In June I got aboard an Aer Lingus flight bound for Boston. No friends, no family, just me and a suitcase heading stateside.
I set up my account with the agency, Camp Leaders in November 2016. I knew I really did not want to spend my summer in Ireland again but had been finding it difficult to get friends to commit to going abroad. So, when I heard about applying through an agency to be a camp counselor it sounded like the perfect fit.
Going through Camp Leaders meant that I had lots of support, especially when it came to visa paperwork which can be far from simplistic.
On March 4th 2017, the day after my 20th birthday, I ended up getting a job as a dance teacher in a summer camp in Maine.
The best summer of my life began when I was met off the bus in Rockland, Maine by a woman that I came to know as Bisi. Her smile and hearty laugh made me feel at ease instantly.
I knew going in that I was going to be out of my comfort zone but honestly, I wanted to see how I coped with that. Even looking back now I know that I didn’t truly know what I was signing up for.
Within a week of arriving at camp, I felt like I had been there my whole life. Credit is due to all the staff that had actually been there for years because they made me feel like I was welcome and included which went such a long way.