Hofstra Pulse Magazine

Camp America: The importance of new cultures

By: Jenna Grasso

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Immigrating to America is believed to be an achievement that all people should want to do in their

future. To live the “American Dream,” and live in a society where all people can work and live life to

the fullest is seen as desirable.

 

Camp America is a program designed to take young teens and adults from Europe and bring them

to America to work and then travel cross country once the summer is over. Teenagers are placed all

over America and then given an option to travel cross country, until September or October.

 

Twenty-year-old, Arpit Patel, who lives in Portsmouth, England frequents Camp America and has

experienced working and traveling through the United States during the summer months. He visited

the United States, from June 2014 to August 2014, and learned about different cultures, traditions

and ways of life.

 

Patel, was stationed to work in Minnesota/ Nisswa at Camp Lincoln/ Camp Lake Hubert.

His main place of work was Camp Lincoln- an all-boys camp.

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Patel remembers that camp in the United States was very different from what he experienced in

England. “The biggest difference was the day I arrived at camp. Everything was so different. I was

out of my comfort zone and on to new things. It was awkward because I didn’t know anyone and I

felt lonely.”

 

Although within a week, Patel was adjusting to life at camp and the American work conditions. The

environment was completely different from England’s and there were adjustments that Patel had to

make with his work ethic and values.

 

“It was more relaxing and chilled out working here at camp in the U.S., whereas in England you’re

made to work for you money.” Patel explained,” I am glad I did the program because I had the best

summer at Camp Lincoln.”

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“I feel like I brought real characteristics and brought the buzz and excitement whereas, people in

America are just always serious,” Patel said about the working environment. Patel expressed how

much he loved traveling to places after camp including Chicago and Newark.

 

Patel traveled by bus to family relatives and to friends’ houses. He also rented an apartment and got

to see the lights of Chicago city.

 

“Chicago was the most amazing and beautiful cities to go to at night and during the day.” While

traveling to different cities Patel was able to see difference between American and European

cultures.

 

Many camps like Camp America have participants that come and work in the United States and

sometimes return multiple times. Waterfront Director of Camp Blue Bay- a Girl Scout Camp in East

Hampton, Long Island- Julie Littell has worked consistently with the participants of Camp America

for three years.

 

“They bring a different perspective to the camps and they make the experiences that the children

have a lot different than an American Counselor could do,” said Littell. Working with different

counselors from year to year and from different places including England, Scotland, and Australia,

Littell has seen the different perspectives that each counselor brings and the uniqueness of the

individuals themselves.

 

Keeping the activities and the campers interested each and every day can sometimes be a difficult

task. “When most of the employees are coming from around the same areas, it brings for a lot of the

same ideas, ideas that many of the campers have already seen and are bored of. It helps a lot to have

people from different backgrounds and different cultures to be able to spice up different games for

the girls and keep them interested and enjoying their camp experience from summer to summer,” said

Littell.

 

The big difference in bringing people of different cultures to work and participate in camps is that

it helps the children to learn different perspectives. It also allows the counselors to learn a different

culture and experience a different part of life that they have never had. In reality, in order to learn

about different cultures, one must completely indulge themselves into the culture in order to learn

and experience the fullness of a culture and the different realities of many people.

 

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