Testimonial: Patrick Alvarez

I first started working for TECS Summer Camps in 2008 as an assistant monitor. I first came out just to have a bit of fun in the sunny south of Spain with a whole pile of other like-minded young staff.

Well, boy did I get more than I’d ever imagined! Not only did I have the best summer ever in a camp in the beautiful south of Spain with 200 other great young staff, but I had the experience of a lifetime. That summer TECS gave me a job, a whole new experience, and an amazing new group of friends.

After the summer I was hooked and have worked every summer since 2008 in a variety of different jobs and now I worked all year round for the most dynamic and passionate company I’ve had the pleasure to know. TECS Summer Camps has changed my profession, it has changed my life, and it has made me a better human. I owe everything to TECS Summer Camps and the magical experience they have given me every summer.

– Patrick Alvarez (2008 onwards)

Why I work on summer camp

Hey, for anyone who doesn’t know me my name is Patrick Alvarez and I’m the Assistant Director of TECS Summer Camps (Programme, Staffing, and Structure) – I know right? What a mouthful! I like to just say I’m the Assistant Director of Summer Camps Pss….. What that means is that I’m the one who works all year round planning our summer camps, the activity programmes, etc. I am also the one who is responsible for the recruitment of up 200 summer camp staff.

Obviously this blog isn’t about me, but I thought as a first blog post I’d introduce myself, what I do, and why I got into summer camp work!

When I was a kid I went to a few summer camps (Not TECS ones, other ones). I think I went to Camp Rockwell, some tennis camp, and a random camp in Riaza to “name” a few. I was always one of those kids who wanted to go away from home, and I think my parents must have been happy to ship me off to camps/family/exchanges/anything-that-would-get-me-out of the house.

However, I’d never really thought about working on a summer camp but when I was a student in my final year in school and looking for something to do in the summer one of the Spanish students there (thanks Peps Moreno!) told me about TECS. He’d actually been a camper, crew member, and camp monitor on the summer camps. He sold it to me by saying that I’d have an awesome summer in the sunny south of Spain, you’ll meet loads of great people and have a really fun job. So work in a shop in rainy Ireland or get a job on a summer camp in Spain? Easy decision.

That summer I worked as an assistant monitor for one month in July and I honestly had THE BEST SUMMER EVER!! Not only did I meet a whole pile of new people, great kids, had loads of craic (fun for you non-Irish people), some of the most randomly hiliarious moments, but I also got so much out of it personally and professionally. At the time I was an 17/18 year old teenage boy about to go to university to study engineering and whose sole focus was himself. Something magical happened that summer which I can’t quite explain….. Working on TECS Summer Camps that first summer in 2008 changed something inside me, and sparked some sort of desire within me to not be such a selfish self-centered teenager, but it drove me to want to be a better person. I know a bit weird sounding but you have to experience it!

Anyway long story short I was hooked! Working on summer camp has become some sort of drug! I returned to work on camp every summer while at university, each year moving up: monitor, assistant coordinator, activity coordinator and then camp director. TECS obviously saw something special in me and wanted to keep promoting me, and then eventually asked me to join their year round team when I finished my degree to do what I do now. I’m the luckiest person in the world to be able to work on summer camp all of the time.

If you’ve never worked on a summer camp you MUST do it at least once! Put on it on your bucket list! It’s the experience of a lifetime, it’s so much fun, and it might just make you a better person.

 

Testimonial: Kate Sadlier

“Overall there is nothing I would change about my summer camp secretary placement. This is because I had such an amazing experience in spain. From my work placement I got the opportunity to live abroad and experience a new culture while improving my Spanish. I also was able to meet so many new people who I will remain friends with even though they now live far away. I also learned so many new skills that I can take with me and use in the future. I could not have been luckier with the placement I got and I will never forget all of the benefits I received from it.”

– Kate Sadlier (TECS Camp Secretary) 2010

Testimonial: Tristina Oppliger

 

I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with tecs summer camps- I honestly felt like someone finally gave me a chance to excel and for that I was grateful. It is clear that you really care about tecs and I m so thankful to have had the opportunity to work there. I learned so much about who I am and what I am capable of and made so many wonderful friends. The experience was irreplaceable. I want you to know that it was tecs that really got me started thinking … that I was capable of so much more than being a “language assistant”. I thrive when I am challenged- and I was challenged, no doubt!!

– Tristina Oppliger

Testimonial: Rob Walton

Yes, i knew about Little Village in the Sports Camp (i made it my business to get in-depth reports from Gill H, Chris D and (eventually) Niall about every aspect of summer camp)….and that only English was used….made me feel proud…and proud of the summer camp and everyone who has contributed to it from the very first twinkling of an idea… It is a special place and will absolutely ALWAYS remain my most enjoyable work related experience ever. The setting, the feeling, the atmosphere, the colleagues, the kids are forever burned into my memory. Maybe flowery words but 100% true. …good luck with this years summer camps…although with you and with TECS…luck in being successful doesn t come into it…planning and organisation does….

– Rob Walton

Testimonial: Christina Jones

“One of my proudest achievements has been the work I have done while working with TECS, an English summer camp for children and teenagers. I have worked with TECS over the past 5 summers, in various roles, and have thoroughly enjoyed preparing and giving training sessions to other TEFL teachers, creating an objective-based communication programme, as well as managing camp staff and overseeing the overall quality of the learning: both the learning of the English language as well as the learning of “life skills”. My passion for this job is so strong that I usually spend eleven unpaid months preparing for a summer camp job that only lasts one.”

– Christina Jones