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Laura Hyde - Camp Profile

March 24, 2017

Hey y’all! I’m Laura & I work in the London office. I work as Program Coordinator which means I get to read through all your fantastic applications and find a camp that will be your summer home.

 

So, I’m a slight summer camp gypsy – one amazing camp simply wasn’t enough for me so I decided to try a second.

 

This week I get to talk about the BEST camps to ever exist – Camp Widjiwagan & Camp Lindenmere. I can assure you I did not pick to go to my camps based on the fact they seem to have the longest, tongue-twisting names out there.

I first spent two summers at Camp Widjiwagan in Nashville, Tennessee. Imagine country music, cowboy boots & cowboys..!! I worked as a General Counselor and had such a fantastic summer. My role as General Counselor meant that I would stick with my cabin kids all day, taking them to a variety of sports & activities.

 

There were moments when I had to pinch myself because I had spent the day banana boating, zip-lining & water-skiing and it was still only 9.30 in the morning! My usual morning routine back at home would be hibernating under the covers refusing to face daylight until at least noon. Camp definitely gives you a new lease of life and doesn’t only change your summer, but changes the way you look at life when you return. I’m sorry to say that sitting in a lecture theatre upon returning to University at 9.30am doesn’t give you the same feeling as it does at camp.

I then worked at Camp Lindenmere in Pennsylvania and will be returning for another summer this year. My role differed a lot for me this time round, which meant camp felt like a whole new experience. I worked as a Specialist Counselor in the Circus Department. This meant that I spent the majority of my time hanging upside from the rafters. The other half of the time I spent being kicked in the face by kids hanging less elegantly from the rafters.

It was great fun working in a specialised department because you get to work with a variety of different age groups & abilities throughout the summer. Not only that, but you work alongside actual circus performers who can do the splits in their sleep. It was fantastic to be constantly pushed & I learnt more than I thought possible over the 8 weeks.

 

Camp is going to be like something you have never experienced before and in a way, this is going to nerve-wracking. You may get to camp & hit the ground running, if that’s the case then fantastic. If you don’t, please don’t worry. It’s completely natural to feel apprehensive when you arrive, it may take a little while to settle in. Camp is such a big, bold & vibrant place that when it hits you all at once you don’t quite know what emotion to accept it with. However, I assure you that if you give camp craziness a chance you will soon be immersed in the camp way of life & never want to turn back.

Take a torch! I don’t care if you leave everything else back at home, you need a torch. There is nothing worse than walking back from the staff lodge after a night off with the terrifying sounds of wildlife around you but not being able to see a thing!! Darkness at camp is something you will never have experienced before, it is so dense you are not sure if you’ve stepped on a football or a skunk.

 

Traveling is your chance to explore the US, whether this be through the main cities & tourist spots, the places off the beaten track or through your newly acquainted American besties – it’s all possible. Try to hold off until you get to camp. I am not a spontaneous person and if camp taught me one thing, it’s that not every detail needs to be meticulously planned for it to work. When you get to camp you will be working with people who are there for the exact same reasons that you are, they will love adventure, want to see what America has to offer and will also need that travel group to achieve squad goals with.

You will spend 3 months loving every little thing about camp but in all honesty, it’s the 3 months following where you will miss it more than you thought possible. It becomes your way of life and post-camp blues are definitely a thing. You will spend the rest of your life parroting camp stories off to anyone who will listen. You will take any opportunity to meet up with your camp friends because you come to miss the simple lifestyle that camp offers; where you can knock on the door of your mate’s cabin to see if they’re ready for the staff water balloon fight or running like the wind to the other side of camp grounds to find out your friends latest stories from time off - because let’s face it texting is for the uncool kids and not going to camp, that is too.

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