#11 Reasons to work on a TECS Camp!

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 StaffThurssummer 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.

Day28_LVYou 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!

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Staff Feedback form summary 2016

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!

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Staff Feedback Form Summary 2016

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

StaffThursIf 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

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Staff Feedback Form Summary 2016

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:

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!

 

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!!!!

TESTIMONIAL: Danielle Hopkins

In 2007, I found myself in Family Camp Puerto tired and disorientated among a swarm of blue and white T-shirts. I wasn’t even sure I was actually going to turn up that day until something which to this day I can’t explain jolted me out of my hammock on a sunny rooftop in Cadiz. A voice in my head said “you really need to go and do this” job. And so I made the short train journey across the bay to start my adventure.

Half way through staff training week, I was wondering why I listened to that stupid little voice inside my head. Oh how very tired and overwhelmed I was.  This was my first real TEFL teaching job you see, I just kept thinking that these all singing, all dancing people around me were nuts. Guess what? They were and they still are. It’s just that now I’m one of them.

Summer camp is the craziest most intense experience that most people will go through in their entire life. For staff and campers.  It’s a rollercoaster ride that takes you through the most emotional highs and lows imaginable. You simply can’t avoid learning so much about yourself. Who you are and what you are capable of. That goes for the kids too.

For me, summer camp taught me primarily about compassion. No matter how tired or busy I was, I would never hesitate in helping a camper or another staff member. Putting someone else’s needs above your own comes naturally on camp after a while.  When you are surrounded by other staff members who do the same it turns into something magical.  TECS taught me that I could do anything I put my mind to. The impossible, the ridiculous, the unthinkable. I did them all, and over the summers I excelled as a person in every possible way.

As I moved through the ranks on summer camp, each year I learned more about myself and other people. Each year I felt more grateful for my experiences and the trust that was given to me to do a good job in these positions.  It felt good to impart experience and knowledge that I had gathered over the summers and watch more green members of staff grow and flourish as I had.

My final year as a camp director was the cherry on my TECS cake.  On camp I made friends for life and found a confidence in myself that allows me to be the person I am today.  If you get the chance to work on summer camp, open your mind and your heart and get ready for the ride.

 – Danielle Hopkins