Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Surviving Summer Camp

I have decided to take part in the final (week 4) link up at Typecast for the CLIC Sargent Do Something Yummy awareness raising campaign. For more information about CLIC Sargent, click here


I was 18 and was in the USA for eight weeks for Camp America as a young and doe eyed camp counsellor.  The camp was for adults for cerebral palsy.  I arrived jet lagged and overwhelmed.  We worked from 8am until 10pm everyday, there were tornado warnings some of the nights and we would have to get up and get all the campers, wheelchairs and all, underground as the wind howled around us.  Drained we would carry on pretty much as normal the next day.


To get to our bedroom we had to go through our bathroom not ideal when you share with two others!  The bathing water was often brown and sludge like… this story would be more interesting if it was one about me stuck on a desert island, making a hut with giant palm leaves and fishing for sharks for sustenance.  But still it was not quite the same as being at home.  To cheer me up I think I blew most of my wages in a British food store buying Cadburys at extortionate prices!!!


The natives were friendly but it was hard physical work lifting campers in and out of wheelchairs when you resemble Olive Oyl.  Washing and helping them go to the toilet were all new roles to me, I had to learn and quickly to get the hang of the camp routine.


I was homesick and wanted to go home… I blew the rest of my wages on phone cards to call my parents and my boyfriend at that time.  I was left with no money after chocolate and phone cards to travel afterwards! But some how or another I lasted the eight weeks had on the whole a great experience and am glad I managed it!  Although the mosquito bites did take ages to heal!  They definitely like British blood, as I was their favoured target…


I was quite content after my mini adventure had finished to return home tired and happy but with a great feeling of accomplishment having survived it!  And made at least one lifelong friend!

13 comments:

  1. I don't know, all them late night, or was it early morning calls to your parents!  However, you seem to have had a good time

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  2. I have daughter with cerebral palsy so this was really interesting to me.  Sadly I don't think there are any camps like this one in Ireland *sigh*.  Another item to add to the to do list I think!  Well done for surviving it :)

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  3. I thought of doing that as well and I wish I had now! It's just a shame that Britain doesn't do the summer camps like the American's do as it must be rewarding for the children as well as the adults

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  4. oh that sounds like an experience and a half.  I love that picture of you when you were younger.

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  5. Just been over to your blog and seen your daughter's picture she seems lovely, an experience like that would be perfect for anyone, we did swimming everyday, visited lots of attractions, had nightly entertainment, I even wore a teletubbie mask and did a dance on stage! Oh those were the days lol.  It would be nice to bring it to Ireland for you and give you a much deserved break! x

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  6. Yes never live life with regrets, just cram it with experiences :) I am glad I did it even though the first week I was dreadly homesick! x

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  7. We forget that survival means different things to different people at different ages. I had a similarly hard time when I was 18 on my first long stint away from home. I was miserable, but looking back it was a great experience that never bothers me now. 

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  8. Love the photo of the School bus!!! I can't believe you were so brave to go!!! 

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  9. I know its like being on the set of a film!  Thanks but I didn't feel brave at first, took me a good week to settle in! x

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  10. Yes your right it doesn't bother me know and am so glad I did it :) x

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  11. Pre kid wrinkles! lol x

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  12. Great story!! And I bet it's one you definitely cherish the memories of, no matter how much there was to "hate" there.  Thanks for joining in with all the #dosomethingyummy prompts and for helping out with the social media shout out xx

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  13. What a great experience to have as a teenager. Thanks so much for joining in with #dosomethingyummy

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