Testimonial: Grace Fennelly

I first heard about TECS summer camps from a friend who convinced me that I would love it- she wasn’t wrong. I decided it would be cool to do something different with my summer and as I have always enjoyed working with children, the addition of the sunny south of Spain proved idyllic to say the least.

From the very first day of training week we had formed a family, I know- very cliché, but none the less true. The people I worked with last summer on camp were amazing with passions and values similar to my own which made the late nights and early mornings all the more doable. I really loved how nobody took themselves too seriously and as a result we were never short of laughter. I couldn’t have imagined how close I would become to a group of children and colleagues in just two and/or four weeks. I managed to form bonds with children that are never far from my mind and in these instances I was reassured that working with young people is what I need to continue doing as it’s so rewarding. The camp experience was fulfilling, so much so that I had forgotten that we even got paid! A job I would do for free is the perfect job and working as a TEFL and camp monitor was that for me.

By having the opportunity to both teach as a TEFL monitor as well as work as a monitor I got the best of both worlds. As I am training to be a teacher in Ireland I could appreciate the fun-filled environment TECS aim to create in their classrooms. Learning doesn’t stop once the children leave their morning classes however as the work of a monitor is also to teach English through various activities. For me this was fantastic as I’m a bigger kid than the campers at the best of times! I threw myself whole heartedly into the chants, constant singing and even embraced being thrown into the pool during activity sessions!

I had an amazing summer and because of that I am eager to return and meet new people, make a difference in the lives of the campers and ultimately give them the summer they will never forget. While the tear twinged goodbyes at the end of each camp were bitter sweet, they were however, the reassurance that we had done our job to the best of our ability by giving those campers a memorable fortnight in Little Village! I would recommend a summer with TECS to anyone considering summer camp work, you will learn things about yourself you never knew existed as well as making a difference in the lives of some pretty fabulous children.

– Grace Fennelly

Testimonial: Javier Bodega Rodriguez

The first time I came to TECS Summer Camps was in 2011 as a camper and after two years of amazing experiences I decided to work on a TECS camp.

Now I have been working on camp for 3 years, my first year was as a crew member, the second one was as an assistant monitor and last year was as a monitor. Those three summers working for TECS in Family Camp Gredos have been different, special with a lot of new experiences and funny moments.

Working with TECS makes me know so many people and of course develop my personality, because working at summer camp you learn that the teamwork is amazing and at the same time really important, also during these years I had an incredible time with so many different kids and with the incredible family that all the TECS staff are.

I really think that TECS is a perfect opportunity for both kids and staff to enjoy the summer in a way that is not only the usual one and meet new people that could become real good friends.

– Javier Bodega Rodriguez

20 years of loving summer camp by Douglas Haines

To say summer camp has a special part in my heart only begins to do justice to what i feel. 20 continuous years on camp tell you I became an addict.  At first as a monitor/counselor it was about being outside doing sports and bonding with the children. Later as a coordinator it became about creating spectacular activities and evening entertainments, then as a Camp Director it was about the buzz of making it all come together no matter what. However it has been as  Director of Language Camps that my mission in life was revealed.

There is only one feeling that i have encountered that is more inspiring than educating a child to be a better version of them-self and that is motivating other staff to believe wholeheartedly in that mission. The most soul inspiring moments in my life have happened when the people I trained put into action those skills and attitudes and committed to making sure children had a summer of a lifetime. To lead, motivate and develop people in the skills needed to educate children is quite simply a wonderful thing.

Summer Camp offers individuals the chance to develop in ways you just can’t comprehend until you’re on that journey.  The fact all staff share the honorable goal of looking after and educating children offers an unique framework to bond together with a shared “purpose”. With this security of knowing you do something that matters, the opportunity for professional and personal development is limitless. The development i have seen of individual children and of staff during a summer (and over many) is quite simply incredible. As one parent put it: summer camp can and does “mark the life” of those it touches.

So when someone asks me why have i worked 20 years on summer camp? Although my thoughts and emotions are numerous, my logic is clear: “I’m addicted to the feeling of pride and accomplishment i get from playing my part in creating an environment which does really make both children and staff better people”. Staff and children who are validated in their sense of worth, who have hidden talents revealed and nourished. Staff and children who want to be kinder and nicer versions of themselves.

Summer Camp is a place where you can find a purpose, a place where you can become a better person and most inspiring of all it is a place where you can help others to believe more in them-self.

Douglas Haines

Director of TECS Language Camps

Read more on development and leadership in 100 steps to inspirational leadership.

Testimonial: Marta Hernandez

I can not remember my first day at TECS Summer Camps because it was in 2004, it has been 12 years since then! I started as a 7 years-old girl who was going to an English summer camp. That was just the beginning of a great adventure. I spent 8 unforgettable years as a camper.

I didn’t want my experience at TECS to finish there, I wanted to work as a member of the Staff. First as a crew member, then as an assistant monitor and last year as a monitor. These three years working at TECS have taught me that team work is essential to run a summer camp. Every summer I feel as a member of a big family. Not only that, I am still in contact with people who I have worked with over the years, even with the ones who were campers with me!

Campers are the main reason why we work so hard. But I can assure all of you that it is worth it working with them 24/7. I can’t explain you how it feels to make campers happy. I always want to make sure that they have an awesome experience as I did.

TECS has always been a part of my summer, TECS has always been a part of my life.

12 years at TECS and people keep wondering why I go back every summer. It’s not that difficult to understand: Thanks to TECS I’ve had the best summers of my life.

Testimonial: Jennifer Galligan

Although I have only worked two summers on camp with TECS, it is so difficult to summarise what summer camp means to me; a wonderful mixture of new friendships, challenging situations, constant laughter and personal development. To work with TECS is to have your potential recognised and nourished, to have  camp chants and claps forever ingrained in your memory, to realise that all your work is worth it because you made a difference to a child’s summer.

I have never encountered the same levels of excitement and energy that exist on camp anywhere else, and as an Activity Coordinator, the kids enthusiasm motivates you to ensure that all aspects of the activity programme are as fun and entertaining as possible. To both manage camp staff, and organise and plan the daily activities calls for determination, balance and reflection, but it is extremely fulfilling and allows you to unleash and develop new skills.

Before I worked for TECS, I had no idea how passionate I would become about summer camp- now I cannot imagine what my summers would be like without the excitement of the kids arriving, the songs about moose and crocodiles, the jubilance of Intercamp, and finally, the pride twinged with sadness when it is time for the kids to leave.

– Jennifer Galligan

Testimonial: Katrina “Flo” Bunn

I first came to TECS in 2013 as a TEFL teacher and have worked in the TEFL side ever since. I’d worked in a summer camp before but not in sunny Spain, which is a great added bonus of working at a TECS summer camp. I’ve always been lucky enough to work with a fantastic bunch of kids and a great team of staff who I’m still in contact with now – I really have had the best summers ever, which is what brings me back!

Most recently I worked in Magic Village as the TEFL Coordinator. It was a great experience – as well as doing what I enjoy (teach!), I got to train a team of TEFL teachers and help them develop professionally, ensuring that our campers had a great quality language programme learning English while having fun. In fact, I loved working as a TEFL Coordinator so much that I came back to work in the English Academy full-time as a director of studies!

Working at TECS to this level definitely gave me an insight into education management and the skills and experience to step into a career path I never dreamed that I would be able to pursue – I am 100% certain that I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t come to TECS back in my first summer. Who knows where you could be in a few years if you come to work in TECS this summer?

– Katrina “Flo” Bunn

Testimonial: Benjamin Crompton

I still remember applying to work on TECS summer camps for the first time. I’d already worked a couple of British Summer schools, and had literally no idea what a summer camp would be like. Turned out I loved it, although it was probably only when the email for returnee staff came around in January or March the year after that I finally realised it.

That was 2009, and TECS remains a very special company to work for. This year I’ll be returning for my third year to work as a Camp Director (my seventh in total at TECS). The Camp Director job is at once challenging and rewarding at the same time. Over my six summers I’ve grown passionate about the experience we offer children and young people; I wish there had been a summer camp like ours for me when I was a kid. As Director you have so many ideas to juggle. I’m often asked in the summer: ‘what do you actually do?’ It’s difficult to summarise it in few words, but perhaps the best way would be to say that I take a scrambled up jigsaw and organise it neatly on the table ready for the coordinators and monitors and TEFL teachers and crew members to put it together. When it comes together, you get a unique summer camp programme that gives kids of all ages a very special summer experience that they do remember for years to come. That’s worth the hours and dedication.

Over my six years, TECS has taught me numerous things: how to be a good EFL teacher, a strong manager, an innovator. But more than that, it’s taught me that the quiet reserved guy who hid in the corner six years ago has something to offer. Thanks to TECS, I am a driven, outgoing man with a passion for education and personal development. That’s something.

– Benjamin Crompton

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)

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