This year, I (Jenny!) have started working as the camp year round coordinator. As TECS asks all its staff to do, I’ve written a mission statement for my position and for the year ahead – and here it is! By writing this I have a clear idea of my goals and aims for the year ahead – I also have a motivating tool, as by rereading my mission statement, I can motivate my future self.
My Mission Statement
I will dedicate myself to each part of my role to ensure I complete my tasks to the best of my ability. I will balance each role well, depending on the challenges and strains that are happening at the time – making sure that I never neglect any position, but recognizing that differing amounts of effort and focus will be needed at different times.
As a teacher in the academy, I will help my students to improve their level of English, by having well planned, fun lessons. When in the classroom, I will be focused on teaching the class to the best of my ability. I will manage my classes well, both by classroom management and by reflecting on where I can improve, in general areas, with each group that I teach and with individual students. I will be a positive member of the team, contributing and receptive to feedback and any improvements I can make. I will also believe in each of my students, and I will see improvements in all of them throughout the year.
Working on the school camps, I will make sure that the children have a great experience – inside and outside the classroom. Whilst on a school camp, I will give great energy and presence to the program, and I will also be enthusiastic and dedicated to the preparation that comes beforehand, knowing that it plays an integral part in how successful the school camp is. I will help the other people working at the school camp to do the best job possible – be that through resources, motivation, support or all of the above! I will also enjoy each school camp as much as I can.
Any work I do helping to prepare for summer camp will be informed by my experience and knowledge from previous years, and I will always think on how best I can incorporate this into my work. I will bring my passion and enthusiasm for summer camp into each task, regardless of what it is.
In all of my roles, I will be patient and self-reflective. If I am stressed, I will manage it well, and not transfer it or take it out on others. I will use my strengths to aid the people I work with, and I will continuously improve on my weaknesses, sometimes by myself and at other times by asking for others help and support. I will maintain my own personal high standards, but never allow them to be the standards to which I hold other people.
Working on summer camp is a whole load of fun and new experiences, but it is not without its challenges. There are lots of things that challenge us on summer camp (the possibility of being covered in gunk is one of them!) – here are the most common challenges, how to overcome them, and why they are worth it!
Undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges of working on summer camp is being responsible for children. As the majority of our monitors and teachers are young people, they may never have had experience being responsible for another person before, never mind a tiny kid! Whilst supported by our coordinators, the staff are first hand responsible for looking after the campers – this can involve watching them brush their teeth, teaching them to put their clothes in the laundry basket, and making sure they are eating their breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This may be daunting, but it is definitely one of the most rewarding areas of camp. To see your group of campers, sleeping soundly, knowing that you helped them to get through all the small, complicated parts of the day, makes you truly feel like you are making a difference to their camp experience.
We help staff to cope with the responsibility of being a surrogate parent to their campers by firstly giving them a comprehensive training week, to equip them with tools and skills which will help them. When camp gets started, we also have daily meetings with the coordinators, who having been staff members themselves, once were a camper’s surrogate parent too, and are able to offer first hand advice.
Working in the heat
The south of Spain gets hot in July and August… very hot! Sometimes temperatures are in the high thirties, meaning both campers and staff can get tired and sunburnt. Of course, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives – being able to spend lots of time outside, at the beach, in the pool, is the perfect summer camp environment – nobody likes the rain! We also make sure to have lots of water activities for our campers – water balloons and sponges are very important and are used very frequently. Nonetheless, it can be an adjustment for those of us who are used to the Irish wind and English rain to get used to constant sun. Staff are often seen carrying litre water bottles around to help with the heat, as well as constantly applying suncream – the heat can also result in monitors and teachers spending 90% of their time off in the pool or at the beach!
Everybody always talks about the ‘camp bubble’ – working and living on camp you tend to forget about the outside world, and your morning, noon and night revolve around camp life. Sometimes, this can be a big challenge – your brain can feel like it really needs a rest from thinking and talking about camp constantly. Luckily, this challenge is easily remedied in many different ways – taking a quick phone call from home in your break lets you briefly escape, as does making an effort to have a conversation with someone about something other than camp (sounds simple, but you wouldn’t believe how much you talk about the campers and that days antics over anything else when on camp!). Getting off site always gives some respite also – whether it be going for an ice-cream, a coffee, or some tapas on your night off, you really appreciate the outside world like you haven’t before. The funniest thing is, that after one of these breaks you find yourself looking forward to seeing the campers and other staff members again!
Camp is a 24/7 environment, filled with energy and excitement, and anybody who has worked with children before knows how tiring it can be. A definite challenge of summer camp work is feeling tired, and knowing you have to keep going. Different people cope with this in different ways – many staff swear by a nap in their time off to recuperate, and having a full day off on the weekend also comes in handy to catch up on some rest. We all look out for each other on summer camp too – working as a team and supporting each other only makes the work easier, and so helping out a very tired teammate can really make their day easier. But ultimately, the thing that makes the tiredness both worth it, and also helps it disappear, is the campers. Sometimes you feel ready to fall into bed, but you see the campers excited for Capture the Flag and you feed off their energy. You may feel your eyelids dropping, but then a camper asks you to sing a song and your energy lifts. Even something as simple as a hug or a smile from the campers helps you to forget about the tiredness and focus on having fun with them.
Saying goodbye to the campers (and staff) and returning to the real world
At the end of each fortnight of camp, emotional scenes are aplenty – campers and staff alike cry as they say goodbye to their new found friends, and to their monitors and teachers. It’s often difficult to find a dry eyed staff member during departures, as many hugs and tearful farewells fill the camp. It’s definitely a challenge of summer camp that after two weeks of caring and helping the camper, you say goodbye, not knowing if you’ll see them again.
Once all the campers have left and camp has finished, it’s time for another goodbye – this time to the staff with whom you have worked and spent almost every living minute with for the past two, four or even eight weeks. Emotions always run high as staff say their goodbyes, and thank yous to those who have made a difference to their camp experience. After spending so long with the other staff members, it is a bit surreal not to see them first and last thing every day – the separation anxiety we feel after summer is a real challenge! However, it only stands to the great bonds the team has and the real friends we make.
Making a difference
Ultimately, every challenge on summer camp is worth it because we make a difference to the campers who attend our camps. By being their surrogate parents and taking full responsibility for them, by helping them stay cool and play games in the pool, by pushing through our tiredness to make evening entertainment the best ever, we really help the campers in many different ways. There is no better reason than that to work on summer camp!
Here at Tecs Summer Camps we really value our staff and the development of every individual we recruit for our summer camps.
A monitor is a person who provides the well-being and welfare of the kids more or less 24 hours of the day with responsibility of 12 kids every hour of the day unless on their break of course. A monitor is FUN and OUTGOING! Monitors are enthusiastic and and loud and energetic and constantly happy and consistent. We really value our monitors because our monitors at tecs summer camps are different in every camp but everyone is looked up to by all of our campers. The campers come from all over spain and some have never been away from home longer than a night! The kids really look up to the monitors as a mother or father figure and its amazing to see the bonding that comes from a child and a monitor in a period of 2 weeks! Why not start now? Make a difference and apply as a monitor and make memories that last a lifetime!
One of our monitors with her group of girls! The fun begins here!!
A teacher is very similar to a monitor. Loud, outgoing, friendly and a role model! We love to provide a fun English learning environment for students at our summer camps whether it be a full English immersion or pre-teen total immersion, every camp has native English teachers and gives full educational and dynamic English classes. Teachers are fun and weird and quirky!! We spend hours planning awesome classes and give it 110%!! If you think you have what it takes to be a teacher apply now! Seek to improve the education in a childs life! Work with us!
Below you can see what its like to be a Teacher! Fun!!
How to stay healthy on Camp?! ( in other words Fit with a capital F )
Staying healthy is a big part of our society nowadays. Some agree and some disagree but living a healthy life leads to a healthy future both mentally and physically.
Well we know from experience here at camp that many people find it challenging to stay healthy at camp, with strict meal plans and being vegan or non-dairy or gluten free it’s hard to accommodate all of our staff the diets they come here hoping to receive. We do our very BEST to ensure our staff are fed in some kind of very similar plate that is requested based on their diet.
Apart from diets we have people that come here having NO CLUE what Spanish food is! It’s not easy to transition from having all the food you want handed to you from a typical university buffet or supermarket where you can buy LITERALLY anything you want when you’re hungry. Well it’s not that easy at camp at times..
Some ways to overcome either gaining lots of weight or losing weight would be eating more often. We have supermarkets in towns nearby or walking distance. You need to consistently stay hydrated. The weather is hot and the sun is scorching and the humidity drains the energy levels, but having the right energy in your body from essential foods and water for hydration you are bound to stay one HAPPY STAFF MEMBER!
Here at camp we have countryside locations in the mountains and hills that continue to go up and up. We also have very spread out facilities with lots and lots of stairs and a lot of the time you are going up and down all day long and constantly on your feet. This is bound to keep you in the shape you expect but if you’re not getting the right sleep it really catches up to you!
Some real honest but true ways to stay fit are:
Avoid drinking lots of soda from the vending machines! It’s great until you crash from the sugar and its very bad for your teeth!
Instead of eating crisps stick to fruit!
Many staff get the munchies throughout the day and when they get down time to relax its those hard cravings for junk food which end in picking the worst item possible from the vending machine!
You don’t always need seconds!
Food is filling in summer and often you don’t always need seconds so think of it like 4 to 5 meals a day in good proportion!! Eat enough but don’t overdo it. Especially if you have to be walking around a lot immediately after lunch!
Use your time break time to sleep and get a good night’s sleep! Sleep contributes to energy and energy comes from rest and diet!
Wash your hands and constantly use hand sanitizer as staying clean and having good hygiene leads to good health!
Many staff will underestimate how many germs really spread around in summer camp here by touching handles and kids coming with colds it’s bound to pass on to someone else!! I highly recommend keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer in your room!
Late night refrigerator munchies:
Many staff find their solution to hunger after a good ol’ night out of partying to come back and raid the left overs in the fridge and canteen. Ideally this isn’t good but we all love those late night snacks after a good night of dancing!
In other words don´t be this person
Sharing drinks with other staff:
The title says it all but the more you ¨share¨ with someone else for example a bottle of water or can of coke you´re bound to get some kind of illness that eventually gets passed around at camp..
Change your bed sheets.
Often, staff will forget to change their bed sheet because the cleaning ladies will leave them on the bed and they will just toss the sheets into a corner. You contribute lots of dirty fluids or germs in your sleep and its hot and the rooms are not very aired out so trust me, it can be very healthy to sleep in clean sheets !
In summer these things are everywhere and they are unforgivable when it comes to red bumps all over and many people have allergic reactions from them so bring some kind of cream!
Having the right clothing for nights off is essential, because even though the heat is insane here, some days the nights get very cold and you don’t want to wake up with a head cold or flu at camp!
Wash the Gunk out of your hair!
Gunk is good but it also can get you really ill if you’re not careful as it is truly disgusting!
Singing Camp Songs!!
Camp chants are a great way of exercise especially if you are that camp staff member that really gets into the song and goes BANANAS!! B-A-N-A-N-A-S
These are just from our staff experiences and little bit of knowledge I want to share with you if you are that person that wants to stay fit like myself! 🙂
So back in November we had our annual TECS Development weekend. This year one of the things we decided to do was to come up with a list of 10 value phrases that would help our staff be the best they can be, and this is what we came up with:
I determine how great I can be.
I will always put the needs and wants of my campers over my own.
I am the example of how I want campers and staff to be.
I can and must always use my power to positively influence any person or situation.
I focus on solutions and goals, not on problems and issues.
I see and go beyond excuses – mine or others – and focus on succeeding
I’m not afraid to seek out help and am ready to support others
I value difficult situations as an opportunity to develop myself personally and professionally
I value the team: Together we achieve more than I can alone.
My actions and attitudes are key to how successful camp is.
What is the first thing you think of when you think of excursions? A shore excursion from a cruise ship in the bahamas? a time to get away from the school grounds? All of these are possible ideas! I remember growing up as a kid in the states we had ¨field trips¨ which were similar but in a different name but I knew it was time to leave the classroom and be outside!
Here at tecs summer camps we have the highest feedback from our excursions! We provide transport and quality into a safe fun filled excursion, with safety and care of every one of our campers!
Agenda: Excursions – What are they?
Our nature park here in Cadiz where kids can ride mountain bikes and go kayaking and ride the tram and see the nature!
A super fun and education full day experience in various regions of Spain offered by our company to fulfill the child’s memory of everything they did that day on camp!
The BEST time of the camp is Saturday’s excursion departures!
Excursions are the best part of the camp because the kids get to leave the facilities and go to a new place together as a group! Excursions take place in a variety of locations all over Andalucía region of Spain and north of Spain known as castilla y leon.
A Flash back of excursions done at our summer camps!
Santi Petri where water sports and sun tans come nicely!
Pre-warning: If you make it to this excursion bring EXTRA sun cream because it’s very very hot and no shade!!
Crocodile park exhibits and feeding frenzy, Malaga
Water Sports Extravaganza in the mountains of Cadiz!
A Piece of Gibraltar Where monkeys see monkeys do!
Isla Magica in Seville where thrill seekers meet their makers!
Bus Bonding time on the way to Excursions!!
Warner Bros Theme Park!!! Madrid, Spain
Jerez ( Cadiz ) Zoo! You can look but cant touch!
These are just a handful of excursions we offer here at Tecs Summer Camps but we strive to make them the best experience for the kids and our staff!
We here at TECS are incredibly proud and passionate about our summer camps, and how amazing it is to work on one of them! We all started off as monitors and teachers before moving up through the ranks so we have felt this first had. In an attempt to try and describe the many, many reasons why you should make the best decision of your life and work on a TECS Summer Camp I have come up with the following list:
#1 It’s Fun!
I’m not actually sure it’s possible to find a job that is more fun than a job working on summer camp. Honestly, your job description is basically to provide fun! Our summer camps are designed to provide fun for the kids all day long, but as a staff member you get to enjoy it too! The hours may be long and you may not make millions but you will be doing one of the most fun jobs imaginable.
Picture a lot of young people together in a camp setting where they are suppose to be the craziest, wackiest, and most entertaining versions of themselves. All of this in the beautiful Spanish sunshine. What more could you ask?? How about sports, excursions to cool places, cross-dressing guys for evening entertainments, costumes, and staff nights out to name but a few?
#2 Incredibly Fulfilling Work
If you work on a summer camp you aren’t going to be an accountant or a sales person, you aren’t going to do any old job, you really are going to a truly good job that will help the lives of so many young people.
You are going to take the role of being a surrogate parent/older brother or sister/confidante/friend to a group of kids. You will care for them, make sure they are happy, care for them when they are sick or sad, teach them good manners and values. You will be their role model, the person that they look up to and want to emulate. That doesn’t just mean that they want to copy the way you wear your cap backwards or the way you dress – it means that they will want to be like you for good or for bad.
You can and will make a difference! We’ve seen countless cases of kids who’ve come to summer camp and thanks to a great staff member have had the summer of their lives and have decided to come back year after year and push themselves to be better people. Some of them have even come back as coordinators or even camp directors! Check out some of their stories here.
There is literally no better feeling in the world than that feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment that you get at the end of summer camp.
#3 TECS believes in it’s Staff
For TECS, our staff have always been, and will continue to be, our number one prioity– as it is very true “happy and productive staff” make possible the happy experience for our campers to grow in. For this reason we have always sought hard to provide our staff with what they need to do a great job.
Nurturing a work environment of support is also a top priority for TECS. Nearly all our camp managers were once TECS camp staff, meaning we have firsthand experience of how tough a staff member’s job can be. For this reason we strive to work with our staff; supporting them when they have problems, guiding them and advising them whenever they need help, and do whatever it takes to make our staff be the best they can be.
#4 Personal and Professional Development
Working on a summer camp will definitely take you out of your comfort zone and make you try and do new things! Ever stood up on a song and sung songs about Moose in front of loads of people? Ever cross-dressed on stage? Ever painted yourself from head to toe? All of these things and more will help you go home a more confident person!
Training has also always been a top priority for us and over the years we have dedicated considerable time and resources to developing the best training programmes we can. Whilst we know no training can ever prepare someone perfectly for the start of camp, we also know that extensive skills training, “mentalization” (as we call getting prepared for the challenges of camp) and plain important information giving will give most of our staff the starting point they need to approach the challenges of camp life with confidence.
We are incredibly passionate about the personal and professional development of our staff. Not only do we see it as the greatest investment we can make to improve the quality of our summer camps but all of us at the top have it has one of our top life passions to help make people better, be it in their jobs or in their lives.
We put a lot of time and effort to ensure that our staff are constantly given feedback, given every chance to develop within their jobs, and assisted and pushed to do so by our management teams.
#5 The Friendships!
On TECS Summer Camps you can truly make lifetime friendships. You will be thrown into this unique (and weird) summer camp environment with anywhere between 25-60 other like-minded people from all over the world. You’ll spend an intense amount of time together in the “camp bubble” where you will forget about the outside world and where time goes different (I swear knowing a person on camp for a week is like knowing them for a month!).
With just one summer you can make some of the closest friendships, or even relationships.
#6 Team Work
Like working with other people? Well then summer camp is for you! Summer Camp work is all about working together with people all the time. Whether it’s running sports sessions with other monitors or it’s all of the staff together for the big evening entertainments or it’s all of the camps coming together to run the famous Intercamp Competition, you will be working with people all summer!
#7 Sunny South of Spain
To top it off, not only will you be having loads of fun but you will be doing it in a place famous for it’s 300+ days of sunshine each year. You could be on one of the many beautiful beaches or in the most breathtaking mountain camps. Whichever camp you want to work in you will be guaranteed to have great weather and get a great tan!
#8 No Costs!
Summer Camp jobs may not pay as much as a lot of other jobs but they also cost almost nothing. Unlike some of the American summer camps there are no upfront costs, no need to pay for a visa or to pay €1000 on flights.
Your accommodation and all of your meals will be covered by us, we will organize your uniform and laundry, all of your transport and anything else needed so the only thing is if you want to by yourself some €1 beers on your nights out!
#9 Staff Events
If having one of the most fun jobs wasn’t enough we do also like to invest in our staff so that they, as well as the campers, have the best summers of their lives. We organize weekend trips, and put on sports and game competitions during camp to liven things up (as if camp ever got dull…). At the end of the summer we organize a special night called which we call the “final meal” where we all get dressed up and have a beautiful dinner and a few (many!) drinks. We give out special awards and make sure to appreciate all of the hard work and contribution that our staff have made to camp that summer.
#10 Returnee Rate
Numbers like don’t lie. Depending on the summer about 60% of our campers and at least
50% of our staff come back to our summer camps as returnees. We’ve had loads of campers who’ve come back so long that they’ve ended up working on camp. All of our managers have once been staff and moved up through our structure and we’ve had staff who have worked up to 20 summers!!! Check out here what some people who have worked with us before have said!
#11 These Celebrities say so!
And if all of these aren’t enough reasons then check out what all of these celebrities have to say about working on camp:
Being a Camp Teacher on summer camp isn’t the same as being a teacher like we had growing up. Every single person has a memory of at least one teacher from growing up. Whether the person was particularly inspiring or encouraging or flat out challenging, everyone remembers his or her favorite teacher.
Summer camp is a different scenario. Our teachers are taught to deliver the best to the kids and make the 2 weeks the kids have as impacting as one trimester they may have in their lifetime. We want them to challenge themselves but importantly have FUN in the class. A teacher is looked up to and learned from. Each kid is different and in more demand than the other. When you have a class of 12 kids there is always going to be a variety of different personalities and challenges that arise. One thing I can say is take a deep breath and relax. Classes aren’t meant to be a 4 hour intensive course on grammar points. They are much more interactive and involving. Classes at camp have meanings. Each day is prepped and organized to inform them about camp and teach them vocab and expression they can use at camp.
WHAT ITS LIKE BEING A TEACHER ON CAMP!
Some say it’s wonderful some say it’s physically challenging. Well, let me tell you it’s something that isn’t easy and sure takes a kick start to get in the swing of!
What you do on camp?
Teachers use their evening time during evening entertainment planning awesome lessons so they can deliver a great lesson at 9am!
Do teachers get much sleep on camp?
Well, it depends on what you do after your planning time – either get a good nights sleep or make the decision to stay up late and socialize
Whats it like teaching Spanish children?
Its very fun! They love to know where you are from! Teacher bonding time is amazing and teachers really get to know their students well!
Do we have enough stationery on camp?
Of course we do! Sometimes things become limited when your up in the mountains or a rural area but thats when creativity sets in and open minded people brainstorm solutions!
In other words hold the questions and finish the read you will really have a general understanding of our camp teachers life..
The weather is hot in camp and teacher planning can run into sleeping time but your 9am classes are expected to be the most educational part of the day for your students! On the bright side of being a teacher at summer camp is such a great role because you are looked up to! You show them new games and class activities that they go home with new games and memories to share with their friends. You make creative projects that are taken home to show their parents and friends! You are the person that they will remember for summers ahead! Tecs teachers get to teach classes both inside a classroom and outside in the nature so you really get to use your surroundings and the kids love every minute of it. I think being a teacher has changed me for the better! I love knowing that my students walk away with new expressions and new phrases and new vocabulary that may never be learned except at tecs summer camps!
Would you like to cherish this moment? This is truly a real teaching experience at camp!
We hope that you have a lovely Christmas time, be it with family or friends, at home or away! We hope you all of the best in what we believe is going to be the BEST YEAR EVER!
News on TECS
Hiring Management Positions NOW!
We’re currently receiving applications for management positions at the moment. If you are interested in applying to be a coordinator or director this summer then please apply by the end of the Christmas holidays
Are you someone who has worked with us in the past, but isn’t interested in doing an intensive summer camp experience like in the past? Well for the right people we’ve got two very interesting opportunities: