So, after coming back from Canada in November I really didn’t know where I was going to go or what I was going to do but all I did know was that I didn’t want a “proper job” so to speak just yet. Mam of course being the amazing woman that she is had been searching the web looking for different things that I could do when she came across this company called American Village who did English camps in France. They were camps for kids to help teach them English and give them a complete immersion in the language. I had a look at the website and thought I would go a head and apply for the spring session because it looked cool. It kind of merged my language assistant and camp counsellor experience together into on job which was quite cool. While doing this I got a Christmas job in Skechers which was amazing with wonderful people but it just helped to reinforce my need for a strange job where I could be creative and have fun. Long story short I got the job in British Village and left in March to start. I am currently on a 7-hour train ride home after finishing my experience and writing this post. I thought I would give you guys a little insight into what I got up to and about some of the amazing people I met.
I was part of the British Village part of the company which meant that our sites we would speak British English obviously but also teaches about British culture through our themes such as the Royal Family or Sherlock Holmes. The kids had 2 hours of ESL classes in the morning, 2 activities in the afternoon and then an evening programme which was all through English. Each day had a theme in which the lessons and activities were usually planned around which was always fun. Along with this when the kids arrived they go through immigration to get a camp name with a passport and drop things off in customs which I thought was a really nice touch as it really helps them get into the mindset that they are in British Village and all the counsellor only speak English so the must also try their best to speak English.
All the campers and counsellors pick camp names for their time at camp which I thought was cool as it was not something that I had at other camps before, I think it helps add to the magic of camp and the mystery. I choose the name Moose as kind of an ode to my time in Canada where I got my first taste of camp life and fell in love. After spending 7 weeks at camp I have become so used to being called Moose that when I think of my real name it just sounds weird, I have become Moose.
During my time at camp, I was two different sites. I started in a camp south of Lyon called Damian which gave me possibly the best start ever. The team that we had was just amazing and I pretty sure that within the first couple of days we were acting like we were best friends and had known each other for years. We had a few days of bonding before the kids arrived which included moving some furniture and trying to find the elusive ‘can’s beans’. My first 3 weeks of my contract I spent constantly smiling and laughing with this crazy bunch of people who hold a very special place in my heart. When I found out that I was moving to another camp I have to say that my heart did break a little as we had built up such a good relationship. Luckily for me, one of the other girls had moved to the other camp a week before me and so the next 3 weeks were the two of us against the world just bossing camp life. Unfortunately, again my heart broke a little when she left but I got another amazing person from the first camp to spend my last week with. It was a constant emotional rollercoaster with lots of tears on my part because I am a crier.
My second site was in Bauduen which is set in the most beautiful little village beside a lake. It is an amazing place just not the best suited to camp life and activities as there is limited space. Arriving at this new place was hard after having the best time at my last site. I have to say the time that I was there was a slight struggle and if it was for certain people it would have been much harder. I still had the most amazing experience and felt that I grew not only as a person but also as a counsellor in my abilities. It was just very hard going from the amazing team that I had with the most amazing people who I considered close friends after such as short time to a completely different team with whom I just didn’t click with on the same level.
Netflix nights, chicken costumes, goblin outfits, sword choreography, can’s beans, dancing around the kitchen singing 80’s classics, a village folk ball, almost getting lost hiking, Friday night pizza, Nutella facials, asss-embly and constant laughing are just a few of the things that I will never forget about my time at camp. You just had to be there to understand.
have fallen in love with camp life and doing camps has been amazing. I get to meet some of the most incredible people but at the same time, it breaks my heart every time that I have to leave them not knowing when we will see each other again. To all my camp mates, wherever you maybe me from this camp or previous I want to know that I love yall and can’t wait for the reunions whether they be virtual or real life.