Camp Counsellor of the week: Natalie

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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!

Natalie Ray

Aged 22

Camp Marimeta, Wisconsin

Cabin counsellor & tennis instructor (1st year)

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

My first impressions of camp were 100% impressed!! The buses pulled in late at night and, after a long journey, I was welcomed by the camp directors and other camp counsellors. I was thrown straight into ice-breaker games, which were a really good way to meet my fellow counsellors and to get to know some new fun games which we would use with the children. 

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

I was hired to coach tennis. I spent around 3 hours a day coaching and actually got the opportunity to teach some other activities as well. This was a real privilege, as I had never taught riflery or sailing before and, with a few hours training, I was ready to teach a class. It was so much fun and gave my time at camp a bit more variety. It was also really nice to learn some new sports. 

3. What has been your favourite moment so far?

My favourite moment at camp was becoming so close to my fellow counsellors and campers. I was in a cabin with 3 other counsellors and thirteen nine year old girls. I loved spending time with them in the cabin, playing games and competing alongside them in activities. They become your family. 

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

The biggest challenge for me at camp was being on duty almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The children are your responsibility, so you are expected to deal with any issues they may have. As a counsellor, it can get very tiring, especially if your are in cabins with younger campers. 

5. Has camp met your expectations?

Camp is exactly how I imagined it to be and more and, my gosh, it is so much fun!! From raising flags to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, it’s a long American tradition like no other that you just have to experience. 

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 I went ahead and booked a 21 day trek tour across America with Trek America, starting in New York and travelling across to LA, stopping off in lots of other states along the way. I am also travelling to Chicago for a few days with friends from camp. 

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

The best thing about being a camp counsellor is that you get to teach all of your favourite activities in a laid back, fun environment. You’re teaching, but at the same time, you can join in too. You do not have to constantly be teaching, you can sit back and let the children take the activity under your supervision. 

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

The advice I would give to new counsellors wanting to go to camp in 2016 would be JUST DO IT! You will have the best summer teaching activities that you will love and making memories that you will cherish. You will make so many cool friends from all over the world and learn so much responsibility and you’ll really feel like you’re somewhere you belong!

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