Camp is my Happy Place

Written by: Aly

My name is Aly and I’m originally from a suburban town in Ireland called Greystones.

During my time at camp, I worked in a variety of positions including a Nanny, General Camp Counsellor, and then worked my way up to the Head of Programming. After spending four summers at a Jewish camp in Quebec, I decided to move to Toronto and join the Camp Canada team as part of their Placement Team.
It’s safe to say that camp is where I’m at my happiest and that it has become a huge part of my life. Here’s why.
Unlike many other internationals, I heard a lot about summer camp when I was growing up. My mum had worked as a Camp Counsellor after she graduated from university, and even my older sister worked at camp for a number of years before I got to experience it for myself. Now, every summer, my sister works at different camps all around the world.
My first summer at camp was back in 2014. I had just finished my Leaving Cert (big school exams in Ireland!) and wanted to experience something completely different. I was always interested in going to Canada, as one of my best friends from childhood is from Canada. After doing some research online, I stumbled upon Camp Canada by Nyquest.
The process was seamless; they organized everything on my behalf, and that was very reassuring. It also gave my mum peace-of-mind knowing that I would be in good hands once I arrived in Canada and during my placement at camp.
I was placed at a Jewish camp in Quebec and not being Jewish myself, I naturally had loads of questions. I discovered very quickly that my camp was more traditional than it was religious. This meant that my religious beliefs would have no impact on my camp experience. The day after I arrived in Montreal, I made the journey to camp. Although somewhat jet-lagged, I instantly felt right at home.
I can safely say that I had one of the best experiences of my life at camp that first summer. The following summer I decided not to return, and it was (and still is!) one of my biggest regrets.
After that first summer at camp, I was hooked. I returned to camp for the next 3 summers. During my summers at camp, I worked in a number of different roles including a Camp Counsellor for junior boys (aged 7-10), a Programming Assistant and then moving on to become the Head of Programming.
Camp is my happy place. Looking after kids is a huge responsibility, but it’s incredibly rewarding. You’re surrounded by like-minded people all day every day and you develop skills that are valuable in any work setting. I often found myself walking to my bunk at night, or from one activity to another, with a huge smile on my face for absolutely no reason. Unsurprisingly, I’m constantly encouraging people to travel and work at a summer camp in Canada. It’s an experience you’ll never forget or regret.
If you had told me before Summer 2014 that I’d go to camp every summer, move to Toronto and work for Camp Canada I would never have believed you. But here I am.
My best advice for someone thinking of going to camp in Canada? Do it NOW!