What a summer!

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So the summer has come to an end and what an amazing summer it was. When I decided to come to Canada to work in a summer camp I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I did all the research on camp but its is not really something that you can explain until you are there. There is a magic surrounding camp that makes friendships grow faster and memories become heightened like no where else. I learnt so many new skills this summer and discovered new loves such as rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding which who knows if I would ever have if not for camp.  It is amazing what you can learn when you are just thrown in and people have confidence in you. I also learned how to make a proper fire that can be used to cook on for 12 hungry kids. I learnt how to connect with my campers on an individual level and form bonds with them all as individuals no matter how hard it was at the start I got there eventually.

It was not all roses, there were some days where tears would come to my eyes and I just wanted to crawl up and hibernate for a few days but I learnt to find things to keep me going and the team around me helped.  You are on the go for the whole day so it can hard to  find time to yourself at all but it is amazing what the odd five minutes lying on your bed or a smile from someone passing by can do. The summer was filled with so many happy and wonderful moments that the hard days were few and far between.

On thing that camp has given me that I will cherish forever is the friendships that I made. There is something about living and working together in a confined environment that just makes friendship form so much quicker and makes the bonds last longer. If we can survive summer camp we can survive anything. These girls have seen the highs and lows of my summer and have been an integral part of getting me through those rough times. I know that no matter the distance we will be friends for life and that there is a bond between us that will be hard to break.

I took a risk heading to Canada, a country I had never been to before to a summer camp, Camp Ouareau where I knew nobody to spent my whole summer. It could have been a disaster but thanks to the people and environment of camp it was one of the most amazing summers that I will never forget.

It is hard to explain but all I can say is ‘It’s a camp thing, you had to be there’.

Emma

xx

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Camp times

So I am sorry that I have not been activate on here in a very long time but I have been enjoying myself at camp and well with limited time and WiFi I’m sorry to say that posting on here has been at the bottom of my to-do list. We are currently on the last day of our mid camp weekend off so I thought I would post and give you guys a run down of my last month has I have a good supply of WiFi. So as some of you many because I never stopped talking about it before I came but I am working at Camp Ouareau, a girls summer camp in Canada and having the best time. The camp is situated about 1h30mins from Montreal and is a bilingual camp so we work in both french and English which is great, I get to continue practising my french. As I am an activity head ( head of dance , whoo) I had to arrive at camp around 2 weeks before the campers with the other heads of activities. It was great as we had like a whole 2 weeks to get to know each other and also learn how to do our jobs before the kids arrived. I loved spending the time with the other counsellors and really forming some amazing friendship bonds.

I was given seniors so my campers were between 13/14 years old. It was exciting to finally begin working and my co-cow was amazing, we got on so well together that I knew it was going to be a great month. From canoeing to an island for an overnight, learning how to make a fire and cook food on it for about 20 hungry 14 years old , to hiking with 10 year olds, saying hello and goodbye to campers, meeting so many amazing people from all over the world and learning so many new skills such as canoeing and belaying in climbing, it really has been a jam packed month.There have been many campfires and songs that have been sung. There have been times when it has gotten a little stressful as you are on the go all day with little time to yourself but with the friends that I have made being around me it made those days all easier. My activity has also been going really well, I was just happy when the girls decided to take dance for another cycle but they really seemed to enjoy the dances. We also got to preform our dance in front of the whole camp at the end of each two weeks which was great and I got amazing feedback which was great. I am excited about the next month , I have my music and styles picked although still just have to choreograph them but oh well, that is a small problem. As I only have 1 to 2 periods of dance a day I have been put at other activities which has been great from survival to windsurf, sailing and cross fit I have been learning so many new skills.

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We have one day off a week which is nice and we always find something to do whether its just heading to the nearest town to eat in the bakery and stock up on snacks or chill on the dock in the sun before the kids for activities. We also went paddle boarding on morning when no on was on the lake and I stood up which I was very proud of myself for doing and another day we went kayaking which was amazing. Although the job is hard work being constantly on the go , the people I am around are great and I am getting to have some amazing experiences.

For the past 2 days we have been chilling in a house by a river that belongs to the aunt of one of the girls. We took it easy, sun tanned, walked to the local shop which was 30mins away and generally just had a great time. I have made friends that I know I will be friends with for a long time. I am looking forward to the next month in which I will have another challenge as I have the youngest girls on camp who are between 7-10 years old. It will be interesting and I am looking forward to it and seeing what the month will bring.

So there you have it a few of my highlights from the last month, there has been so much more that has happened but if I was to write it all down this post would go on for hours. I have had an amazing last month and I can’t wait to see what challenges the next month will bring. Talk to you in another month when the experience will be all over and I will be onto my next adventure which is so strange, it has gone by so fast.

Emma

xx

Oh Canada

I am sitting in the airport at my gate waiting to board as I write this. After re-packing my suitcase and getting to expert level in suitcase Tetris I finally made my way to the airport, passed through all the security measures and I am waiting to board. It still only feels like yesterday that I was thinking of applying to head to Canada this summer to work in a summer camp but now that it is actually here the excitement levels are on a high. I have one flight to JFK New York and then a connecting flight to Montreal where I am staying for 3 nights before heading to camp. I can’t wait to get to Montreal to explore for a day or two and sort out everything out with the help of NYQUEST , the organisation who have helped my make this idea a reality. Then Saturday will come and I will be off to camp to spend about 10 weeks in the middle of a forest which will be interesting. I am going to be the head of dance at Camp Ouareau which will be amazing,  I will be spending my summer doing something I really love. I can’t wait to get to camp to meet all of the other staff who I will be working with and get this summer underway. Then after camp I can’t wait to travel Canada a little more , a place I have always wanted to visit.

I will try to keep you guys updated with my adventures and stories but that might be a little hard in the middle of a forest so we will see but I can’t wait. So all there is to say now is Goodbye Ireland and Hello Canada.

Emma

xx