Camp Counsellor of the Week : Marie

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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: Marisa 

Position : Circus Specialist (Costume Coordinator & Stage Manager)

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

I was really excited as I met my team at the airport, wearing our t-shirts given by camp, the plane journey really was fun as we got to know each other, everyone was hyped up for camp and we played some ice-breakers games. On arrival, we were welcomed by my camp director and other camp counsellors and they hosted a mini party for us and we got to know each other better.

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

Over the 2 summers, I was hired to teach children many circus skills such as Roller Skate, Fire eating, Flying Trapeze, Hand Balance, Gymnastics,  Silks, Rope and Trampoline. Towards the end of the week, my team and I would produce a show (including costumes, music, rigging, building a stage) for the children to show off their brand new skills! 

3. What has been your favourite moment so far?

My favourite part of my whole camp experience was getting to see the kids who I worked with, achieving a new skill and getting to perform with them in their shows.  At first, they would be absolutely terrified participating in a circus workshop and do not want to get involved or even try it out. After a few tears and then encouraging them to get involved, slowly they gain confidence once they actually realize they can do it and then they can’t wait to show off in the show to their friends and families!

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

The biggest challenge for me at camp that you literally work almost 24 hours a day, you are on your feet all day and you would always be on the go, whether you are teaching an activity nearly 3 hours in a row or coming up with a choreography, costumes and music. It can get very tiring! 

5. Has camp met your expectations?

I went to camp with an open mind and it turns out to be the best experience ever!  Most of the friends I made on my first day are still some of my best friends now and I travelled to places I thought I would never go to. 

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

I wanted to make the most out of my time here in the US so my first summer, I made the most of my grace period so I drove starting off in New York travelling across to Las Vegas and spent the last week in Los Angeles to relax on the beach and I stopped off in loads of other states along the way including Miami and Texas. My 2nd summer, I travelled to New York again, New Orleans, Panama City Beach in Miami, Key West, Disneyland and stayed with my American friends in their massive houses all over Pennsylvania!

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

What I love about working in camp is that you get to teach all the fun crazy activities outside in the sunshine!  Although the hours are long and it is hard work but the environment is always fun, everyone is always up for a laugh and you get to shop in Wal Mart! I love American traditions, red cups, s’mores and you get to experiences all of it!

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

My advice is definitely apply! It is a great way to spend your summer in the sunshine, experience a new culture, make new friends and  learn new activities (by the way I have never done circus before and I came back with tons of new skills!) I now look forward to camp reunions as we all try to meet up somewhere new for example Amsterdam (even my American friends come & join us!)

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