1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I honestly found working at summer camp to be a life changing experience. Being able to teach what I love while making bonds with the children I looked after, and the counsellors I worked alongside, was amazing. To also have the chance to explore America was a bonus.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
By the end of my summer at camp, I felt as though I had gained a second family in my coworkers. Even before arriving at camp, I was in contact with several other counsellors, who came up to me to say hello as soon as they saw me on the first day. I truly believe I have friends for life in all of the people I worked with.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
As a first time counsellor, I was nervous and not sure what to do to begin with. However, I was quickly put at ease by the camp directors, who were so open and friendly whenever you needed anything. My department and area heads were also incredible, and made sure to answer all of my questions, no matter how seemingly silly.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Very busy, but balanced with focuses off, and regular time off. Having a focus off per day to recharge was perfect, as it meant you could rest, or go and try another activity lead by somebody else if you had the energy!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As we were in an environment with children, there was of course a lot of responsibility for each member of staff. As a first time counsellor, I feel as though I was given the right amount of responsibility; I wasn't put in charge of anything that I didn't really understand, but I was also pushed and challenged by leading trips, and helping to present performance night each week.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My experience at camp has helped me to gain a job working with children at home. I draw on knowledge gained at camp there daily, and am very grateful for it. I also learned a lot about myself, and what I'm capable of, which will be forever useful.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Camp was the most joyous little bubble I have ever experienced. From learning to paddle board, to jumping int he lake in fancy dress, to sneaking the kids out of the bunk to bake cookies at night, there was never a dull moment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I felt incredibly well supported by Wild Packs the entire time. From the start of the application process, all through camp, I knew they would be there for me if I ever did have a problem. From speaking to others who had used different companies, I felt very lucky to be so well supported.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I felt very valued and listened to throughout the process - which is no easy feat when you have so many people to work with!
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am currently in the process of organising a second summer away at my camp with Wild Packs, and am very excited to get back out to Maine!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We were provided with a staff lounge for counsellor use, which was busy every night with counsellors unwinding and socialising. On days off, we tended to go on trips in groups, and spent lots of great days and evenings off together in large or small groups.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living was nothing, as we were living in bunks at camp, and food was provided. The cost of socialising was a little more, as we had to drive a while off site to get to any fair sized towns. I found that I thought food and drink was fairly expensive, but I'm sure it was just because I had no other experience of american prices to compare to.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There wasn't a great deal of nightlife locally, but the staff lounge tended to make up for that, especially as we didn't often leave camp when we didn't have a day/night off. I tended to be too tired to leave camp anyway, so it suited me fine!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
When we did have a day off or evening off, there was plenty of things to see and do, and often returning counsellors acted as free tour guides, which was perfect! Many counsellors would go out and wakeboard and waterski on days off, many went bowling, or to karaoke, or just shopping and sightseeing.