Summer Camp Secrets' Roo: How Summer Camp USA Made Me A Better Person

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The star behind the popular Summer Camp Secrets blog, Roo, is the biggest advocate of Summer Camp USA around. She will sing her love for it at the top of her lungs and convince everyone she knows to experience it too. She might not know you personally, but she probably will convince you. Here's Roo's take on how Summer Camp USA made her a better person... 

"At the start of each year, for the last seven years, I get these little butterflies in the pit of my stomach. Excited, nervous, fluttering butterflies. There is only one reason for this. And that reason is Summer Camp USA. 

When I first applied with BUNAC to work at summer camp in the USA, I had no idea how that decision would intimately change the course of my life, both personally and professionally. At the time, I was coming to the end of my degree, studying Film, thinking that I would go to camp, travel a bit, then find a job as an Editor in the film industry. 

Now here I am, seven summers later (and about to head back for the 8th) a qualified Early Years Teacher doing what I love, surrounded by some of the best people I've ever known. 

So what happened between that first summer and now? How has my life changed and how have I grown as a person? Well, let me explain... 

  • I am older - and I don't mean that in just a physical sense. With the responsibilities I have taken on at camp, from caring for a group of children who were 'mine', to working alongside other staff, and now overseeing and training those staff, I feel I have learnt to be the older role model that younger staff can look up to.

  • I know how to deal with a lack of sleep. There's nothing quite like working essentially 24 hours a day, six days a week (like Camp Counsellors and Activity Instructors are used to at camp) to show you how much sleep you really need. This has proved very useful in my current job working with under 5s!

  • I have made the greatest friends I have ever known. Summer camp is a place where you can be your absolute essential self, your best self, with zero judgement from those around you. This means you are opened up to friendships that go to a deeper level than anything you've experienced before. My camp friends are my life - I don't know what I'd do without them. 

  • I've had the opportunity to see the world and broaden my views on different cultures. Since my first summer at camp I've been around the world and back again, all with friends I made at camp. I've visited 12 different States, gone south to Central America, travelled through South East Asia and Oceania, done a ski season in France and spent a year in Australia. Without having camp, I don't think I would have had the confidence or the drive to visit even half of those places.

  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I now know what I want to do with my life. For years I floundered about, flitting from one thing to the next. But camp ignited my passion for working with children in youth development. I love expanding their worlds with new information and helping them to become the best they can be. So I became an Early Years Teacher, and it was the best decision I ever made. 

I have camp to thank for everything. Thanks, BUNAC!"

If you would like to experience what Summer Camp USA can do for you and your future, start your application now. Camps are still hiring for a wide variety of positions for summer 2018! 

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