This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I was fortunate enough to be placed at the perfect work place for me. Very well matched by Wildpacks!
Throughout the application process all staff were so warm and helpful. They regularly checked in to make sure I was happy and comfortable. Whilst at my camp I was surrounded by like-minded people who were constantly supportive. Ella Brakefield in particular was there for me throughout.
There were many people at my workplace with the responsibility of ensuring I was well trained as well as happy and healthy throughout the summer. If I ever had any concerns I could trust someone would be there for me.
The workload was high however this was not a surprise and I had been informed of this before taking the position. There was regular time off and if any rest time was required leadership was always fully understanding and helped through this.
It was a job in which I was required to look after other people's children. This was a big responsibility and the camp was very trusting of their staff. Even though I was aware of the high level of responsibility I did not feel alone at any point. I had fantastic colleagues around me to share the responsibility with.
I feel that the skills I gained at camp this summer have improved me as a person. I am more relaxed in difficult situations and more efficient with how I respond to these. I have worked and lived with many people very different from myself. This is something that presented fantastic opportunities to learn new things as well as some challenges along the way. I was responsible for an age group of children that I had previously only worked with in structured settings. I learned so much about this age group and feel far more confident working with them. The commitment and effort I put into this summer is something employers will love to see as it shows so many strengths in an employee.
At times things were hard, however everyone worked together at these times which built strong bonds. We were working in a beautiful setting with lovely weather which always lifts people's moods. The children were enthusiastic near all the time and even when they struggled with things they were open about it. I felt that I was in a fun, relaxed and supportive environment this summer.
From the initial sign up to the day I arrived at camp I felt supportive. There were several times I would get calls checking that I was doing okay with the process. I had an issue with getting an embassy appointment due to having a busy schedule at that time. The staff at Wildpacks went out of their way to hurry my application and get me a sooner appointment. Any staff member that I was in contact with had a broad knowledge of the process and was always able to help.
I was provided with my American Red Cross lifeguard training course and my Water Safety Instructors course. These are expensive however I was not required to pay for them as the camp was happy to. They provided fitness training for the staff and had regular meetings to ensure we were happy with the way things were going.
I hope to return to the camp I worked at. This is something I am still to discuss with them however prior to leaving the position they seemed to support this decision. As a returning staff member there will be some additional responsibilities initially which will be good. This summer has provided me with positive references and allowed me to network with others within the sports industry.
Others staff members were friendly and there was a strong bond within the group. On days off everyone would relax together and have fun. And during evenings off people would often offer lifts to surrounding locations. It was also fun to stay in with the staff during the evenings and play card games and discuss our days. I keep in touch with many friends I made at camp and look forward to meeting up with them in future.
All food and accommodation was free whilst being at camp. There was a large Walmart for days and evenings off which was very reasonably priced. Transport was always provided on days off so this was not an additional cost. Any ice cream parlours or restaurants around charged reasonable prices and offered large portions of food. The only costs I occurred were on days off shopping or on additional snacks from Walmart.
There was not much in regards to night life as we were situated in a remote area. There was an Applebee's just a short drive away which offered food and drinks. However in the evening you were so tired after a busy day that it was most appealing to relax in the staff area.
There were evenings off before the children arrived that they would provide a bus to local shops. After that they offered long day trips of days off. During certain occasions there were social meetings with the counsellors at the boys camp as well as just down the road. It was fun to meet new people!
Internship (1-4 Months)