TESTIMONIAL: Juanvi Lopez

Just a 15-year old boy who is about to spend two weeks in a summer camp far from home. That’s how one of the biggest adventures of my life began. My own TECS ADVENTURE.

I spent two weeks in Family Camp El Puerto and it was soooo good I decided to take one step further some years later, when I became Crew Member. My duty was helping the monitors with their tasks and make sure kids had the best summer of their lives as I had some years before. It was the best year by far.

All these years have been amazing, and I’m sure this one will be even better as the Welfare/Activity Coordinator of GO CAMP with the youngest campers. New kids to play and laugh with, meeting again all the staff I already know and the new ones as well.

But without a doubt, the best part of TECS experience is seeing a kid smiling. That’s the proof you’re giving the 100% of yourself and it’s the best reward you can get after a tiring day of work. I really hope to see a lot of these smiles this year too!!

– Juanvi Lopez

TESTIMONIAL: Kylie Watson

2008 – I had just finished a teaching stint in China and was off to see Europe – my time management was not so great and I knew I would need to support my travels a bit better financially. I found the TECS ad online: I had teaching experience, I had worked in outdoor recreation camp environments before – this would be perfect!

… No it wasn’t just perfect for my current situation back then, it was an exceptional personal and professional choice – I returned every year for 7 years working 1 year as a teacher, 3 years as a coordinator and 3 years as a director.

We focus so much on the kids that come through our gates and on the parents – not only are we providing a quality service to our clients (so much so, that in a way they have become our extended TECS families), but our immediate TECS family becomes the staff. We make a difference for the kids – we really do and we see the reactions almost immediately – improvement in English, improvement in social skills, improvements in independence and confidence… there’s nothing more rewarding, and to have it done in a 2-week program is ultra impressive. Seeing similar improvements within my teams… now that’s really something. It’s not without its challenges though, and it takes a bit of courage, but overcoming these is the ultimate reward. Thanks to TECS I’ve learnt so much about communication, leadership and just more about myself. And better still, I’ve been able to apply those principles to motivate, mentor and lead teams to success, with a true passion for what we do.  That’s the type of support we give and receive to both our kids and our staff and is at the core of the belief in what we do.

Think about it – what’s holding you back from the summer of your life?

TECS stand for a Totally Empowering & Challenging Summer!

 

– Kylie Watson

TESTIMONIAL: Lucas Castillo

When I was a camper, I liked it so much that I kept coming back even if I lived in Barcelona (which is 1000 km away). I vividly remember some of the friends that I made during that time – Izaskun, Carlos, Raúl…–, and some of the monitors and teachers that I shared my experience with. I fondly remember Phil, who was my English teacher, and Rachel, a monitor we used to laugh a lot with.

I decided that I wanted to be a part of that, and came back to work for TECS the year after. I was first a Crew Member, then a Monitor. I had the opportunity to be responsible for a group of children, to bond with them, to get to know them. I ran sport sessions and participated in Evening Entertainments (they love those!). Then I was a Coordinator, where I worked with monitors to give campers the best activities we could think of. I remember when Luis – one of my first campers– gave John (his monitor) and me a thank you card for having helped him when he was homesick. The last day of camp, he didn’t want to leave. I remember when Marco, who had been a camper with me for about three years, said he wanted to become a Crew Member. I have met many people in this time, and I have learnt so much…. If you decide to work at camp, I know that you will find people that inspire you, and that you will learn a lot about others, and about yourself.

One thing that I have learned is that we are capable of changing those children’s lives. I remember a camper who learned to be kind to others at camp. I remember a camper who learned that they were worth more than they thought. I remember many great things from camp, but, truth is, camp isn’t a bed of roses. Sometimes working at camp is tiring, and children are difficult, and the hours are long. Sometimes you will feel you can’t do more, and sometimes you will feel you don’t know how to deal with something. Summer Camp is challenging, no one doubts that. But believe me when I say that what you will feel at camp, mostly, is a sense of pride, and a sense of accomplishment. Children reward those who go the extra mile to make them happy.

– Lucas Castillo

TESTIMONIAL: David Navarro Bravo

Along with TECS Summer Camp I’ve been through an incredible journey. This great adventure took me from being a young little camper, to a confident camp director. What I’ve learnt on the way, how I’ve developed and what I’ve achieved is of inestimable value and a part of who I am today. I’ve met loads of wonderful staff members, I’ve  been to many different camp venues and I’ve greeted heaps of excited campers into the summer of their lives. The number of stories therefore is endless, but they all share something: they were absolutely outstanding. Camp makes a difference in a kids life, it creates the perfect atmosphere for them to grow in maturity, to get out of their comfort zone and to use their full potential; being a staff member means taking part in all of this, facing great challenges and getting huge personal reward.

Summer camp is a lifetime experience. You will keep forever that days when you made a fool of yourself for the children, that other time when you were able to comfort a homesick kid, the super shy camper who you got out of his shell and ended up amazing everyone with his singing skills or the astonishing sunset at the beach. That is camp, and those meaningful experiences build up, I get back to them quite often as they always make me feel reassured and inspired.

There is no such thing more rewarding than working in a place like TECS and no words enough to describe the experience, so if you are thinking about working in a summer camp don´t hesitate, make your application and get ready for an unforgettable summer in Spain.

-David Navarro Bravo

TESTIMONIAL: Maria Jimenez

The first time I went to TECS I was a 10 year-old junior camper. As far as I can remember, TECS has since then been part of my summers: 3 years in Family Camp, 2 years abroad, and 1 year in Little Village. Not only have I learnt English there, but I have also made lots of friends and I have the greatest memories of those summers.

When I was 17, I felt as I had been a camper for enough time, but, at the same time, I didn’t want to leave TECS camps, since they were an essential part of my summers. That’s when I decided to become a crew member.

Although in this position you don’t get paid (with money), there are plenty of things you get out of it. The most motivating thing about being a crew member is seeing yourself reflected in your campers. You will do whatever is needed to make sure they have as much fan as you did when you used to be a camper.

I’m not going to lie, working for kids is exhausting; it requires a bunch of energy and enthusiasm, but it gives you the biggest satisfaction you can get. When a kid comes and says ‘I love you teacher’ (yes, they will constantly call you teacher, although you’re closer to be a camper than a teacher!) and hugs you, gives you a drawing of you they’ve done themselves, or you see them smiling and having fun as you used to do, you’ll feel it was worth it.

Another thing that I loved about being a crew member is the way you connect with kids. You are not a camper anymore, and far from having fun, you have lots of responsibilities now, but neither are you a monitor. This position of ‘something in between’ lets you both work and be like a big brother or sister for the kids; someone they can trust, have fun with, and respect at the same time. That is something you can take great advantage of; during those two weeks, they will sometimes by angry, upset, sad or homesick, and you will be the most similar thing they have to their parents. Unconsciously, a bond between you and the kid starts to grow, and finally, the entire camp feels like a huge family!

Working on a summer camp is a great experience which I would definitely recommend to almost anyone. You make friends from all over the world, become more mature and responsible, you develop your English and, of course, you become a crucial part of a child’s summer. You will always get more out of it than you ever expected.

– Maria Jimenez

Testimonial: Fiona McCormack

Summer 2015 was my first time working at TECS Summer Camps as an assistant monitor. It was all one big adventure at Family Camp Gredos in the beautiful mountains outside of Madrid, Spain.

After meeting the staff and campers I knew it would be an amazing few weeks ahead. We got along like one big family, always looking out for each other and this made it very special. It was like no other camp I have been to or worked on. I loved the fun loving, energetic and friendly atmosphere at TECS. Everyone working there was there to have fun and to ensure that the campers have a brilliant summer.

Our jobs were quite challenging at times, but it was all worthwhile. As a monitor I got to coach sports and activities such as arts and crafts and evening games with the children. Seeing the happiness and smiles among the campers and staff is the greatest reward and feeling to experience. As a staff member we see the campers grow much more confident and outgoing throughout their time at camp. It was incredible to see how enthusiastic and energetic they were for the camp games as we had body paint, chants and banners to add to the excitement.

Without a doubt it’s the people that made my time at TECS so special. If I hadn’t gone to camp I would have never met these wonderful people. We are still in contact and we hope to meet in the near future. Both the staff and campers all shared such great memories and laughter during our time together and that, I will never forget.

– Fiona McCormack

Testimonial: Claire Wenman

Before coming to TECS in 2015, I had never worked in a summer camp and I was a little scared about the prospect of working with a group of people who I had never met before. However it was one of the best experiences of my life. The people that you work with come from all over and bring lots of different qualities which help to make the experience even better. I can honestly say I have made some extremely good friends from my experience last year and I have some great memories with them.

I worked as a TEFL teacher last summer and it was a great opportunity to test my skills as a teacher because it is a totally different experience from that of a normal teacher working in an EFL academy or a school. In my case, my classroom was outdoors to start with so you have to adapt to that situation but along with the other teachers you work as part of a team and create the best lessons possible. This experience has helped me in my normal teaching job as I have become more creative with the material I am teaching and a lot more adaptable.

You may think that working all the time with kids company will get boring and annoying but you will not stop laughing with them and the other teachers and monitors. Although the days are long, they are thoroughly enjoyable because you can allow your childish side to come out and have a laugh with the kids. You think that you are just there to teach them but actually by the end you don’t want them to leave because they have made you enjoy your experience just as much as you help them to enjoy theirs.

Applying to work at TECS last summer was an excellent decision because I have made some excellent friends, some amazing memories and developed as a person and professionally. I would 100% recommend it!

– Claire Wenman

Testimonial: Joe Martin (a.k.a Big Joe)

When I first hopped out of the van on Staff arrivals day in TECS Summer Camps I knew this was going to be a summer to remember. I came from working in the South of Spain as an assistant teacher. I had some previous skills with kids but I didn’t know TECS was going to bring me in to a family filled environment. These kids were full of energy and excitement. I have never had so many kids wanting to know about my life. I felt like a celebrity at times! It was such a rewarding experience to see these kids grow in just a matter of weeks. When it ended we were all in tears because we built such a bond with these kids. Throughout the day we eat with them, go on off site excursions, play sports, make arts and crafts, go horse riding (in Family Camp Gredos) and surround them in an English immersion environment. We motivate and provide positive reinforcement to them when they need some extra encouragement and seek and provide welfare in every given situation. This is why I chose to continue my direction at TECS Summer Camp. We were there for support and guidance but also to make sure those were the best 2 weeks of their lives! I had such a great summer that I wanted to return again the following summer as a Summer Camp Teacher.

My second summer at TECS is when I took the next step in my life and found my passion in Teaching. I would spend hours planning my lessons just to make sure those 4 hours a day were a balance of learning and enjoyment for these kids. Young learners up to teenagers required physical interest in lesson plans and precise routines. I developed myself as a teacher during my second summer at TECS. I worked at GREDOS in the mountains outside of Madrid in an outside classroom setting and then switched to Magic Village as a teacher for another 2 weeks and my last 4 weeks of summer in August at Family Camp Puerto. Each of these camps provides a different atmosphere but whichever camp a camper chooses we have the most qualified and hard working staff waiting for you to make your summer an inspirational memory!

This was my mission statement at TECS last summer : I will seek and motivate my students so that they will achieve what I put in as a teacher. I lived for this every day at TECS Summer Camps.

TECS for Life!

– Joeseph Martin

Testimonial: Ross O’Brien

Where do I even begin?! I spent three of possibly the best summers of my life working in TECS summer camps! What makes camp amazing is the camaraderie you build with the other staff and thanks to my three summers in TECS I can genuinely say that I’ve made friends for life and will always have a couch to crash on in Spain!

But it’s not really about you – it’s about the campers! TECS provided me with my first proper work experience as a teacher. After an intense training week, I went into class feeling sufficiently nervous yet confident and the weekly observations act as a support to help towards making your classes even better. I can honestly say that I learned how to teach in TECS!

Returning to TECS year after year also enabled me to climb the ladder there. In my second summer I was involved with the online blog and in my third year I took a step into management and worked as a TEFL coordinator as well as a TECS College tutor. This involved training new teachers by observing their classes and giving them feedback as well as overseeing the running of the English programme on-site. Therefore TECS allowed and encouraged me to grow both personally and professionally. What more could you ask for from an employer?!

Camp life can be a rollercoaster of emotions – but rollercoasters are FUN so what are you waiting for? Apply to work in sunny Spain for a summer now! I promise…you’ll NEVER regret it!

– Ross O’Brien

Testimonial: Brendan Costello

Having finished University in May of 2012 I decided that I wanted to take a year out and go on an adventure. That adventure started with my application to work as a TEFL teacher in TECS summer camps. As it happened the adventure turned into my career and I returned to TECS the following summer to work in the same position. In 2014 I was the TEFL coordinator in Magic Village and in summer of 2015 took on the role of Director there too. So why have I come back to TECS every summer?

Every position has offered something completely different. As a teacher, your main focus is on the campers and the English programme. You have the opportunity to be very involved with camp life from the camper’s perspective and that is a fantastic way to spend the summer. As a coordinator, you become more involved with the staff and ensuring your side of the programme is running as it should be, the great thing about this position is that you still have one foot on the ground with the campers and one foot behind the scenes. Finally, as a Director you are very much involved with the smooth running of everything on camp. This can be a daunting task. Every day is different and you can be sure that no matter what you´ll have some sort of challenge come your way on a daily basis. In saying that, it is also an incredibly rewarding job to know that, at the end of the summer, you played such a vital role in making it the best summer ever for a few hundred campers.

I still remember everything about my first summer at TECS as a TEFL teacher in Family camp Puerto. Initially, there was the application and before I knew it I was arriving at the train station in El Puerto de Santa María, in beach town in the sunny south of Spain. The first few days can be full on and as a first time staff member you will invariably see all the returnee staff who seem to know exactly what to do and where to go, but then you´ll be back at the train station at the end of camp, probably crying, as you say goodbye to everyone and know that you have become a full-fledged member of a very special club.

Professionally, I have grown so much at TECS and have been given amazing opportunities in terms of career progression. Coming back to camp year after year has made me want to grow and develop and a job in TECS is the perfect place to do that if you have the motivation and the passion for it.

On a more personal note, TECS has changed me for the better. It has allowed me to be more open and understanding as well as given me the chance to meet and work with people from all over the world. Thanks to TECS I have become a more confident, focused and driven person.

– Brendan Costello