With the help of the Principals Go Abroad Fund I was able to spend my summer with Camp America working at a summer camp in New York state. Camp Morty is a traditional sleepaway camp for children aged 8-15 living in Westchester County, NY. The children who attend Camp Morty are referred by the Department of Social Services and come from a variety of backgrounds, such as; homeless shelters, the foster care system and/or households relying on public assistance.
Camp Morty is located in the stunning Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park in North Salem, NY and its mission is to provide children with 6 days of a traditional camp experience. At Camp Morty we strive to create an exciting and safe environment for children where they can learn skills and values like compassion, team building, environmental awareness and respect. My role at camp was to teach lessons in Drama and Arts, organise and run evening programmes, help put on performances in the weekly talent show and assist general counsellors in taking care of the campers. All lessons and behaviour management were approached in a gentle and supportive way to enhance the values we teach campers and to help them to feel safe and supported.
We had 6 camp sessions throughout the summer, each lasting 6 days and I relished in the opportunity to get to know each new camper as well as reconnecting with returning campers from previous weeks. Working at Camp Morty was not only fun, but educational. Everyday presented a new challenge and my training equipped me with invaluable skills in teaching, support working and behaviour management. My experiences this summer have sculpted my outlook on many things; it has helped me to be more appreciative, to approach every situation in a calm and rational way and to live each day with positivity and compassion.
With the help of the Principals Go Abroad fund I was able to assist in providing over 600 children with an unforgettable summer camp experience. The fund also allowed me to gain many useful skills and to build friendships with people from all over the world. It is difficult to put into words, such an incredible experience, but my summer at Camp Morty is something I will cherish for life and I give thanks to the Principals Go Abroad Fund for helping to make it possible.