Camp Counsellor of the Week : Tegan

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Each week we'll be showcasing our awesome camp counsellors who headed over to the US 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: Tegan Taylor

Age: 23 years old

Hometown: Canberra, Australia

Name of Camp: Camp Chipinaw - Silver Lake New York

Position(s) at Camp: Waterfront Lifeguard & General Counsellor

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

I met my best friends on the 2.5 hour bus ride to camp and knew I was in the right place. Everyone at camp was so different but at the same time just like me - a little nervous, but so excited to start a new adventure. The first day was just full of fun bonding games and then we hit the local pub before settling into a week of intense lifeguard training. 

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

As a waterfront lifeguard, it was my duty to run down to the dock each morning and sweep the goose poop off the dock before the kids got down there. As a team the lifeguards would help with fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming with noodles and floaties, create games on the inflatable’s, and most importantly keep them all safe! As a counsellor, I would have to wake up full of energy with the kids and get their butts moving in time for line up. You’re like a big sister or an aunty to the kids, someone they can trust and have fun with, but at the same time I got to make sure your kids don’t eat fourteen bowls of cottage cheese and marshmallow fluff for breakfast.

3. What has been your favourite moment so far?

Favourite part is all of the close friends I made and connecting with the kids in my bunk. The bonds I have made are still going strong over a year later and I am moving interstate to be closer to my camp friends.  

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

Sprinting up the hill from the lake to circus to go on the trapeze on my off period instead of catching up on sleep or contacting friends and family from home like most counsellors would. 

5. Has camp met your expectations?

100%. It’s just like The Parent Trap.

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

My 3 best buds from the bus ended up going on a Bahamas cruise with 2 of our closest friends then to a co-lifeguards house in West Palm Beach before doing an epic road trip of the West Coast. We stayed with more friends in Flagstaff and New Orleans. I travelled alone to the UK after USA and did a trip around catching up with camp friends in London, Manchester, Bolton, Leeds, Southampton and Cardiff. 

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

The entire experience. Summer Camp is something that Australia just doesn’t have, and we can’t compare it to anything. For me, it was literally like stepping into The Parent Trap. A lot of the time I felt like I was a kid just because I was experiencing all the amazing things they get to do too! My kids were little rascals but I wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s like being an aunty. You make sure they are safe and will protect them, but they tell you all their kid secrets like who they’re crushing on and play jokes on each other.

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

Without sounding like a Nike advert, JUST . DO . IT! Reach out for newer and richer experiences, you won't regret it!

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