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Americamp Summer Scheme USA USA SUMMER CAMPS

7 Reasons I’ll Never Forget My USA Camp Experience

Thinking of spending your summer at a camp in the USA? Ruairi McLarnon, BA Drama, participated in the Americamp Summer Scheme. Here are his top memories from an unforgettable summer.

THE FLIGHT AND BOSTON!

Flying to America and Arriving in Boston was one of the most unforgettable experiences! Having only met some of the people I’d be spending the summer with (who would soon be lifelong friends), there is always the fear that you are going to arrive and realise ‘oh no what have I done’ and believe me there were a few of those moments but the positives far outweigh the nerves. Arriving at our accommodation in Boston and meeting other people who would be attending the same camp and other camps was incredible. Meeting people from the rest of Ireland, Mexico, Spain, England, Greece meant you really didn’t have time to get overwhelmed!

ARRIVING AT CAMP!

After taking the bus from Boston to New Hampshire we arrived at camp! After a welcome talk in the dining Hall we were assigned our cabins. As we arrived in the evening it had gotten dark earlier than it does here, and one of my vivid memories was walking through the forest to our cabin in the pitch black, narrowly avoiding frogs and rocks. The cabin was brilliant but very rustic. No locked doors or glass in the windows just a screen to keep out the bugs, no bathroom. That night we got to know each other and meet more people who we would be working with. I distinctly remember sitting under the stars chatting with everyone!

STAFF WEEK!

Depending on your camp, you may have staff week which is the week before kids arrive, and you have time to settle into the camp. This was one of the best weeks of my life but also one of the hardest. You spend much of your time training in the necessary skills for camp such as first aid, and depending on your activity, lifeguarding or high ropes etc. One of the highlights of staff week is being with the most amazing people from all over the world, getting to experience Walmart for the first time, getting trips off camp to see New England and nights off where we got to visit the nearby lakes and towns! I can honestly say I have never laughed as much as in that first week!

THE KIDS!

Over your time at Camp you’ll meet so many different kids. Some of them I miss and some I don’t miss as much! My Camp had 4 sets of kids over the summer. One of my favourite experiences was with my last group of boys, the ‘Pawnee Boys’ as we were known after the name of our cabin! We would often have evening activities where we competed for ‘Monkeytown’ Money. Our cabin’s rivals were the Blackfoot cabin, who in a treasure hunt- stole our Monkeytown money and we had to devise a plan to get it back… the kids absolutely loved it especially when you really get into it.

DAYS OFF!

As fun as camp was, we always looked forward to our days off each week. Our days off started from 6pm and ended at 6pm the next day so you had the whole night to have fun as well! We would often book hotel rooms that were split between us and that kept the cost down. It was always so nice being able to get dressed up before heading on your day off usually going somewhere nice for dinner. We would often go for food, shopping, the beach, drive in Movie theatres (my first experience of one was amazing) waterparks as well as taking the day to discover other states such as when I went to Maine for the day! We hadn’t anything booked we just went and hoped for the best… one of the highlights of the summer! One of my favourite places to go for days off was Weirs Beach, a lakeside beach about half an hour from camp with an Edwardian Promenade and Arcade and Ice cream!

DAY TO DAY LIFE AT CAMP!

Much of your time at camp will have a similar routine, 7:30 wakeup bell, breakfast at 8, cabin clean up until 9, activity teaching until 1, lunch, rest period, General swim, last activity, dinner, evening activity with the entire camp (treasure hunt, capture the flag, barn dance etc.) followed by Friendship Circle where the entire camp would stand in a circle and sing the Friendship circle song before ‘shower hour’ which I got a lot of stick for my Northern pronunciation of ‘shar arrr’; candle pass and then bedtime. Then we got our two glorious hours to ourselves as Counsellors.

AFTER CAMP TRAVEL!

After some very tearful goodbyes we travelled to Boston before flying to Miami, travelling up to Orlando, flying north to New York, and then heading back to Boston. These experiences are completely different to camp but equally as incredible. You will no doubt have a group of friends you have made over the camp experience that you will be travelling with so have a rough idea of each of the destinations you’ll be travelling to and your first two destinations settled. They will no doubt change as you work your way through America and meet others along the way but embrace every destination as you go along!

Interested in experiencing camp life in the States for yourself? Don’t miss our Summers Camps USA information session.

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fun Global Opportunities Go Global movies Summer camp USA USA SUMMER CAMPS

5 Movies About USA Summer Camps to Get You Pumped for Summer 2021

Forget dreaming of a white Christmas, we’re dreaming of summer adventure. If you are planning ahead for 2021, come along to our USA SUMMER CAMPS – INFORMATION SESSION on 26 November to see where you could be spending a blazing hot season of lake swims, campfires and friendship. 

Need some celluloid inspiration to get you in the mood? Check out our pick of the best summer camp movies to watch now. It’s amazing what a group of adventurers can achieve when they bandy together, huh?

The Parent Trap

Tiny Lindsay Lohan squared + hijinks at camp = Disney classic.

Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson + picture perfect Camp Ivanhoe = sweet ode to summer love.

Wet Hot American Summer

Bradley Cooper + Amy Poehler = satirical comedy genius.

Camp Rock

Demi Lovato + Joe Jonas = summer of song.

Addams Family Values

Wednesday + cheery camp = her personal nightmare.

If you want to star in your own real-life summer adventure, register for our USA SUMMER CAMPS – INFORMATION SESSION on 26 November at 12pm via the link below:

https://event.webinarjam.com/register/186/q7v7vtwo

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Confidence George Moore Scholarship Global Opportunities Go Global Mental Health Scholarships Study USA USA

How I Overcame Self-Doubt as a Mature Student to become a George Moore Scholar

Emma Shaw, George Moore Scholar

Queen’s graduate Emma Shaw was awarded the George Moore Scholarship in 2020 to study an MA in Educational Policy and Planning at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. Here, she talks about overcoming health problems and insecurity to follow her dream.

 “I completed my undergraduate in International Politics and Conflict Studies at Queen’s and graduated ‘virtually’ in July 2020 with a 2:1, and was also awarded the Best Improved Performance Award between levels 2 and 3,” says Emma, whose path to success was not easy.

Imposter Syndrome

“I returned to education as a mature student and a single mum with two children.” 

Among her biggest challenges was just getting through the first year – a time when both she and her daughter experienced health problems. “First year was definitely one of the most challenging, both myself and my daughter had health issues, but I persevered and made use of the services offered at the University.”

Despite her ability, Emma admits she was plagued with self-doubt. “I had this feeling that I didn’t belong and that maybe I wasn’t good enough, I continuously doubted myself.”

Finding my confidence

By second year, Emma had made a conscious decision to engage more with campus life. 

“In my second year at Queen’s I made the decision to run for HAPP School Representative and became more active on campus. I would go on to also be the AHSS Faculty Rep and Part-time Mature Student Officer,” she says.

If you are struggling with life at university, Emma has this advice

“University can be a lonely place and it’s easy to get caught up in the pressure of it all. Some of the best advice that I could give to other students would be to find your tribe, whether it’s a small group of study buddies keeping you on track or becoming active in a club or society or even both, it’s important that you engage with your peers both for moral and mental support.”

Scholarship success

Before being awarded the prestigious George Moore Scholarship, Emma began to pursue her passion for inclusive education. “In my final year, I conducted independent research seeking to understand the viewpoints of young people ages 11-16 on higher and further education. My focus was on schools based in my community of East Belfast and what the barriers were that young people faced when thinking about their next steps in education.”

Currently completing her MA at the University of Texas, Emma’s home community is at the forefront of her mind. “When I return to Belfast, my aim is to found a non-profit community based organisation that will tackle some of the barriers faced by the community in terms of educational underachievement.”

We’re confident Emma will succeed in whatever she chooses to do next. 

To find out more about the George Moore Scholarship, don’t miss our information session on 4 November at 1.30pm. 

Register here

Categories
Asia Australia Canada Erasmus Europe Fairs Global Opportunities Go Global Study abroad Travel USA Work abroad

Five Amazing Places You Can Travel to From Queen’s

Go Global Week is almost upon us. To get you in the mood, we’ve rounded up five of the awe-inspiring places you can visit from Queen’s on a work or study abroad trip. Prepare to light up your ‘gram with #travel goals.

1.Canada 

You’ll need your camera at the ready in beautiful Canada

You can spend a semester or a year studying in Canada, just like Queen’s Land Use and Environmental Management student Stuart Best. 

“As a student in Canada, I did lots of interesting group projects, and there are so many good opportunities to network and develop, as well as making lots of Canadian friends!” 

Stuart with his Canadian friends on campus

Want more information on opportunities in Canada

2.USA

Start spreading the news…

Fancy sending a summer interning in New York? Project Children USA Internships are available in many fields ranging from law and politics, to medicine and engineering. Queen’s Law student Patrick Friel spent six weeks in the district office of Congressman Peter King

“Peter King made a huge contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland and is still extremely interested in Irish affairs. My work mainly consisted of taking calls from constituents, helping them with the issues they were having with federal agencies and discussing any concerns that they had. I would like to thank Congressman King and everyone else in the office for making my internship incredibly enjoyable. I would also like to thank everyone from Project Children for giving me the opportunity to have an unforgettable summer!” 

Patrick with Congressman King

Want more information on opportunities in the USA

3.Asia

Want to explore Asia from Queen’s?

If you want to combine work experience with adventure then Generation UK China could be the programme for you. You can spend your summer interning in industry across China, like History student David Keenan who spent last summer in Shanghai. 

“For any student wanting to internationalise their career, and travel to an exotic country over the summer, I strongly urge you to consider the Generation UK – China Internship Programme!,” says David.

David exploring China

Want more information on opportunities in Asia

4. Europe

Spring time in Paris?

Erasmus Study & Work Programme has opportunities all over Europe. Law student Megan Edwards spent a semester studying at Pazmany Peter Catholic University (PPKE) in Budapest. “Studying in Budapest, Hungary as part of the Erasmus programme was the greatest experience of my life, she says.

Megan in Hungary

Want more information on opportunities in Europe

5. Australia

Fair dinkum

You can go as far afield as Australia from Queen’s and spend a year or a semester studying at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. Check out their Instagram feed to see what your view of campus could look like!

Follow #YakMedia for a snapshot of campus life in New South Wales.

 If that has whetted your appetite for travel, don’t miss Go Global Week from 12-15 October. Register for the Go Global Fair here.