MIMA's Camp Exchange Experience Jemima Davey - Camp Exchange USA with IST Plus and CIEE

Orientation and training – Learning the ropes/meeting the staff

Arriving at camp was the scariest and most exciting thing I had ever done. I shouldn’t have worried though; camp is where I found my friends for life! Settling into camp life took a little while as it’s so different from anything back home, but once you’ve found the rhythm you can’t imagine anything better in the world. The American staff were so friendly and willing to help, I had no questions unanswered and no one left me feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing. My camp was also good at including us all in the staff training, I felt at home so quickly.


Meeting the kids – what made it special

My campers will always have a special place in my heart. Even as a trainee teacher, I didn’t quite understand how much I would love the kids after only a couple of weeks. You become their mum, sister, friend and teacher all at once and it’s the best feeling ever. They look up to you and want to know everything about you and they also want you to know all about them. Their counselors are people they will never forget, so make the most of it!


The activities

I was on Boating during my summer as a counselor and it felt like a dream, waking up to a day on the beautiful lakes of New Hampshire seemed too good to be true! It was physically exhausting but every group of kids brought something different to it and no period was ever the same. There were lots of activities at camp and the staff were always given chances to try out tubing, high ropes and more! Camp also teaches you new skills, I became a qualified lifeguard, earned my commercial boating license and conquered my fear of heights on the giant swing!

Living at Camp

The camp itself – location/scenery/ food and housing

The sunsets! Oh my, you haven’t seen a sunset until you’ve stood on the docks watching the burning sun dip below the horizon, setting the sky ablaze with the brightest pinks and deepest purples. It is as idyllic as it sounds! I was so lucky with the location of my camp, we were surrounded by so many natural beauties and days off were filled with hiking, waterfall climbing, swimming and drifting down rivers. The food was pretty good, simple and it did get a little repetitive but that’s what pizza delivery was invented for! Our accommodation was in basic cabins with the kids, counselors were given a larger area in the cabin and we used the shower blocks, which weren’t too far from your bed.

My Best Memory

My best memory from camp has to be taking my cabin tubing on the lake. The sun was shining, the radio on the powerboat was blasting and my kids were all singing along with me. There was nowhere I would rather have been. There were a lot of moments like that at camp, ones that make you wish you never had to leave.

What you learnt (about yourself/new skills etc)

I learnt so much from my summers at camp. I am a completely different person to the one who got on that plane to Boston for the first time. I learnt that I can do so much more than I thought I could. I learnt that the world is yours for the taking, if you have the courage to take the first step. Most importantly, I learnt that adventures don’t come and find you, you have to go and find them!

The Team!
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