As we reach the end of September and get ready to start taking bookings for our 2020 summer camps, we can’t help but reflect on another incredible summer. Our amazing staff team delivered hundreds of outstanding activities, memories were made and so many special friendships were created...
What might set us aside from other summer camps in the UK is how international we are and the diversity of our campers. This year we had 62 different countries from five different continents represented, including 32 European countries with campers coming from as far as Indonesia and Japan. Our staff team also represents different corners of the globe coming from the UK, USA, Australia, Slovakia, Singapore, New Zealand, China, Lithuania, South Africa, Spain, Hungary and Italy.
Attending an international summer camp has so many benefits...
1. Our campers meet other kids & teens in a safe environment who they probably wouldn’t cross paths with in the ‘real world’. Other than in a youth hostel, how often do you find four teenagers from the UK, Ghana, Saudi Arabia and El Salvador sharing the same dormitory?
2. Being exposed to so much diversity gives our campers first-hand knowledge of other cultures, religions and languages. It’s heart warming to overhear conversations in the dining hall where campers are discussing the differences at their schools or what their family homes are like.
3. We learn so much from others and change our preconceived opinions and stereotypes as we learn to be more open minded. And we can become more empathetic and tolerant towards others.
4. Our campers are preparing for their futures – one day they might take part in an Erasmus programme or go on secondment in another country. The exposure of different nationalities they receive at camp is invaluable and a place where we can guarantee they will meet other campers from a range of backgrounds.
5. And finally, having friends around the world has its perks when you are old enough to travel alone – you’ve always got accommodation sorted in your friends city!
Whether campers come for one week or six, it gives them enough time to form strong friendships that can last a lifetime. You can see from our Instagram grid how many reunions our campers have already had around the world since camp finished this year. We also regularly receive pictures from Alumni who have met up with friends years after they last attended XUK Camps.
Social media often receives a lot of negative press, but during the year it can keeps our friendships afloat until we are reunited again – seeing your best friend from camp on a screen on FaceTime beats waiting a whole year to see them again at camp. Messaging apps are very useful too. We wouldn’t want our campers having to wait weeks for hand written letters to arrive as they discuss which weeks of camp they are booking together.
Camp friends really are the best friends... We cannot wait to see how many different nationalities will be represented in 2020. Bring on the international friendships!