Europe, North America · 42 Days · 43 Moments · June 2017

Camp America 2017

15 July 2017

Day 41.1: Great start to the day... I dropped my phone down the toilet.

14 July 2017

Day 40.2: Just a late night thought... Career path - I have been finding it very difficult to decide what I want to do for my career possibly because at the moment I am enjoying change. Changing my job or my location seems so appealing to me but the thought of always changing seems risky/scary. Do I want to be a CMT? It's what I have wanted to do for so long, I mean I always think about that. It would mean stability (sort of) but I would be 'stuck' in that job until my contract is up. I would need to seriously commit to training if I want to be a CMT. Do I want to work with kids like I am this summer? It has been very enjoyable to the point where it doesn't even feel like I'm working. Is that actually the job or just made easier by the people I have been working with? Maybe returning next year would decide that. The issue with this job is that it is seasonal so I would have to find a job for the other 9 months of the year. So many things to consider.
Day 40.1: We're around/over the half way mark of the best summer I have ever had. Sometimes I can't even believe that I am here in America, working with kids and just having the best time. I would love to come back again next year. If this experience has taught me anything so far it's that I am much more flexible and resilient than I thought and that I should keep an open mind about everything. Who knew I could be food and sleep deprived and still crack on?

12 July 2017

10 July 2017

Day 36.1: Just a normal day at the office. The Ms Pamunkey pageant was a blast. Fajeta came out in full force as Ms Pamunkey's PA. So I've learnt that I have no shame when it comes to dressing up/being silly - the way it should be.

8 July 2017

Day 34.3: Natural Bridge State Park
Day 34.2: Natural Bridge State Park
Day 34.1: Natural Bridge State Park

7 July 2017

Day 33: Standard Friday night pool party began after our staff meeting. Thanks to the past couple of rainy nights, today was so hot - tomorrow should be hotter. The salamander (I think) was spotted swimming in the pool so I offered to take him out of the pool area. The cute little guy didn't want to leave my hand, I would have loved to keep him.

6 July 2017

Day 32: Today was the first and only full day this group would have this week and oh my it was definitely a packed day. I spent most of my day down at canoeing because I am canoe qualified which I didn't mind. My only issue was that it was a very hot day so the girls really struggled.

5 July 2017

Day 31: Girls started arriving for the Mighty Girl mini week! This week me, Uno, Storm and Goo had the recently bridged Junior's which was certainly an interesting experience.

4 July 2017

Day 30: 4th July! Happy birthday America! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Today has been pretty chilled all around. Lie in this morning, swimming, 4th July tea and of course, the firework show at Kings Dominion observed from the side of the highway - classic.

3 July 2017

Day 29.2: The Squad Photo πŸ€™πŸ»
Day 29: BEACH DAY β›± The sun has been quite hot while the water was really cool - refreshing! The perfect day for sunbathing in Yorktown today.

2 July 2017

Day 28: For a Sunday, today was such a nice chill on camp. Pool volleyball makes me really competitive, oops. The hammock is up and oh my it is really comfy.

1 July 2017

Day 27.2: Silver Bullets were awesome and so we're the fireworks! What a great end to a great day!
Day 27: After a Walmart trip for some supplies (like a hammock, bum bag and Fanta), we went to the taste of Virginia festival where there are food stalls and really good music.

30 June 2017

Day 26: My Brownies have left and it was quite emotional to say the least purely because of how much I feel like I have impacted their lives as well as how much they have impacted mine. Each girl was so unique and so cheeky but so adorable. Surprisingly, they all seemed to take to me quite well, some even crying because they won't see me again. Regardless, they will always be part of helping me develop as a counsellor. Girls gone, we chilled by the pool again before going down to HQ for a movie (The Lucky One).

29 June 2017

Day 25: Another beautiful day but this time shown from the back of a golf cart passing the equestrian centre on camp.

28 June 2017

Day 24: Whilst at the pool today I could not resist taking this picture to show the contrast to the UK weather. I would not mind living in a place this beautiful in the future.

27 June 2017

Day 22: At canoeing today I did not realise that I had a visitor on my shirt until one of the girls mentioned it. It's so exciting to be able to have these experiences that do not present themselves in urban life.

26 June 2017

Day 21: This is one of the views I wake up to each morning that's makes me realise how lucky I am to be here in America impacting other people's pride and joys. As tiring as it is, I love my job.

25 June 2017

Day 20: A Sunday lie in before the staff meeting prior to the girls arriving for the Adventure Quest week.

24 June 2017

Day 19: We went to Carytown, Richmond which a cute street full of cupcake shops, crafty shops, toy shops, chocolate shops, sporty shops, antique shops and diners/restaurants. We had dinner at awesome place called Galaxy Diner which was so cool!

23 June 2017

Day 18: With the girls gone we had a pool party, it was very much needed. We didn't get much chance to go in the pool this week so we made the most of it staying in from around 5pm - 10pm. During this time we had music blaring, pool volleyball going, inflatables out, sunbathing happening. Very relaxing.

22 June 2017

Day 17: Tonight was the last night for these girls so we had a cookout in which we made hotdogs for main and donuts with melted chocolate chips and marshmallows. It was all really tasty to be honest.

21 June 2017

Day 16: Even though the cadettes have been difficult to say the least, tonight was the Paws and Claws themed dinner which was really fun.

20 June 2017

Day 15: Tonight we held the Counsellor Hunt where some counsellors hid and the others along with the girls tried to find us. Spud dressed as Lulu the Llama and I was an elephant (the irony considering my camp name is Mouse). Because of my awesome hiding skills, I was the only counsellor who wasn't found.

19 June 2017

Day 14: The girls are in so tonight was our first night off so me, Spud, Almond, Peaches and Blue went to Ashland and got some pizza.

18 June 2017

Day 13: We had a staff meeting in preparation for the campers' arrival. Spud won the Trailblazer award (the award for staff who are just killing it, going above and beyond).

17 June 2017

Day 12: Our first proper day off! We went to a little shopping centre (with minimal shops) then to the movie theatre across the road to see Wonder Woman. It was so much better than I thought it would be - definitely a recommend/watch again.

16 June 2017

Day 11: We were adamant to complete our staff orientation by pitching a tent and creating our wooden name tags. After this we got ready for GRADUATION πŸŽ“πŸŽ‰. For tea we went out for Mexican at a place called El Azteca which was real nice then of course as we were leaving it began to rain. I have been lucky enough to have been put with some of the nicest girls I've ever met (and my new family).

15 June 2017

Day 10: I had to make another trip to the social security office because I did not have the paperwork I needed yesterday. Never mind. The above photo shows the smoke from a garbage truck fire on the way to Richmond.

14 June 2017

Day 9: Woke up earlier to do a core circuit which has been deeply missed. We made a trip to the social security office today to put in our paperwork for our cards followed by a trip to the cafe across the road (the iced caramel mochaccino was so good). Tonight though was one of the worst nights I've seen for rain from thunder and lightening but was exciting nonetheless.

13 June 2017

Day 8: I got the chance to put up the American flag today which was weird. After breakfast we learnt about the history of Girl Scouts. We were also taught how to build fires along with a walk around the camp to identify plants etc then the chance to hold a black snake.

12 June 2017

Day 7: Today we started the day off by putting up the American flag and the Girl Scout flag - a kaper that would become the first all-camp activity of every single day. After breakfast we completed the all important employment paperwork followed by staff orientation. What I love about the above pictures is that my home for the next two months is so raw, so innocent and so beautiful.

11 June 2017

Day 6: STELLAR SELLER DAY Up at half 8 for breakfast (strawberry jelly on toast, bagel and coffee) after which a few of us sat in the cabin and chatting about all sorts. Lunch was earlier than normal, at half 11, and I had ham and cheese wrap. We had a meeting after lunch about what is going on today then we all took our places (mine initially greeting until two then me and Uno went down to Waterfront to get ready for any girls. Nobody showed up until half 4 when we planned on packing up but we got some girls on water. After the girls had gone home we had ice cream and the debriefing. Once ice cream was finished we were instructed to place our bags down in front of the dinner hall, take all of the valuables out of our pockets and jump into the swimming pool which was actually awesome! We then had 20 minutes to get ourselves ready for tea at half 6 (pizza!). After tea we had our staff orientation with puzzles and all sorts. Picture: Lizard/gecko with a deodorant cap of water.

10 June 2017

Day 5: Today was the Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony at Kings Dominion which was awesome to watch! Me, Splodge and Uno were in charge of the Daisies (5-7 year olds) who were bridging to Brownies. They were so cute! I met Elizabeth, Lily, Eron and some other girls who I found quite easy to talk too. After the ceremony we were allowed to go around the theme park for the rest of the day. We went on the Dominator, went for lunch at 1, went on Delirium then into the water park. In the water park we went in the wave pool, on the drop slide, on the Twister, on the lazy river, on the Anaconda, on the Intimidator, on the Volcano then to the bus by just after 8. After all the evenings announcements had been made me, Alba, Peaches, Pink, Spud, Petal, Autumn, Goldie and Almond had a chat outside Cabin 3 (party cabin).

9 June 2017

Day 4: Up and out for breakfast at 8 then to the lake by 9 for the second day of the canoeing training. Today we learnt how to effectively teach children and the dry safety stuff before lunch at 12. After dinner we had a boat rescue demonstration from Beth and Elizabeth followed by a capsize and self rescue to shore. Following this me and Spud had to intentionally capsize so Dragon and Tweety could perform a rescue including a boat deswamping (T rescue as well as lift and push) then getting us back into the canoe (fish flop, ladder and parallel to the boat) then switched for us to perform a rescue. We had a mac and cheese tea (not as good as home) followed by a chat with Bongo about tomorrow's events as well as Sunday then we got our Girl Scout tops. After all this, the majority of the counsellors went to arts and crafts to make fabric bracelets, loom bands and skoobies. It's been a nice chilled evening with the girls even though it's been the hottest day so far.

8 June 2017

Day 3: So today was the first day of the teaching canoeing lessons and boy was it fun. We learnt about the parts of a paddle, parts of the canoe, different strokes we use (forward, backward, abeaming, etc) and how to use them efficiently and some games to play. Although I've done most of this training before, it was interesting to learn slightly different methods. The funniest part was when Goo and Elizabeth capsized (karma will strike for how much I laughed) but we'll all have our fair turn in the water tomorrow for water safety. As what appears to becoming more usual, some of us played Uno after tea which definitely killed a bit of time. Some things I've realised today are that I would like to pursue more instructor training around canoeing and kayaking when I get back and that being outdoors, in woodland areas, really brings me peace and happiness. I should make more of an effort to spend more time in places like these.

7 June 2017

Day 2.2: After getting back from Walmart, dinner comprised of a DIY sandwich/wrap buffet was arranged. Following dinner some of us (me, Bethan, Jess, Chloe, Lucy, Keiryn and Emily) went exploring to discover the Pamunkey Overlook (which was absolutely stunning) then the lake. Once we came back, we had a couple of tense rounds of Uno before tea. Tea was a choice between hamburgers or turkey hotdogs and pasta. With tea eaten and the dishes clear we got to playing some games like Ninja and Splat. It's been a nice end to the day with the majority of staff sat around chatting.
Day 2: First proper Walmart trip was an interesting, semi-disciplined experience. Writing a list prior definitely helped as even though I got some things that weren't on my list, I exchanged them for things that were on my list. There's just something about having everything you could possibly need under one roof that appeals to my inner hoarder.

6 June 2017

Day 1: So after a long flight from London to Washington, I am here! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ On the way to camp the 8 of us counsellors (me, Bethan, Melissa, Fay, Lucy, Emily and Kaylee and Keiryn who we met less than 10 minutes after this photo) and Bongo have stopped for tea/dinner. IHOP it is to test the pancakes and milkshakes.

4 June 2017

All packed and ready to fly on Tuesday. But first, a pit stop at Dad's before we travel to London on Monday.