Thinking about your first day at camp can be exciting and a daunting experience. You will be heading to a different country and thrown into the most exciting experience! Those first few days are where you will be pushed to step outside your comfort zone. Remember to seize the moment, and not to stay in the corner letting things happen to you. This is your summer to make a positive impact and create lifelong memories.
Remember to chat to returners and your leadership staff; they've been in your shoes and know camp. Bag yourself a good bed! Set up your personal space, but keep it simple and appropriate. Get stuck in! Enjoy camp before the kids get there as it's your chance to get your know your new home away from home.
Once you have landed in the USA you will have one of the two situations happen:
1. You will have someone waiting for you (wearing your camp gear) or you will be given a rendezvous point somewhere in the airport to meet a camp representative.
2. You will have been given some information on how to use public transport to get to camp (usually a coach that will get you somewhere near camp and someone will pick you up from there).
If you arrive at the point where you are supposed to be picked up and no one is there, don’t worry; they are probably just a couple of minutes late. Give camp a call and they will let you know how far away your pick up is.
Now the fun begins. You have looked at camp on the internet and on social media, but now you get to see what it’s really like. Camp will always be bigger than you imagine. But do remember it will take some time to adjust, so do what you need to do but in free time. The first day will usually include a tour or orientation activity with other counselors arriving that day. Remember you are not the only one who has traveled far, and there will be new counselors just like you. During your orientation to camp, there will be lots of structure and you will get told about the daily routines of camp life. You will start to meet a lot of new people in the next couple of days so it’s good to mingle and start to get to know people.
The next few days will be split between icebreakers, team building, seminars on how camp works, and getting used to the activities that camp offers. Pay attention during these talks. They will provide you with a wealth of knowledge to help you throughout your time at camp. The camp directors have been doing this a long time so they know what they are doing and what they need to teach you about. An important thing to remember is no question is a stupid question; so don’t be afraid to ask returners or directors if you are unsure about something.