We have another blog written written by a staff member! From the words of Maria Perez, on her perspective as an international counselor working this summer…
My name is María Pérez, I’m from Monterrey, Mexico, and this summer I challenged myself and decided to go entirely out of my comfort zone, I decided to be a camp counselor in Minnesota. Different countries, languages, cultures, food, and even totally different weather. It sounds crazy! And every time that I talked to my friends or even my family about my plans for the summer, everyone was so impressed and didn’t understand so I just said, “I’m going to a camp like Camp Rock or the Parent Trap movie”.
The days before camp I was so nervous but at the same time so excited to leave Mexico and live in the USA. I remember having my plane tickets 2 months apart and many questions came to my mind, what if I don’t like it and I´m stuck there 2 months? Is my English good enough to be a counselor and an instructor in my activities? Are the campers going to like me? From how excited I was, I counted every day until my arrival at Camp Foley.
The first day came and after a long day of traveling and airports I got to Foley. I was so impressed of how beautiful camp is, much better than the pictures! The lake, all the cabins, the open green areas, and the nature here is amazing. But something better than the installations, was the people. Since the first day all the counselors were so nice to me, they were so interested in knowing more about Mexico, my culture, and I even gave them some Spanish lessons.
I’m not going to lie; these 2 months have been crazy! I could never imagine all the great skills that I have gotten being an international counselor. First of all, my communication skills, I leave Foley with a completely different level of English than the one I arrived with, I feel more confident and with a much broader vocabulary, children are the best teachers! Also getting to know more about American culture, I had campers in my cabin from all states from Texas to Iowa or California, and I loved when they shared with me things about their hometown. In Foley there’s a lot of international campers and I always made an especial connection with them because I know that it’s so brave for them to take the risk of being here outside their country.
I´m writing this, within hours of leaving and saying goodbye to Foley, it’s hard to say goodbye to a place that always welcomes you with open arms, no matter where you’re from. I will miss all the campers so much and I’m so grateful for this experience, definitely the campers, counselors, directors and everyone here works so hard to make every day the best day!