There are many positions on our camps, and sometimes it can be confusing to know which to apply for. Catering staff is an often overlooked choice – but it shouldn’t be. It is a great position with room for flexibility and language learning.
The majority of staff on camp are not allowed speak in Spanish, as we are an English language summer camp! However, catering monitors must speak in Spanish, as they are working with natives in the kitchen every day. This is a great opportunity to improve your language skills, as you will have contact each day with Spanish speakers who speak very little English.
Another great advantage of this position is the chance to spend time exploring the town around the camp. Although your timetable requires that you are on camp for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you have plenty of time off in between to explore your surroundings – be that walking to the beach to work on your tan, or exploring the centre of town with its large bull ring and many restaurants and cafes, the choice is yours! Read more about the location of the camp here.
Finally, catering staff get to experience what it is like to work in a fast paced, multi-lingual environment. Providing food for over 200 campers at 3 different but overlapping meal times can be a big challenge, but it gives valuable and worthwhile experience in a catering environment.
Interested after reading all of the above? Why wouldn’t you be! Read more about the position and apply here.
There are some aspects of summer camp which are extremely tough – long hours, hot weather, looking after crying children – but there are some things about summer camp which are good for both your mind and body.
You rarely sit down!
Summer camp work is not sedentary… in fact you’ll find that you spend 95% of the time on your feet, dancing and singing and playing like a lunatic. If you’re a fan of getting your 10,000 FitBit steps, you’ll be delighted to hear that you’ll smash your target day in day out. Summer camp is good for you because it’s a workout – without feeling like one 😉
You get a tan
Working in the South of Spain, the weather is almost guaranteed to be sunny, all day every day. Many staff manage to build up a great tan between working outdoors, and sunbathing at the pool on their breaks. As most Irish and English people are deficient in Vitamin D, working on camp could be your opportunity to build up some vitamin and tan reserves.
You let out your inner child
Summer camp work involves a lot of singing, dancing, messing and playing around with the campers. There are not many working environments where it is completely acceptable to have face paint on every single day, or to run around chanting at the top of your voice – but summer camp is one of them!
Working on summer camp lets you have a complete disconnect from the outside world. Many of our camps are located in the countryside, near small towns or villages and beside beautiful scenery and mountains. Often you’ll find you’ve forgotten to check your Instagram or Facebook feed in a few days, and struggle remember why you ever felt the need to check it every 10 minutes.
All aforementioned reasons sound good to you? Experience them for yourself and apply to work with us this summer!
Our newest (and possibly coolest) camp is in Wales. A small staff, with only one monitor (!) and two tutors, it provides a wealth of different opportunities, and maybe particularly interesting for people who are returning to camp work but looking for a different camp experience.
But what exactly is a tutor and what is so great about this position?
#1 – You get to teach in an English speaking country!
Many TEFL teachers are used to teaching in their student’s native country, and so are forced to try to create an English environment in the class. At our camp in Wales, you have a native English environment just outside the door! Even better, the students are free to explore it at will, and you can use it so that students can really practice what they are learning in class. Which leads on to…
#2 – A tutor can really unleash their creativity
One of the main parts of English classes in TECS Land Wales is Task Based Learning. Every second day, the classes are based on the campers leaving the classroom and engaging with the native English environment around them. Whilst the basis of these classes are pre-planned for the tutor, their creativity is free to take these plans where they want and really help give the campers an authentic learning experience. The tutor position is perfect for somebody who wants a new teaching challenge that allows them to connect with their creativity.
#3 – You get to work in an awesome environment
Our TECS Land Wales camp takes place in an absolutely amazing house. It has an enormous living room with a giant comfy sofa, completely kitted out kitchen, and a great project room – as well as all the latest technologies, like USB plugs. It is a great place for a camp, and it’s an awesome place for you to work. The photos speak for themselves!
#4 – You work in a tight knit team, with a small group of campers
Our TECS Land Wales Team is a lot smaller than our other camps. The size of the team means that you will get to know the people you work with so well, and you will also get an amazing bond with the campers. This is really helped by the aforementioned amazing house – you are all living together in a great house, so you really begin to feel like a little family.
#5 – You work in a unique summer camp environment
Most summer camps run on a strict timetable – that’s what makes them work. However, TECS Land Wales is a hybrid, between a summer camp programme and a language travel programme. The timetable changes a lot, the campers are outside the house a lot, and they also have time scheduled for them just to chill out and soak up the great atmosophere. This makes it a truly different and unique environment to work in – it of course requires just as much hard work as our other camps, but it gives it it’s own special feel and identity.
Interested in applying as a TECS Land Wales tutor now? Apply here and read more about the location of the camp here.
Nothing stays the same, and every year summer camp changes and gets better and better. So what has changed for summer 2018?
Camper Phone Calls
As those of you who have worked on camp before may know, we used to have phone calls to parents almost every day in most camps. In summer 2018, campers will not phone home everyday. Over the course of the fortnight, they will phone home 5 times, and during these times they will have a full 30 minutes to talk to their parents. The one exception is the Seniors in Family Camp Puerto… they will have more phone call time, due to being teenagers and needing their phones that little bit more.
It is time to say goodbye to the Intercamp competition… Although always a day filled with great competitive energy and excitement, all good things must come to an end. In 2018, we will not be running Intercamp during July. We will however be running…
Clash of the Colours in Family Camp
To replace Intercamp, Family Camp will have Clash of the Colours as their Sunday excursion. This is an intense Colour War competition, which is already run in Family Camp Gredos. The campers compete all day long in lots of different activities to win points for the blue or white team, and at the end of the day, one of the teams is crowned the winner and wins extra points for their Colour War team. Have a look at what it looks like here.
New building in Family Camp Puerto
The new building in our Family Camp Puerto site is currently being built, having started last August. Whilst we may not have the whole building ready to use in summer 2018, we are hoping that we will be able to use some of the new fancy installations! It looks very swanky.
Picadilly – connecting the new and old building
Even more school camps!
Our school camps department is growing each year, and this year we have school camps running from the end of February until the end of June. We are running them in Gredos and Huerta Dorotea, where we run our school camps, and also in a different site here in Puerto called Coto de la Isleta. We also will have four school camp monitors coming out to work with us from February. However, we sometimes need extra people to come and work on our school camps – if you are interested, you can signup to hear about opportunities here.
Imagine you are a camper – you have spent the entire academic year in school, and now you’re on your summer holidays… and your parents send you to English summer camp, and you find yourself once again in a classroom, with a teacher and a book.
For this reason, we try to make English class on camp as fun and as dynamic as possible. We ask our teachers to make sure they include lots of games and communicative activities, in order to keep the campers motivated and to make sure they learn as much as possible. To help them with this, we provide comprehensive lesson plans to complement the student’s book. However, some teachers want to come up with their own activities, and it can be daunting to come to camp as a teacher and try to come up with new and exciting games for every class, especially if you do not have much teaching experience. Here are some tried and tested games that are sure to enliven any class, regardless of level!
The simplest of games, perfect for practicing vocabulary. You need some fly swats, and flashcards, and then you are ready to go! Stick the flashcards on the board, split students into teams and each team receives a fly swat. The students then take it in turn to hit the flashcard the teacher or another student calls out. Some control is needed to make sure the students don’t try to hit each other with the swat!
Running Chinese Whispers
Another game that can be played to practice vocabulary – and best played outside. Students line up, relay race style, in teams. They must run to the teacher, who shows them a flashcard. Then, running to the back of their team, they must Chinese whisper the word to the front of the line – and the student there must run forward and tell the teacher the word. It may take a few tries for the students to get the hang of it, but the combination of running and whispering makes them work really hard to remember their vocabulary!
Noughts and Crosses
Students are bound to know this game, and it can very easily be adapted to help them to practice their vocabulary. Drawing the traditional 3 by 3 grid on the board, in each square you stick a flashcard. You can leave it face up, or to make it more challenging, face down. Students, in two teams, pick a card, and if they get the piece of vocabulary correct ( you can ask them to spell it as well), they can draw an x or an o for their team. The first team to have three in a row wins!
These are just three of a plethora of games teachers use on camp – during their planning time each evening, our staff also have an opportunity to share and develop ideas, resources and activities with one another, building a great environment of teamwork and professional development. If this sounds like the kind of environment you’d like to work in, apply now for Summer 2018!
And it’s not just teachers who use games – every monitor needs a game or two (or ten!) up their sleeve. Look out for our next blog about the best games for monitors to use on summer camp.
Working on summer camp, you have the luxury of having three meals a day (plus a snack!), made for you. There’s no need to worry about where your next meal is coming from – the kitchen will provide. Of course, our kitchens are normally catering for upwards of 100 campers and staff and also for a Spanish diet. This may mean that there will be dishes that you haven’t tried before, but camp is a time to try new things – food can be one of them! Here is the lowdown on the best Spanish dishes that you’ll have on camp – if you’re not hungry now, you sure will be soon.
Perhaps the most well-known of all Spanish dishes, it is a staple of camp food. Made with seafood, or meat such as chicken, and rice, it is sure to give you a great feed before running your afternoon sports sessions as a monitor. Filling, tasty and a part of Spanish culture – what more could you want from lunch?
It is no secret that the Spanish are fond of frying food, and perhaps the most delicious thing they have come up with are croquettas. The traditional flavor is ham and cheese, which is mixed with a béchamel sauce and flour, covered in breadcrumbs and then fried. Delish!!!
If you’re lucky enough, you may get churros served up for breakfast – but they definitely won’t be around for long as every camper will surely want at least one! Simply put, a churro is a long, thin piece of fried dough, covered in sugar, perfect to dip in coffee or hot chocolate. Have them once and you’ll be craving them again – if you find a café nearby to camp that serves them, they can be a great treat for your weekend morning off!
This option might not be even remotely Spanish… but when there is pizza for dinner, nobody can complain. Loved by Spaniards, Italians, Irish, English – whatever your nationality you are bound to have a big smile on your face when it is revealed that it is pizza time. Campers and staff alike have been known to cheer and chant when they enter the canteen and smell the glorious waft of pizza! A perfect way to end a day of teaching class and before an evening of planning classes for the next day!
These are only some of the dishes you may have the pleasure of tasting during your time on camp – other favorites include barbecue night, Spanish omelette (also known as tortilla) and salmorejo – a chilled tomato soup made with breadcrumbs – alongside staples that you know and love, like pasta salad, chicken, meatballs, and even baked potatoes!
The highlight of camp for many campers, and staff too, are the evening entertainments. It doesn’t take long to get into the spirit of evening entertainment, where almost anything goes, and everybody gets to run around and exhaust themselves before heading to bed.
What can you expect as a staff member participating in an evening entertainment? To get dressed up, have sponges thrown at you, to arm wrestle 100 campers in one sitting – basically, anything that is fun (and probably messy!) happens. But with so many evening entertainments run in all of our different camps, which are the ones to look forward to?
Campers and staff absolutely love Cluedo. A variation of the board game, this evening sees some staff members dress up and re-enact a murder scene (PG of course), before
hiding around camp. The campers must then go and get clues from them, in order to see who the murderer is. It deserves its place on this list because of how entertaining it is to see monitors dressed up as hula girls, old men, Cristiano Ronaldo…Not only that but it is fiercely competitive, and that only can make an evening entertainment better.
2. Capture the Flag
Speaking of competitiveness… Capture the Flag is the evening entertainment that will see the campers reaching new levels in order to do what they can to win for their Colour War Team. It needs careful refereeing, as even the sweetest and most angelic camper can be tempted to cheat. But, it is unbelievable fun, with campers sprinting to bring their flag back to home base whilst also trying to protect their sash and remove others from the game. Staff get a good induction to this game, as it is often played in Training Week, meaning they get a taste of how good it is before camp has even begun.
3. TECS Factor
TECS Factor is an evening entertainment that requires a lot of preparation by the staff and campers beforehand, but it is most definitely worth it. Campers practice and perfect a performance in groups before the scheduled evening, and then perform it in front of all the others, and a panel of judges. Rated out of ten by each judge, there is usually a case of somebody taking on the Simon Cowell role. The best TECS Factor events are when not only the campers perform, but the staff do too – be that by playing their guitar, ukulele, or even singing In The Jungle.
4. Natural Disasters
Exactly what it sounds like (or not!), in Natural Disasters campers are competing not only with each other, but against floods, tornados and snow storms. As they try to build a tower of cardboard boxes and other recyclable items as high as possible, by using sellotape and duct tape and also winning more materials, their structures are attacked by monitors brandishing foam, water guns and tennis balls, all of which have the potential to damage their structure. Fast paced, exciting and guaranteed to result in at least one camper in each leader group wet and covered in shaving foam, Natural Disasters is an evening entertainment campers won’t forget.
5. Casino Night
A list of the best evening entertainments would not be complete without Casino Night. A true classic, returnee campers are looking forward to it from the beginning of camp, and are eagerly explaining how it works to those who have not been to camp before. Campers compete by doing lots of different small competitions to win tokens, which allow them to nominate a staff member to be covered in gunk, a goeeey messy liquid.
Other honorable mentions must go to Family Fortunes, often run as part of English Day and based on the TV show, as well as Gala Night, a fancy meal for older campers, and of course It’s a Knockout, which includes some mad relay races!
Worked on camp before and got a different favourite evening entertainment? Or want to work on camp this year and have a great idea for a new event we could run? Comment and let us know!
Our camps are located in different places, all of them distinct. But what do you need to know about each venue… and which venue is the best?! This is really a matter of opinion, and staff tend to finish the summer claiming that their site is far superior to the others, regardless of where they worked…
Having worked (or at least visited!) nearly all of our venues, I can safely argue why each camp site is great, in its own way.
Family Camp Puertotakes place in a private school, called El Centro Ingles. During the year, its numbers include 800 students and nearly 200 staff, and so it is very well equipped. Computer rooms, sports facilities, classrooms – it has it all, and on top of that it is in a town, so bars, restaurants and supermarkets are always only a short walk away. Not to mention the fact that a new building is currently being built. Being close to lots of amenities is not to be underestimated, but this is not the thing I enjoy most about working in FCP… My favourite thing about this camp’s location is how close it is to the beach! Working on summer camp is a treat when you get to go to the beach and have fun with the campers there.
Not far away from El Puerto and Family Camp is the site where we have Magic Village and Little Village. This location is absolutely stunning – a rural hotel, with cabins, green areas and a terrace with stunning views of the mountains. This location gives a very special feel to the camp. There is nothing like coming down to breakfast or dinner from the cabins and looking out on the Andalusian countryside. A perfect example of how beautiful is that it is a popular venue for weddings! Another great advantage of this site, aside from how stunning it is, is that it has the perfect mix between being secluded and yet being close to amenities. The town is a 15 minute walk away, so the camp has the feeling of being separate, yet civilization is still within reach.
Working in Family Camp Gredos has definitely been one of my favourite camp experiences, and part of this is due to the camp venue. Perhaps the most rural of all our sites, in the mountains near Madrid, it has a similar set-up to Magic and Little Village – wooden cabins, a swimming pool and grass areas. A big advantage of Family Camp Gredos is the wonderful sports facilities – tennis courts, basketball courts and a horse riding paddock! There is so much space to run a wide range of sports, meaning that working as a monitor you have lots of options for running activities. Not only that, but if you are interested in a different teaching experience, nearly all the classrooms in Gredos are outdoors. This is great for teacher and students alike, as it really helps it to not feel like a school classroom situation, and means there are endless opportunities and space for games and dynamic teaching.
Anglo Camp is the newest and most northern of our sites, located in Palencia. The site is purpose built for camps, which naturally makes it a great location! It is also enormous – it has two residences, one for boys and one for girls, two canteens, a giant grassy field, swimming pool, basketball courts – I could go on and on! There is even a hotel on site, although we don’t use this during camp J Aside from having so many facilities, the site also benefits from being close to a river – great for a walk and a refreshing swim on your time off. Like Little Village, it has a town about a 20 minute walk away.
Two of our camps take place in houses – TECS Land Wales (held, unsurprisingly in… Wales!) and TECS College (in El Puerto de Santa Maria). The advantages of being in a house speak for themselves – amenities of the kitchen and sitting room give a very homely feel, and the possibilities for activities and evening entertainments are plentiful! Of course, being in a house also means working with a much smaller group of campers, which really gives these camps a unique and intimate feel.
It’s hard to summarise all the ins and outs of all the camp venues in one article – but if one thing is clear is that all of them are great, in their own and different ways. If you’re interested about seeing more pictures and information about our different camps, you can read their venue page – and if you want to work on summer camp after reading about our fabulous venues, apply here.
This year, I (Jenny!) have started working as the camp year round coordinator. As TECS asks all its staff to do, I’ve written a mission statement for my position and for the year ahead – and here it is! By writing this I have a clear idea of my goals and aims for the year ahead – I also have a motivating tool, as by rereading my mission statement, I can motivate my future self.
My Mission Statement
I will dedicate myself to each part of my role to ensure I complete my tasks to the best of my ability. I will balance each role well, depending on the challenges and strains that are happening at the time – making sure that I never neglect any position, but recognizing that differing amounts of effort and focus will be needed at different times.
As a teacher in the academy, I will help my students to improve their level of English, by having well planned, fun lessons. When in the classroom, I will be focused on teaching the class to the best of my ability. I will manage my classes well, both by classroom management and by reflecting on where I can improve, in general areas, with each group that I teach and with individual students. I will be a positive member of the team, contributing and receptive to feedback and any improvements I can make. I will also believe in each of my students, and I will see improvements in all of them throughout the year.
Working on the school camps, I will make sure that the children have a great experience – inside and outside the classroom. Whilst on a school camp, I will give great energy and presence to the program, and I will also be enthusiastic and dedicated to the preparation that comes beforehand, knowing that it plays an integral part in how successful the school camp is. I will help the other people working at the school camp to do the best job possible – be that through resources, motivation, support or all of the above! I will also enjoy each school camp as much as I can.
Any work I do helping to prepare for summer camp will be informed by my experience and knowledge from previous years, and I will always think on how best I can incorporate this into my work. I will bring my passion and enthusiasm for summer camp into each task, regardless of what it is.
In all of my roles, I will be patient and self-reflective. If I am stressed, I will manage it well, and not transfer it or take it out on others. I will use my strengths to aid the people I work with, and I will continuously improve on my weaknesses, sometimes by myself and at other times by asking for others help and support. I will maintain my own personal high standards, but never allow them to be the standards to which I hold other people.
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!!