Top 15 Gift Ideas for Summer Camp Staff!

1.) A GO PRO!  –   

 

Maybe your staring at this photo wondering why would you need this camera when I got an iphone 6s? Think twice. Want incredible photos and videos with an easy to carry lightweight grip? This is is your go to device for summer! Go pros capture EVERYTHING! This little device is powerful enough to get that extra crisp recording or photo of every detailed moment you have on camp! Who wouldn’t want a nice HD video super high tech megapixel camera to share some of the best memories from camp for friends. This is your go to camera staff members! 

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Oh and if you really don´t believe me check out this video below recorded on a go pro and click HD!

 

 

2.) Face Paint 

 

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Whats better then having all kinds of face paint for decorating yourself and the campers faces like ENGLISH DAY and ARTS AND CRAFTS time! 

 

3.) Beige Shorts 

 

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   Beige shorts are key to cleanliness and they feel so crisp once you put on a new pair! I must say these are my favorite classy uniform look in the summer! If you don´t want those tan lines just roll them up! 

4.) GUNK 

 

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What is Gunk? Its essentially a bunch of sticky and dyed liquid that is made and stirred for over 4 hours and contains smelly nasty slimy chunks of … well you just have to find out! What we do with it is even better… We throw it on our staff the last week of camp! Its our tradition! 

5.) Friendship Bracelets!

A great way to connect with staff and campers and you can wear them the rest of your summer or even longer!! 

6.) Suncream! 

 

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When we are located in a sunny beachy area like the south of Spain we have plenty of sun and you need plenty of protection! Sunblock is a great gift! 

7.) Bruise Cream

 

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When you play sports all day and your jumping up and down and rushing to meetings and wake up after crazy nights out your bound to end up with some bruises on your body so these are some top recommended gift ideas! 

8.) Throat Lozengers

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What is needed more when your are shouting all day singing songs on top of chairs or getting campers attention! These are a must to the list of gift ideas! 

9.) Ear Plugs

 

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Its been a long day on camp and some nice shut eye is just what you want and need! Ear plugs is a must for staff when you just want that extra bit of sleep! 

10.) Air Fresheners 

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Its hot. Its stuffy. The rooms will smell and you need that extra bit of freshness in the air when you are sleeping. Strongly recommended for all staff! 

11.) Fake Tan 

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Yes. You read this right. Maybe its not on your list of care package essentials but fake tan is a must for this uneven tan lines that build up from wearing polos all day and short shorts while you are on the beach. 

12.) Mosquito Repellent 

In a humid area like the south of Spain mosquito repellent is your best friend for night time because trust me THEY WILL find somewhere to bite you and it will itch constantly! 

13.) Face Wipes 

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 These keep your face nice and clean and after a sweaty day and your sun cream/face paint is stuck on your face this is exactly what you need!

14.) A Picture Frame 

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A picture frame is something everyone loves alongside their bed. Its really nice to look at a family photo or funny photo before you sleep and also show your friends! 

15.) Camp T-Shirt/ Tie Dye Shirts

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Its always nice to have a funny camp t shirt to wear round! Why not be creative and take/make one to sleep in!

 

Waking up every morning happy

This is going to be my 10th summer working for TECS summer camps, and for 5 of those years I’ve been working as part of the year-round team.

At the beginning I did summer camp because it was an amazing experience that I absolutely loved to do during the summer. I was in university studying to be a civil engineer, and I MUCH preferred to come out to the sunny south of Spain to do the funnest job in the world rather than work in a rainy old Ireland in Supervalu or something (I even took an extra class to avoid doing my degree work experience). In December 2012 I finished my degree and I decided to come out and work for TECS rather than taking some big fancy engineering job somewhere else as I’d come to love it and thought it was something I could try for a bit if I didn’t end up liking it. 5 years later and here I am!

Over the years I’ve had family, friends, and strangers question my choice of working for a summer camp organisation all year round by saying it is “I presume it’s something for a little while?”, “something for a young person”, “Why wouldn’t I get better paying job?”,  etc.. Nobody ever gets it.

I’ll tell you what I’ve had to tell my parents: I feel lucky to have a job that makes me wake up looking forward to going to work in which I have to force myself to go home because I enjoy it so much. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that working in front of a computer is the most fun job in the world (working as a staff member or coordinator on camp in the summer is!) but working in TECS is honestly the best thing that has ever happened to me. Working in this environment in which we all work so hard towards such a noble goal: To give children the most fun, educational and life changing summer we possibly can.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to do what I see so many people do, which is see my job as something in my life that is there to allow me to pay for my personal life. As an annoyance between 9-5 in which I am obliged to go to. It is crazy how many people, either conciously or sub-conciously view their work as this. Well I am lucky to say that it is one of the most rewarding aspects of my life and that still, after 5 years, it still has me waking up happy every morning – So Thank you TECS 😀

P.s. it doesn’t hurt to work surrounded by your best friends!

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The Anticipation of Summer Camp:

Little Village Summer Camp TECS

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

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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!

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TECS Development Weekend in Wales!

Trip to Wales for 'Summer' Camp

So each year we have a weekend event called the Development Weekend (previously known as the Review Weekend) where we invite of the managers or key staff from the previous summer to one of our camp venues. The purpose of the weekend is twofold:

  1. To review what still needs to be improved on our summer camps and develop solutions for the following summer.
  2. To give something back to the people that we invite by further investing in them and helping them further along the path of personal and professional development.

This year we decided to go a little further afield than usual and go to the site of our new camp in Wales in Ael y Bryn (the name of the house) in Mumbles. Our journey started at the lovely time of 5 am on Friday where we all bunged into the van and headed to Malaga to catch a flight  to Bristol, and from there we travelled to the venue.

Now apart from it being a little rainier and wetter than what we’re used to here in the sunny south of Spain I really enjoyed Wales! It was beautiful and green, and the house is just amazing! It’s nothing like our camps in that it is a house but massive and really modern and kitted out with everything you could possibly need!

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One of the 10 steps to being a better camp manager

After travelling for around 9 hours we sat down to a beautiful spread of delicious cold meats and salads prepared for by David (with the help of the neighbours). After that then it was time to get down to work. I gave an introduction to our plans for 2017, and then Doug gave an excellent development session entitled “10 Steps to Success: to becoming a great camp manager.”. Now for those of you who have seen similar sessions you will pleased (and maybe jealous) to hear that he has spiced it up a bit and added some new ones! Just a step closer to having a TED talk done by Dougie….

The rest of the weekend was based around a “The Apprentice”-style competition called TECS Apprentice (original I know!) which was judged by Douglas Trump and Lord Patrick Sugar. Everyone was divided into two teams and had to come up with solutions to the following tasks

1. 10 values staff should always aim to follow

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Working hard or hardly working?

We wanted to develop 10 value phrases or principals that we could introduce at the beginning of staff training week which, by following, would guide our staff to be the best summer camp staff they could be. The teams each came up with 10 each and we have now come up with the defintive 10:

  • I am the one who will 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.

 

2. Wales Camp Programme

The teams each had to come up with:

  • 5 activities that can be done during class, or tie in with class, but that are done outside of the classroom in the surround area/town which will make students to not only learn English, but learn English in an authentic way in the U.K.
  • 3 things that can be done (activity/project/evening ent/etc.) in the house that will mean the students are taking advantage of the facilities and will love the house.

 

3. Structure for English Class-prepared presentations for Family Camp Puerto Departures Show

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A bit wetter than we’re used to…

We are planning to have the departures show in Family Camp Puerto to be done quite differently to that of the villages in that instead of presenting their creative projects, students will be presenting their English learning. They will have a part of class each day to prepare for this presentation, and the teams had to come up with what this presentation would be and how teachers would get students ready.

 

Apart from the working aspect of the weekend we also had, like we always do in TECS, had the social side where we had lots of lovely meals, enjoyed a beer or two in the local pub, went for a walk to the beach, went for a drive around the Mumbles area, and had a quiz prepared by our very own Joe Martin.

Great weekend all round, and definitely a great start of to summer 2017: The Best Summer Ever!!!!

Going Down Memory Lane

Family Camp Gredos Summer Camp

 

       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

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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.

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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.

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Dont forget to watch the short clip below!!!!

Why I love working on summer camp

Family Camp Gredos Summer Camp
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Seville Excursion with the Go Pro!

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!

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Some typical Staff Bonding time here in the mountains of Family Camp Gredos on Arrivals Day!
Swimming pool on camp
Swimming pool on camp

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!

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Intercamp between Family Camp and Little Village

9 ways that summer camps are great for letting out your inner child

Gunk Night

So apparently letting your inner child out is good for you! Well one of the best things about working on a summer camp is that you get to be a bit weird…. and it’s ok! Honestly, the things that staff get up to on camp is a bit odd but it’s ok when it’s on camp. Nobody looks at you weirdly or judges on camp! Some of the examples:

#1 Camp Songs

One of the weirdest things about camp at the very beginning are the songs. all of the time. But then you go home at the end of the summer and you can’t stop singing them all the time!

 

#2 Camp Chants

What’s the difference between a song and a chant you say? Well….. I’m not really sure! I guess in a song you at least pretend to have some musical ability, whereas with a chant you just scream with all of the passion you’ve got for your colour, house or camp!

 

 

 

#3 Dressing Up

So there is one thing that happens in every summer camp ever in the entire world, and that is dressing up! Be it face-painting, costumes, whatever. In order to be a summer camp you must have some form of dressing up – by the kids and staff. If not, then you’re just a summer school (that is the official difference).

Not just dressing up, but at some stage every summer there must be a male staff member who cross dresses. Ever year! What is it with guys wanting to put on a dress???

 

#4 Being Messy

Well you get a set of 4-5 Colour War t-shirts and your 3 pairs of beige shorts and you where them day-in-day-out. Well you get a used to just being a bit messy! Look how happy everyone is though!

#5 Gunk Night

Gunk night is literally the best thing about summer camp ever! The kids vote everyday for 2 weeks for one staff member to have a big bucket of gunk poured over the heads. Bit by bit you see your name getting more and more votes and the pressure builds up. Staff start launching “Gunk for______” campaigns. Then is the big casino night evening ent when the final votes when the kids get to get their own back on one unlucky staff member (usually their favourite). The big moment comes and the staff member gets gunked AND RUNS AFTER EVERYONE LOOKING LIKE SOME KIND OF SLIMY MONSTER!!!

#6 Colour War

Ah Colour War……. Ever felt national pride? Or pride for your club or school or whatever it is? Well multiply that by a hundred and you’ve got Colour War! You’re either on the White Team (scum) or the Blue Team, and once you’ve got a team you’re with that team for ever. This will be my tenth summer on camp and I’m still Blue Team. Wait. I’m a manager and I’m neutral. Ya right! COME ON BLUE TEAM!!!!

 

#7 Jokes that are only funny when you’re there

I don’t know if it’s the sleep deprivation or whether it’s because you’re with the other staff all of the time and become way too close. But you just become a bit wacky and some jokes are just not funny in the real world.

If you haven’t been to a summer camp don’t you judge!!

 

#8 Camp Band

Why people decide to make a boy band or girl band together camp I couldn’t tell you! But they do! And they’re not good.

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Except for Ella and the Dreamweavers… They were actually great!

 

#9 Weird Games

So you’re with these kids all day long and you need to keep ’em entertained, so you end up being pretty inventive!!!

 

Miss summer camp, or want to let out your inner child?

Apply Now!

What’s new in TECS for 2017?

As many of you know we here in TECS are a tad in love with developing new ideas, changing things and generally improving things one year to the next to make them even better for the kiddies. Well this year is no different. By this year I mean 2017. It’s confusing I know. Obviously there will be loads of small new things this year, like every year, but the main changes for 2017 are:

Little Village Travelling

Logo for Little Village Travelling camp in wales

So the biggest novelty for us here in TECS Summer Camps is Little Village Travelling (or LVT). For many years we’ve been running what are called Language Travel programmes which is basically where one of our Language Travel Coordinators takes a group of students from Spain to another country like the Ireland or the U.K. for 2-3 weeks. Usually the students would stay either in host families or a residence and would do a summer school there with another company. We would supply the coordinator and put the logistics of where they would stay and the programme, but it would all be sub-contracted because obviously we don’t own anywhere abroad and it would be very complicated for us to do otherwise.

Until Now: Meet Little Village Travelling. LVT is going to be like another one of our summer camps but in a place called Mumbles in Wales. The school in which we are based now has a large house (called Ael & Byrn) in Wales as they have it as part of their school curriculum to send the students over for a trimester to study there. During the summer the plan is for us to use it to run a Mini-Little Village (for only 20 or so kids) for kids who are 14-17 years old. It will be slightly different to Little Village in that obviously there are less kids and the focus will be much more on getting out of the facilities, going on trips, etc. to get both the language and culture that Wales has to offer.

Obviously we don’t have all of the details of the programme yet as we will be developing it bit by bit but you can see the basics and some photos here.

Magic Village and Little Village on the same site!

So up till now Magic Village and Little Village have been based in separate venues with MV being in the rural Los Chozos site and Little Village in the beautiful Huerta Dorotea site. However, for the past few years we haven’t managed to always the fill the camps with kids which is obviously not sustainable for us so we have decided to run both Magic Village and Little Village in Huerta Dorotea (LV’s site) but at different times. As MV historically does better in camp 1 it will be on in the first fortnight and LV does better in the second fortnight and so will be in camp 2.

Little Village
Huerta Dorotea

We are also planning on using both the wooden cabins and the hotel meaning that, in theory, we should be able to fill the camp for the entire month of July with like 90 campers in each fortnight. The only slight challenge of this will be that staff working in this camp will have to work younger kids in camp 1 and then older teenagers in camp 2.

You can see more details about each programme here.

TECS College goes to Puerto

As TECS College used to be based in the same venue as Magic Village in Los Chozos, which we are nolonger using, we have decided to move TECS College to El Puerto de Santa Maria (in the same venue as Family Camp Puerto). This makes the most sense as we’ve got so much space in this venue, it’s the venue with the best facilities, it means that TC will close to the development-obsessed central office team, and the kids will actually have internet to do their portfolios!!

Goodbye Go Camp

Go Camp

Due to the size of our camp and the fact that we have kids from 6-17 in El Puerto de Santa Maria we’ve always had to split the kids into age groups. For the last while we’ve done this by having two camp programmes in the same venue: We had Go Camp which had the 6-9 year olds and Family Camp Puerto which had the 10-17 years olds which was further split into two separate age groups of Juniors (10-12/13 year olds) and Seniors (12/13-17 year olds).

The reason the tiniest ones where in a “separate camp” was because we wanted this camp to be a bit different so we marketed Go camp as the welfare camp where we had Spanish/bilingual monitors and the whole programme was made so that a little 6-year-old could leave home for the first time and do a two-week residential camp.

What we realized with time was that the type of family that sends their kid to our summer campssummer camps is looking for English as the top feature, and so we ended up not getting very many Go campers. So for 2017 we will be saying goodbye to the Go camp name and instead we will just have Family Camp Puerto which will now have 3 age groups:

  • Sophomores (6-9)
  • Juniors (10-12/13)
  • Seniors (12/13-17)

Funnily enough this is actually what we used to have pre-2013!

Family Camp Puerto is becoming AWESOME!!!!

Family Camp

I think in recent years with the addition of so many camps, especially the villages, and extra features in FCP like Trinity, Day Camp, etc. Family Camp Puerto has become something other than what it is supposed to be. Family Camp Puerto should be the biggest, most action-packed, fun camp. It should be the camp where the kids who want to have loads of fun, rather than personally develop or do Total English (nothing wrong with that!), should go for an AWESOME SUMMER. It should be the MASSIVE camp with over 200 kids in it.

So we’re going to do it! How?

  1. Having activity options instead of extra activities. Up till now on signing up kids could choose multiactivity as part of the programme or they could pay extra to do an extra activity offsite with another company (Watersports, Arsenal Football, Sailing, etc.). However, this year when they sign up they will have the choice of one of the following as part of the programme:
    1. Super Sports (A cool name for a mulitactivity)
    2. Supercool (Watersports)
    3. Top Musical Star (A Drama and Dance programme run by us)
    4. Robotics (Ya. That’s Right. We’re going to be building freakin’ ROBOTS)
  2. Developing the Activity programme. During the year one of the things we are going to be looking at improving is the FC activity programme in order to see how to best cater it to the theme of exciting and fun. Family Camp Puerto has got the best facilities so we want to make the most of this and have the best programme, activities and evening ents!
  3. And most of all we will be putting a big focus from a management sense on supporting the activity coordinators in this camp to run the best programme possible.
  4. Departures Show. For the past few years the villages have what we call a departures show. This is basically where the parents come to camp on the last day of camp to see the departures show where their kids present what they did in projects, sing some songs, we give some awards, and generally show off the camp spirit. It’s awesome. Well, this year we are finally going to be doing a departures show in Family Camp Puerto. It’s going to be more focused on kids presenting what they’ve learnt in class but the whole show will be even bigger and better than in the villages with it being done with 2-3 times the kids and staff. Think kids rushing into the gym screaming intercamp chants and performances onstage.
  5. No more Trinity. Gone are the days where we will prepare kids to do Trinity exams in Family Camp Puerto. Although it is great to get kids into a good habit of pushing themselves with their English with the end goal of doing exams we don’t believe it was the best for the kids in the kind of environment we want to create on camp, and is probably best kept to an academy. With the hope of focusing on fun and excitement we’ve decided to remove the pressure of Trinity exams so we can make Family Camp more fun than Disneyland.
  6. We’re going to be doing Progressive Total English like they’ve done in Family Camp Gredos and Anglo Camp. Basically this is the normal English methodology but with the addition of Total English moments each day where the kids are only allowed speak English. The amount of these will gradually increase until the final English Day. This will hopefully increase the amount of English at Family Camp Puerto while also help us to build towards an English Day that goes towards colour war.
  7. Fancy New Building. Maybe. Ya so the building works began in August and so some parts of the outside have been demolished already (No I didn’t not get to blow anything up!). However, it seems that there have been more and more bits of red tape put in place by the powers at be so not sure how finished it will be by next summer but we’ll keep you posted! For the moment you can see photos and a video of the shmancy new building here.

Family Camp Puerto is going to be amazing!!!!!

Family Camp Gredos

Don’t worry….. We’re keeping Family Camp Gredos! Honestly, we love this site. It’s just such a beautiful and chilled out place. The owners are lovely. We just had to stay there.

Anglo Camp **Insert Location**

This one is still to be determined. The idea will either to have Family Camp Gredos and another site up Picos de Europa in Cantabria, to have Family Camp Gredos and Anglo Camp Salamanca like last year, or just have Family Camp Gredos.

As soon as I know anything I’ll let you know!

Intercamp Competition

The summer camp staff playing a game of sumo wrestling during intercamp competition
Coordinator Sumo-Wrestling

We will Magic Village and Little Village coming together in the same site but in seperate fortnights it means that the intercamp competition is going to need to change a bit! The idea is that in the first fortnight there will be an intercamp competition for the younger kids (Family Camp Juniors  versus Magic Village) while in the second fortnight there will be an intercamp competition for the older kids (Family Camp Seniors+TECS College versus Little Village). May the odds be ever in your favor!

FIPs (Mini Bespoke Camps During the Year for Schools)

14481745_1869974569901889_90600621181075689_oA lot of people don’t know what these are but basically they are mini-camps that run throughout the year for a couple of days. A school will come to us and say that they want a mini camp of just 3 or 5 days for an entire school year/class where they do a typical summer camp type day with class in the morning, activities, the whole shebang! We started doing these for the first time last year and we managed to get 4 programmes but this year we think we should have somewhere between 10-15.

As these can either be during the week or on weekends and are generally between February to June it can be difficult to find staff that are available to work on them for the few days. If you are based in Spain and would be interested in finding out more, you can check out here and you can sign up to be on our FIP mailing list where we will send you out an email when we are looking for staff. All you’d have to do is email us back if you are interested in doing a mini camp with us.

Emloyment Website

Again we are developing our recruitment website www.tecsemployment.com so that it not only looks better but more importantly is practically better and more useful for you the applicant. We are always open to ideas so if you think of something then please let me know and email employment@tecs.es.

Remember the new building?

Does anyone remember that awesome new building that we were going to build in Family Camp Puerto?

Remember that we did a presentation during staff training week in 2013 and 2014 to get everyone excited about it (and so they’d understand if we suddenly had some builders wandering around camp)

Well it may not have begun yet……. But the plan is still there (Spanish planning permission and general red tape 😦 )

One of these days…….

Check it out:

We’re all working together towards the same thing

One of the things that can be difficult in any working environment is that it seems like everyone is out for something different. Take your typical office for example:

  • You’ve got a receptionist who aims to give off a good company image to clients so that they are more likely to buy whatever the company is selling
  • You’ve got the intern just trying to work hard and keep their bosses happy so they can get a good reference and go onto bigger and better things.
  • You’ve got the salesmen who are just out to sell the product
  • You’ve got the manager who wants his staff to work harder and more efficiently to get result (usually meaning sell more)
  • and finally you’ve got the boss/owner who might really believe in the product and wants to get out to the world so that it can enrich the lives of others (or maybe he just wants to make money, depends on the person i guess)

In summer camp it’s so much easier!! On summer camp each and every person has the same objective: to give each and every child the best possible experience (learn English, make friends, have lots of fun, develop new skills, be happy and healthy, etc.).

It doesn’t matter if you are a monitor, a TEFL teacher, a welfare coordinator, a driver, or a camp director. Everyone on camp works towards the same goal all of the time. We all want the same thing, we all want to give the kids the best experience possible, we all want them to be happy, we all want them to learn English, we all want them to have fun. And we all play a role in achieving it.

Obviously some people have a more direct affect on it like the monitors and teachers, but we believe that everyone on summer camp not only has an effect on those how great the experience is for those kids, but that everyone has the same goal in mind. No wonder it’s such a great place to work!

Summer camp creates a really unique environment where people are actually less selfish. All of the staff who work on camp always put the needs of the kids over their own. All of our managers put the needs of the kids above their own, and they put the needs of their staff above their own too. All of us work long hours, in the Spanish heat, not exactly getting mega bucks, but we all do it together. We all do it together to do something so morally and ethically great; to ensure that a kid has the best experience possible with the hope that not only did they have fun, but that we taught them something that will allow them develop into better people.

So is it worth it? You bet it is.