Counsellor at Wild Packs Summer Camps

Duration
Internship (1-4 Months)
Region
Olney USA
Review Date
Salary
Less than £ 10,000
Roles
Administration/Secretarial Arts/Entertainment/Media Education/Teaching Social Work Sport/Sports Management Voluntary

Connect with this company

8.7/10

The Role
9.0
Organisation
9.2

Socialising

7.8

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

It was the most wonderful 9 weeks of my life. Not only was the camp I was placed at brilliant - but Wild Packs gave me a lot of support right from the start and regularly called me and gave me guidance on anything I could need. They made sure I was absolutely ready to go.

10/10

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2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

At the camp I was living in a dorm with all the other International staff, who by the end of the Summer's work were all like family to me. They all showed respect and wanted to work as hard as I did.

10/10

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

I was placed in charge of a 'cabin' of children, as the head counsellor. At first this was scary, as many other of the other staff seemed to know everything about the camp and where everything was - but I just made sure to ask people whenever I was unsure and things soon became clear. There was a meeting every morning with all the staff and managers where we could discuss any problems and make sure everything was running smoothly.

9/10

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

The work was very enjoyable and not laborious or boring, although sometimes things could get stressful - especially when it came to keeping the children in line and be quite hard. It would occasionally feel like I had to be in several places at once, but once I relaxed into and just realised not to stress but work through these situations methodically, everything became manageable.

8/10

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

A fair amount of responsibility. I was responsible for a group of 10 children or so, which was manageable (though hard sometimes if they were messing about). My manager was responsible for me, so if I did something wrong then she would correct me or give me helping hand wherever needed. It was a great balance.

7/10

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

The alertness I had to have in terms of making sure all the kids were safe, the planning skills I had to make sure they were always entertained, the teaching skills to make sure they were learning in a methodical and fun way, the communication skills to work around problems with my peers - these are all skills I can take forward forever.

10/10

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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

It was not an office environment - and that made the work much more exciting! The grounds of the camp were beautiful, and the dorms in which I was staying with the other international staff were comfortable and provided everything we needed. My peers were fun, respectful and helpful - which was great when it came to some of the problems we would encounter with the kids. Nevertheless, the kids were great fun and always a source of entertainment- I felt like a kid myself whilst working!

10/10

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

Only a day or so after I sent in my application to Wild Packs, they called me and spoke to me for about half an hour all about my interests, what sort of role I might like to have at camp etc. From the word go I knew exactly what I was doing - exactly when certain payments had to be in, what documents I would need for my Visa, how to fill out certain (very complicated) forms - everything was crystal clear to me. At the camp, everything was clear too - what was expected of us, codes of conduct with the kids, the structure of each day. It was very well organised.

10/10

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The camp held 3 full days of dedicated training before the kids arrived where we simulated many of the things we would have to do with the kids, like lunchtime canteen procedures and carpool. Occasionally my manager would come into the guitar lessons I taught at the camp and watch, and give me a little feedback at the end, although this was minimal. The camp did organise rental of several guitars for my lessons (and a guitar for me to practise on during the summer!) which was great. There were a couple other supplies I would have liked for my lessons which the camp would not provide, but otherwise it was more than adequate. Training would occur throughout the weeks of the summer to keep us up to date, and the daily morning meetings also helped for this.

8/10

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • International Travel
  • Financial Bonus
  • Company Parties/Events
10/10

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I was asked to go back and work another Summer, which I am very much considering - the staff are treated very well and the work is extremely satisfying. I imagine if I worked for 3 or 4 summers there I could move into a more senior position and become part of their core staff - they seemed very invested in us international staff.

8/10

Social

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

The social part was amazing. All the staff who lived local to the camp where we worked were very good fun. They took us on trips and wanted to get to know us international staff. The managers of the camp also wanted to hang out and organised great parties and exciting events (such as a Crab feast!) to make sure that there was loads for us to do. My fellow International staff were also very fun to live with and we would do fun activities together almost every day.

10/10

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

Almost nothing, if you decided to budget. The dorms were free, the washing facilities were free, the food in the canteen was free (3 free meals a day) - plus if we didn't want food from the canteen then the camp provided food for us to cook, and sometimes bought us take out too! It was easy to socialise on the grounds of the camp too as there was loads of space, a gym, basketball courts, a park etc. Our american friends working at the camp drove us on trips away from camp, so a little money may be needed then, but not very much at all. You could spend as much or as little as you wanted.

10/10

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

I was 19 at the time or working, and America it is illegal to drink until the age of 21, so I didn't do too much drinking, and definitely couldn't go out. There were no clubs in the nearby town to go to, but we were always entertained in different ways. At the end of each day we were usually too tired to have any desire to stay up too late, and after only a weeks or so at the camp, my desire to drink went away too. I we REALLY wanted, over 21s could have travelled to a nearby city and gone out, but really there was so much else we could do that was fun.

1/10

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Really anything we wanted that took place in an evening or on a weekend. I had the opportunity to go to a music festival, work out at the camp's gym everyday free of charge, go to a theme park, go for delicious traditional American diner meals, go to a baseball game and much more. The key was to make American friends at the camp, and they often took us on great trips and presented the opportunity to go to a lot of places. The camp also organised some wonderful trips too, even to the beach!

10/10

Imagine yourself working at Wild Packs Summer Camps

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