Camp Airy – A year later

As the 19th of June approached I felt a slight dark cloud hovering over my head, in both the literal and metaphorical sense, that referring to the massive cloud which followed me home yesterday. But moving back to topic, its already been a year since I left the wet and wonderful Halifax to work in Camp Airy in sunny Thurmont. Its currently 11am in Thurmont and its about 20 degree as I write this post,  at about this time I would be just finishing up the breakfast shift and setting out the tables for lunch, Oh the joys of setting over 52 tables, how I miss thee. But seriously I cant even remember how I felt, all I remember is that I should have been more apprehensive about going all the way down to London and staying overnight in the airport and not knowing anyone before I actually fly out. Even more since I spent the whole flight on my own and literally spoke to people when I got into the bus to the youth hostel in New York, which was totally the wrong move but I did shit myself when I saw a group of BUNAC volunteers sat chatting I just thought ‘Too many people keep walking’ .

You’re probably thinking how is this relevant to Africa or anything at all, but it is my friend and I’ll tell you how. When I applied to work in US for the summer I initially applied to be a counselor, with no experience working with children I obviously got rejected. It wasn’t until BUNAC visited our University I found about the KAMP Programme which is what I did. When I look back at Camp now there are many highlights which were good and bad and also I learnt a lot about other people and myself. One of the most important things I learnt was the value of team work because without that we, the kitchen staff, would have been working 16 hour shifts also that stereotypes of people are mostly wrong, that referring to the american stereotype which was totally ruined by the amazing camp staff and kids I was working with.

What I take away from that trip is amazing memories, invaluable skills and a new passion travelling. I maybe one day hope to go back to airy and this time work as a counselor, but I must thank this trip as it encouraged me to involved in a variety of things in Leeds such as Action Leeds (volunteering) which also now has become a big part of my life. Its weird to think how if I hadnt approached that stall in parkisnons that day I may have never been where I am today!

I must say this picture sums up the whole trip for me, all the European staff on Miami Beach. From the Left: Daniel Sinclair, Flynn Green, Leo Mercier, Iain Covell, Etteine Galliaupe, Me. Marc Shipp, Adam Taggart (hiding on the right)


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