definitely exceeded my expectations in the best possible way! 

6. Do you plan to do any travelling after camp? If so, where?

I had never been out of Europe before doing BUNAC Summer Camp USA, so I knew I wanted to see lots of places after camp! I went travelling for a month after camp, and met up with loads of fellow counsellors along the way! I visited Santa Monica, San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis, Miami, Tallahassee, Washington DC, Toronto, Montreal and Boston! 

7. What is the best thing about being a camp counsellor?

I really enjoyed the more quiet moments, when you basically get to be a big kid with the campers and join in with some of their favourite games. It’s an excellent chance to see just how much being willing to spend time with the campers can make a great impact on the summer camp experience for both you and them! 

8. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying for Summer Camp 2016?

Absolutely 100% do it! If you are willing to immerse yourself in the experience, it will definitely bring the best out of you! The best advice I would give to get placed is to keep your applications positive and upbeat, and to attend the Summer Camp Fairs in January where a lot of the camp directors will be there in person to meet you. 

If you want an epic summer in the USA like Elliot, give us a call on 033 3999 7516 to start your Summer Camp USA application. Regional interviews are taking place now!

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