Is it crazy to say that summer camp is only 6 months away and I still wear my summer camp polo from last summer whenever I get the chance? Well if you’ve worked a summer camp before then it’s an obvious NO! When you’re gradually falling into the “camp life” you can’t help but keep your expectations high for the next summer full of memories to come! Some say it’s like the anticipation of Christmas or waiting up all night for Santa to come. 6 months may seem long but the summer is one of the best times of the year here in El Puerto de Santa Maria. I already have a calendar ready with the countdown! The amount of work that goes behind the scenes is relentless. As a year round staff member we are constantly promoting ideas to improve summer camp. With all the fun and hard work we get from the life as a camp monitor or teacher or driver or coordinator or director you are guaranteed to come home with plenty of moments to share
As summer gets closer, you are constantly thinking oh my god its almost summer again I am going to be living on site with lots of new people and I have no idea what to expect at camp! Am I going to like it? What’s it like? I had my interview and got accepted now the anticipation sets in! All these questions you can find on the home page but you are sure to have the best summer of your camp experience if you give it a try with a 110%! I love the adrenaline rush of being thrown back into the camp mentality. Singing songs at lunch. Making the kids laugh in chill out time. BBQ on the beach. Excursions to Aqualand ( which is literally 15 minutes away )! The excitement never lightens up! Looking forward to the best time of the year which is summer and with the memories you will end with its no doubt an endless summer full of fun and hard work and making a difference in a child’s education. I am sure you will end summer on a good note with the anticipation already setting in for the following summer like us!
When you go down memory lane you think of something that brings a smile to the face or catches your attention that leaves you lost in words to describe that moment. I think we can all relate to a special moment that brings back a time in which we pause and smile about. Some people may have good and bad memories but some of my most memorable memories have been working at TECS Summer Camps Is that surprising? No way! What happens when you put 20 staff together far way in the mountains with class sizes about 12 to 14 kids and cabins that sleep 7 to 10 kids. Well maybe the numbers aren’t right but I’m sure the bonding time and memories are! These kind of moments start with the character development of oneself. Personally, I have never worked with kids before I worked at Summer Camp. Spanish Kids? No thank you (was my first thought) but when I started reading more in the job profiles and saw how the timetable is, I knew it couldn’t be that bad. The only thing between myself and the kids was adapting my mindset to it! What was I in for .. I wanted to set the best example and be the best support for whatever was handed to me
Jumping back 2 summers ago I was in the mountains of Gredos. We had finished training week here in El Puerto de Santa Maria and then were shuttled out 8 hours to a rural setting in the middle of NO WHERE or so it seemed. I had previously worked the year before in Cadiz but never have I worked in the mountains of northern Spain!
As the day passed we slowly prepared for arrivals day. It was a long process but by the end of the day the kids were laughing and having fun getting to know each other.
As the week went on the classes were formed and I was teaching 8 and 9 year olds. It was a fun week!! English was 4 hours a day but we split the class up with lots of needed breaks and games that were much needed with the heat. Evening entertainment was full of water games and crazy races and endless laughing. The second week was even more fun! It was at this point in the fortnight that we developed a routine of when the kids were sad or felt lonely we had circle time with the guitar playing music. The sun was setting and the camp songs got everyone involved! Some kids were often sad or worn out from the scorching heat but when we brought out the Irish guitar the smiles on their faces lit the room..
As I conclude with this special memory that will never seem to fade, I would love for you to take the time and imagine what it’s like to be in their shoes and remember how much of im pact we have in a childs life in a matter of just a few weeks. Personally, I will never forget the sound of the guitar singing camp songs under the sun setting with the smell of food coming from the cafeteria. This to me was my happy place in the mountains of Gredos.
What is the first thing you think of when you think of summer camp? A lot of activities and kids screaming and yelling as the sun is scorching down on top of your head while covered in sunscreen constantly sweating and blowing your whistle at your kids as it echoes across the mountains. Well not exactly everyone pictures a summer camp like this, but this is what I thought Summer Camp meant when I first read my job profile ¨¨ As a kid we may or may have not have attended a summer camp before? Maybe some of you have either in the USA, UK or Ire. I personally grew up in the states and have experienced camp life. Every summer camp is unique in its own way. If you can’t relate well let me first tell you how I remember Summer Camp as a kid..
I was about 11 years old I vividly remember the car coming up over the ridge of this long muddy and mountainous range setting. The rain was coming down there were multiple cars going up the road. I was with my sister in the backseat with my Gameboy in my hand. As my dad shouts from the front ¨guys were here¨ We were arriving to a place called ¨Camp Tadmor¨ This is what I remember to this day as a kid. A big wooden facility with lots of multi colored shirts on people telling us where to go and welcoming us. We parked and I hopped out of the car grabbed my duffle bag and sleeping bag in the other hand and wobbled away to my arrivals table. I got my check in done fast and headed to the cabins/resident hall to drop my stuff off. Already met some new friends on the way having previously kissed my parents good bye I shuffled the tears off my cheeks and begin to hold my smile as I could tell there were already some cute girls walking around. If you haven’t had this experience before you might not be able to relate but when arrivals day comes at summer camp I think about every minute those campers arrive and go through the same feelings/motion as I did once at their age.
As I jump forward some years ( Sad I know I may have some of you nearly in tears or scratching your head like where is this going ) Just wait.. You will understand. Now, going on to my 3rd summer working at TECS Summer Camps in which I can cherish those memories and reflect back on them when I see those campers arriving in tears and full of excitement because it is such a big deal to be alone from the parents, for these campers!
Summer Camp is a time to build and grow as a person. We put effort 24 hours a day ( unless we are recovering with sleep ) and do our best to give the kids the experience some of us may have had or expect to have if we were in their shoes. Working on a summer camp isn’t just fun it’s impacting. To the first time you meet a group of kids bombarding you with a million questions up close breathing in your face, until the last moments of saying your goodbyes (constantly holding back tears). You will share a bond with these kids in some sort of way whether it be sports in the evening’s bbq on the beach. Meal times. Singing class songs. Making a fool out of yourself. This is camp life and it takes a special kind of person to grasp this type of lifestyle!
Working a summer camp is one of the best decisions I’ve made as a staff member. I met loads of new people and kept friendships all over the world. People come and go in life but working a summer camp you never are this close with the people you work with like you are in a camp. You cry together, laugh together, work together, dance together, fall over together, yell at each other and most importantly make memories together. It’s a time to make a fool out of yourself to get that extra bit of laughter out of a kid that may not be having the best day or maybe he or she is just homesick, you are the person that responsible to making a better summer for a camper. As I conclude this random article of why Summer Camp is what it is. I could vouch for anyone and say Summer Camp is fun you have to experience it once in your life and look ahead and see what positivity you can influence on a child in a matter of just a few weeks it will be such a rewarding feeling and box full of memories to share the rest of your life!