Camp Vega: the best decision I nearly didn't make
The bag is packed, passport is primed and I’ve had the ‘stay safe’ talk with mum. It’s actually happening, I am flying to America!
It’s normal to have reservations about making a big commitment like working at Summer Camp USA. A whole summer away from friends and family, away from home comforts and a step out of normality - it’s big decision to make! Each year our family would take the trip over to Ireland. That was the way we’d always spend summer and we loved it! However, this year it would be different, because for the first time I wouldn’t be there with them. This didn’t hit my youngest sister Roisin until the day I was flying out. I can still remember when I went to say goodbye and she said “Conor, I really don’t want you to go” whilst bursting into tears. Of course she got a big hug, but it made leaving home that little bit harder.
Now, normally I don’t feel nerves but it was a different story that day. I only spoke a few words in the two hour car journey to Heathrow. Probably because I was running through the possible scenarios in my head: will I get bad jetlag? Will there be leg room on the flight (I’m 6 ft 6”)? How on earth do I get to the hostel in Boston, on my own, in the dark? To the innocent traveller, these seemed very plausible questions to be asking. As I was waved off by my sister Annie and my mum, confidence and excitement suddenly hit me, I would be fine!
I will never forget the day I arrived at camp. Having watched the Vega videos at least 16 times I thought I knew what to expect. I was way off. The lake was so much clearer, the trees were taller and the road was much bumpier than I imagined! When travelling down that stunning lake side road, never did I think that I would leave Camp Vega a different person: more complete, more confident, more of the person I wanted to be.
From the off we were made to feel so welcome, smiling seemed to be a part of the uniform here. You couldn’t help but smile, it was infectious! The camp grounds must have had something to do with it because they were just spectacular. Situated on Echo Lake, Camp Vega had it all! Waking up to the spectacular sun rise and going to sleep under the glistening stars, it became part of the daily routine. A daily routine that I love and miss so much!
There’s something truly amazing about arriving at camp knowing nobody and leaving having met friends for life. That term is over used, but not here. We arrived at camp as individuals but left as a collective. They are the reason I like myself better, without them I would not have had the most incredible 2 months of my life. We were all opposites, our upbringings, beliefs and accents were different. Yet, one thing brought us together, Vega. We all spent every day together and on days off we went on new adventures, we were free! I will always be thankful for their friendship and I will hold it close to my heart forever.
59 days. That’s it. 59 days of summer. It’s all yours, love each day, live each moment at laugh every second because it’ll be the best 59 days of your life. Yes, of course you’ll have a few difficult days but you’ll have a family to get you through, and I guarantee you’ll be smiling at the end of it!
Here’s my advice, make that decision for yourself, it’s your 59 days, how will you spend it? Spend it right, spend it at Summer Camp USA with BUNAC. It’ll be the best decision you nearly didn’t make. Echo Lake will always hold a very special place in my heart, forever.
Sign up to Summer Camp USA now and meet Camp Vega at the Camp Fair! You've just been Conor-convinced.