Unfortunately, this is not one of those magical #plACed posts, but it most definitely is a post full of #FreeBiscuits and fun! Today I headed up to Central London to go to the Americamp fair. I had done a bit of research into the camps but honestly, I was mostly winging it because I was nervous that if I researched them all, I would get attached to one specific camp and if I didn’t get placed by them, I knew it would upset me.
The fair started at 2pm but I arrived at around 2.30pm thinking it would save me the queues. Alas, I was wrong, but it was okay as Lee McAteer, “Britain’s Best Boss”. Founder of Americamp (and numerous other companies), was walking around handing out free biscuits as promised, to keep us sustained!
After I was signed it, got my name sticker, and was handed my printed application form I had filled in online, I headed downstairs to enter the room with the camp directors. This was a pretty overwhelming stage as the room was fairly small and jam packed with people eager to be placed. I had planned on heading straight over to one of the camps I had read about, Camp Chipinaw, but the queue for their table was insane and I found myself wandering awkwardly at the side of the room until one of the Americamp team made their way over to me, noting that I looked a bit lost. She had a look at my application and gave her suggestions for camps I should try and talk to.
For the application, you have to fill in 3 main skills you would be okay teaching, for this, I put Photography, Acting/Theatre/Directing, and Orienteering. There then an option to put down any additional skills you feel would be useful, for this I listed a few arts and crafts skills.
My luck didn’t start off too well, Camp Lochearn, Camp Pinecliffe, and Chestnut Lake Camp all turned me away saying I sounded perfect for a theatre or general counselor role, however, they didn’t have any of these roles still available as they had mostly been filled by returners, (people who worked on camp last year and had already arranged to come back this year.)
I waited in the queue for Camp Chipinaw for roughly an hour, prepping my photography speech for the director, only for the photography position to be crossed out as the director interviewed the girl in front of me with a very full and impressive looking portfolio!
I then wandered sheepishly over to a couple of other camps to ask if they possibly had any theatre based roles left – which, of course, they didn’t. I was looking around, feeling pretty hot and achy from standing around for a couple of hours, debating whether to leave and submit my application online and hope for the best, or to try some of the camps I hadn’t been considering. Just as I was thinking I’ll just leave, a woman came over and asked how my interviews were going. I admitted that most of the positions I was going for seemed to have already been filled and I felt like I would just have to send my application off online and see what happens when she asked to have a look at my application. We spoke about the 3/4 skills I had listed and when talking about photography and my camera, I mentioned that I also use my camera for filming. She then pointed out that I hadn’t put any filming skills listed and I said that for some reason it hadn’t crossed my mind. We then spoke about how I have both a GCSE and an A-Level in media so had learnt to use Final Cut Pro and a number of other video editing programs.
After the talk, I had a little extra burst of energy and decided to walk around and look at the camps looking for video editors/videographers, and explain that although it’s not on my application, I would like to talk to them about this role. A few of camps showed a fair amount of interest in what I had to say and although they admitted they don’t hire videographers jobs on the spot, they gave me their email addresses and asked me to send them a couple of links of any videos I’ve made.
I ended up leaving the fair very tired, but also very happy that I had managed to turn the day around a bit. Of course, I don’t know how far these emails and the videography roles will go but it’s pretty exciting. If it doesn’t work out, however, apparently in February and March is the time where most camps hire their general counselors – which is a role I actually would quite like to have!
I’ll keep you updated of course!