I started my Camp America journey after I had already graduated uni. I finished classes and thought what next?
Originally I had planned to just work in the USA, but when I came across the Camp America program I was hooked. I was placed at YMCA Camp Kern in a tiny town called Oregonia, Ohio. It changed my life. I LOVED working at summer camp. I was a general counselor and a high ropes instructor.
Even though I was excited for the program, never could I have imagined that I would put all plans on hold to return for a second summer - this time as a Co-Director of Kern Challenge (a high adventure program for 13-16 year olds). Being a high ropes instructor is something my friends would have laughed at pre-camp. It put me completely out of my comfort zone and my confidence in day-to-day life has soared as a result.. I was never shy but being comfortable up that high - and moreover having the confidence to put kids safely up that high - is something that I'm really proud of.
Camp is also crazy fun. In my second summer I lived in treehouses every second week! I went on canoe trips and did activities ranging from the giant swing to mud sliding to mattress surfing to fruit baseball. Camp Kern is well known for their literary programs, and so every Wednesday night the counselors don home-made-over-the-weekend costumes to dress up for themes like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Minecraft to take the kids into an alternate universe. Who knew a black cape was an essential item to pack haha !
For me though one of the best things about Camp America is the friends you will make. It sounds completely cliché but I consider some of my best friends to be those from camp.. they've become friends for life. You don't have time for bad friends at home when you have camp friends ! Kern has become a home away from home, and since my time there I've also traveled all over Europe visiting the people that made it home. Choosing to do Camp America and working at Camp Kern is genuinely one of the best decisions I've ever made.. Kern Blood for life <3