Working at a summer camp | my student experience
may your coffee be strong and your students be calm…
My mates mum runs a summer camp in Spain. It’s an English immersion camp, so the students must go to English classes in the mornings and then get spoken to in English for the majority of the day too. I went to work there as both an English teacher and a group leader. There were about 40 kids, and we were in a beautiful location in the North of Spain.
Location really makes a difference. Everyone needs a break, and being able to stroll around a town and find a peaceful coffee shop for an hour was heaven!
I stayed there for 2 weeks, which was long enough for me; mainly because I get a little bored staying in the same place for too long, but also because I’m a home-bird at heart and was starting to miss my mummy.
Teaching vs. Group leadership
Both really bloody tiring jobs, but both incredibly fun. As a teacher, I loved making interesting lesson plans; as it’s summer camp and not actual school, you can get away with making the lessons pretty chilled. I played tons of games, and seeing the students improve their English and get more confident was amazing! As with any kind of teaching job – I think you learn a lot from the kids, you get to know them and earn their respect (which helps if you’re also a group leader because you don’t have to shout quite so much).
Being a group leader means you can join in with the excursions to different places, and it’s all about having fun! Saying this, I actually enjoyed the teaching more, probably because it was a more fulfilling role for me.
What to expect
Camps are usually ridiculously fun, and ridiculously tiring. I went to a summer camp as a 15-year-old, and I came home just as tired as I did this summer. Expect early mornings and late nights, knocks on your door from kids that can’t sleep, and to acquire a coffee addiction. However, you can also expect a lot of laughs, amazing places, and invaluable life experience.
Is it worth it?
Don’t go and work at a summer camp if you despise children. However, if you don’t mind them so much then camp is an amazing way to earn some money whilst being on holiday whilst kind of doing everything and nothing at all! And by the way, if a child does happen to knock on your door when they can’t sleep; tell them to run around the garden as many times as possible; they’ll soon choose sleep over your advice.
Comments or questions?