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.
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 summer 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.
You 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!
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!
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
If 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
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:
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:
To review what still needs to be improved on our summer camps and develop solutions for the following summer.
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!
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
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
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!!!!
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!!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.