Jessica Hodges Camp America Adventure!

Graduating from University I wasn’t ready to step straight into a job, I wanted to experience what was out there in the world before settling down.

Graduating from University I wasn’t ready to step straight into a job, I wanted to experience what was out there in the world before settling down.

I had heard of Camp America and went along to an information evening. The stories previous participants told about the adventures they had definitely sold the idea to me!!

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During one of my tennis lessons.

Not long after the information evening in October I applied for Camp America as I knew it took some time to complete the process. It was a fairly straightforward process and there was always someone to help or answer any questions!
I was lucky enough to be offered a position as a tennis counsellor with the second camp that interviewed me, Camp Waukeela, an all-girls camp based in the New Hampshire forests.

June came around pretty quickly and it was time to fly to Boston via Los Angeles. There were times before I left where I questioned was this the right thing for me but that all came down to nerves and I knew once I got there I was sure to have a great time! Arriving at camp and seeing everything for the first time was almost like a dream. Having only being able to see it via their website and actually being able to walk amongst the pine grove was awesome! I was a bit nervous about going to an all-girls camp but meeting the director in person and other staff immediately put my mind at ease!


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Camp wide activity for July 4th

Camp provided me with so many different experiences and memories!

From these experiences I now find it easier to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, I have learnt about different cultures and I can adapt to change quickly. Camp was a great place to build on confidence, communication and leadership as I was able to improve and really put the skills into action on a daily basis. I think a challenging part of the experience was making sure I formed a good bond with the kids at camp when they first arrived.

It was a little daunting going into a place that means so much to them and I wanted to ensure I carried that on along with the traditions. With the support of other staff members, especially those who had been there since they were campers and having the kiwi can-do attitude, it helped immensely being able to communicate and provide the support needed for the kids.

Showing that you were having as much fun as them as well allowed them to relax and give it their all too! 
I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to go to camp for an additional two summers and what I found challenging when the kids first arrived, turned into one of my proudest moments! There was no better feeling when returning to Waukeela a year later and you are greeted by the kids with screams and hugs!


Camp has definitely become my home away from home.
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If you are considering doing Camp America, I couldn’t recommend it more. It is such an incredible opportunity and it allowed me to grow and mature as a person. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be quite scary at first but with the support from Camp America (International Working Holidays), it makes the process a lot easier!

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