Jamal's Summer at Camp: Part 3

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Work Exchanges

Last summer Jamal Richardson, a student from St. Mary’s University in the UK, traveled to Pennsylvania to work as a camp counselor. We asked him to reflect on his experience at camp, and will be featuring several posts. Start with Part 1 and Part 2.

What did you learn at camp?

During Camp, you realize how good you are at things you never know you could do. Camp makes you so open about things, you lose a lot of self-conscious issues there. For example, you may get embarrassed performing, or acting a clown, then suddenly you’re over there with the kids and with your friends, and your dancing around, performing in plays, taking up new skills you turn round and say “if I was anywhere else, I definitely would not be doing this.”

Camp helps you grow up and realize what you’re capable of as an individual, you’re so far away from your comfort zone, you find your own footing in terms of leadership, time management, looking after others. You realize how independent you are, more so than in Uni, because you’re in a different continent doing these things.

You realize, that at times, especially when the long days start kicking in, especially in the first week, you’re going to find that you have the patience of the saint, and then some! But all these things come together when you find yourself doing new things, that by the time you feel those last few days sinking in, you know you’re going to miss it.

You go back home and all your doing is telling your friends about the skills you have learnt, that you didn’t know you could do these things, all these dances you’ve learnt, all the kids you’ve met and how they are special and how they have changed. All you’re going to be talking about for ages is camp this, camp that, you will probably be going to get your friends and family fed up of hearing about it and maybe even, decide you want to go again next year!