As soon as I finished my final year at school, I knew I wanted to travel, and to spend my summer abroad. I'd studied English and wanted to continue at University, and so I looked up summer camps across Italy.
I was so nervous on my first day, and was one of the youngest tutors there. I felt as if I had very little real world experience at that point, and also struggled (and still do) with social anxiety. Though I don't think this is something that's "fixable", I do think that getting out of my comfort zone (in a SAFE environment) really helped me.
Now I'm 22, and I still think of it as one of the best experiences of my life. The other tutors were amazing and from all over the world, and I became close with my British roommates (we met in England again later that summer).
The kids were on another level. They were open to us, curious about the world and our cultures, and ready to learn. They enjoyed the hiking and activities, the swimming and dining together, and most of all, making our project movie which we would screen at the cinema event on our final evening!
I'm now at film school in London and this was a turning point for me. I hadn't realised just how much I loved writing, directing, and working with people on a film! So, thank you. Even with a cast/group of eleven year olds, we made something special, and had the most fun doing it. The cinema night (where every tutor group's film is screened like you're at Cannes) is just the cherry on top for me. I think it's is a genius idea on behalf of You Can Camp, and I wish school trips had done something like that when I was a kid.
Every night, we'd dine with the kids, and that was probably my favourite part of the day. You absolutely get out of the experience what you put in. Getting to know different individuals, their hopes and dreams, their fears and anxieties... it brought all of us together. I think we can learn a lot from kids.
The rest of the camp flies by in a blur, and that's largely (if not all) thanks to Sara, Corinna and Fia, who run the camp, and who you can absolutely depend on. I really can't stress enough how funny, kind, generous, empathetic, and organised they are.
I'm in contact with my previous students, tutors, and the You Can Camp leaders today. I'm incredibly grateful for these relationships, and I'm so so glad I decided to book my flight years ago. Can't wait to see you this summer. :)