Seven summers and still going strong...

Meet Cesar, Sarah, Steve O and Rachael. They all started working at XUK in 2011 and this summer will be their eighth summer working at our camps! Read on to find out why they keep on coming back...

Why did you decide to work for XUK?

Sarah: “I had 3 months off for summer between university and I knew I would be bored out of my mind at home. I loved working with kids and had done a year in Australia working at a school residential summer camp. I decided it would be a great idea to work at a summer camp in the UK as it looked a lot of fun.”

summer camp job in england
summer camp job in england

Cesar: “When I was 14 years old I started to come to XUK as a camper I spent the 4 most amazing summers of my childhood with friends and also part of my family. Every year I was counting down the days for the next summer and see everyone again, each time adding new people to my memories. When I was 18 I decided to apply and continue this amazing experience, now it's a bit different but it's the best way to spend a summer that I could possibly imagine.”

Steve O: “I worked at a camp in America for two summers through Camp America, it was a great way to spend the Summer and earn money, but I decided to try to find similar in England. XUK looked like the best camp out of those I looked through, I decided to apply and have never looked back!”

Rachael: “I initially planned to work at a camp in the USA, but my university course finished too late, so I opted for the next best thing – a camp in the UK. XUK was the first website I came across and I really liked the ethos.”

How many years did you initially plan to work for?

Cesar: “I never actually thought about it but every year I lie to myself saying that this will be my last summer working for XUK... it's been 4 years since the first time I said that.”

Steve O: “I don't think I planned to work as many summers as I have, but my career as a teacher has meant that I've been able to continue working over the Summers and I have such a great time at XUK I have decided to keep coming each year.”

Rachael: “I planned to work for just one summer as I had heard a rumour that my university would have let me finish early for the summer so I could work in a US camp the following year. I remember when we all introduced ourselves in the first training session, you had to say your name, favourite song and how many years you had worked at camp for. A couple of people were on their third year. I wondered why they haven't done anything different with their summers! This summer I’ll have to admit this is my eighth year and I have no shame in that!”

Sarah: “I didn't really have a plan, I guess I thought I'd want to do it for as long as possible. Luckily I did a postgraduate university course so I was in university for 5 years in total, giving me 5 amazing summer's at XUK, I managed to manage a 6th year by taking some annual leave from my job and then a 7th year before I took a year out of work to go travelling”.

Why do you come back every year?

Steve O: “Richard has been very good in letting me fit my working weeks around my job, so I can see myself carrying on for a few years yet!”

uk temporary summer job
uk temporary summer job

Rachael: “Well my one summer, has turned into seven. I am hooked and would feel like a traitor if I worked at another camp. After training as a Primary School Teacher and teaching for a couple of years, I decided I liked camp a lot more so I became a full time member of staff in 2016. There’s a cheesy saying something along the lines of ‘living twelve months of the year for two.’ I count down the days until I’m back in my favourite place again, camp! I find it impossible to explain to people who have not ever worked at a camp how special it is. The friends you make are just the best, you work with so many likeminded people with the most amazing campers from around the world. You will be more exhausted than you have ever been in your whole life, but its more than worth it.”

Sarah: “I just absolutely love it. Every single part of camp I love. I leave absolutely exhausted however wouldn't change a thing. I have made the best friends, lifelong friends, made so many lifelong memories, both at camp and outside. I have also been on trips to Disneyland, Australia, Rome, Majorca and Devon with friends I have made from camp. Rachael and I have even lived together in London for several years.”

Cesar: "I think that there's lots of reasons to do it every year but for me this camp is more like a family and that's one of the reasons why it's so exciting to come back every year. I think there's no better reason to comeback than to see your family again."

What’s your favourite memory from your seven summers?

Sarah: “'Happy New day', a little celebration we have at midnight every night in the staff room, simply to celebrate the new day - when your in the real world it sounds a crazy concept but at camp it's the best moment ever!”

Cesar: "I think this is the hardest question about camp, there have been too many good memories over years, cooking for everyone every Wednesday and Saturday with the music and see everyone enjoy their time, I could say a hundred more but those BBQs are the perfect example of a good memory at camp!”

Steve O: “I really enjoy running campfires, having the whole camp sat around the fire sharing memories and togetherness is a really nice moment in the week. I think the children (and staff!) love their fast-paced and action-packed week at XUK, but appreciate the chance to sit around and relax!”

Rachael: “I often get asked this question at our staff interviews and normally give a beige, cop out answer. I have so many amazing memories, it's impossible to think of a favourite! My favourite memory from last summer was when we did a whole camp barn dance to 'Cotton Eyed Joe'. I was a bit worried that the teens wouldn’t enjoy it, but every single one of our 125 campers got fully into it with a huge smile on their faces and we even did a Facebook Live video during it. I’ve also got all of the memories from outside of camp – the reunions, the holidays and if you live strictly within the M25 then we have an XUK Curry Club!”

Why should other people work for XUK?

Sarah: “You honestly will have the best summer of your life. You will meet people who you might not normally chat to, and become best friends with them. You'll make friends older and younger than you and with different interests but somehow you all make an amazing team that fits together and I can 100% guarantee you will have the time of your life! It's not just a job, it's a lifestyle change - your whole life will soon begin with... 'When I was at camp...' and 'At camp we did...' and none of your friends from the outside world will get it - but inside you just get so excited thinking about every aspect of camp!”

Cesar: “There's only good reasons to come to work for camp - good times with old and new friends, amazing activities and great time! There's also hard work but when everyone works hard as a team, it is totally worth it! There's no better way to spend the summer!”

Rachael: “The short answer – you will have the greatest summer. The long answer – you’ll make friends with people you probably wouldn’t be friends with in the real world, you will live in a bubble, you’ll get to spend your summer wearing face paint, dressing up, making friendship bracelets (and working hard of course), develop as a person, discover a stamina you didn’t realise you had and just have an absolute blast! Come and join us and see what the fuss is about!”

Steve O: “It’s a great way to spend the summer, earning some extra money and being with friends in the sun. The whole staff team are always so friendly and kind, we work really well as a team. The work itself is very enjoyable and you have a lot of freedom to be creative, plan and run great activities. It’s such a nice feeling when you see them enjoying an activity you’ve put a lot of though into and the campers thank you afterwards and tell you how much they’ve enjoyed it!”

Thanks for your time and bring on your eighth summer!