From a Country Away: An International Staff’s Perspective
BY KEVIN O’BRIEN, THIRD YEAR STAFF MEMBER
When I first arrived at Perlman Camp on the 18th June 2016, I had no idea what to expect. As an international staff member, you expect to be arriving at camp not knowing anyone at all. In my experience, it was completely different all together. Before I had even taken off from Dublin, I had met a fellow staff member Helen in the airport and upon arrival in JFK, another staff member Jake. Then, at the hostel, another seven or eight staff members greeted us, all eager to get to camp! Before even arriving at the camp gates, I had already been welcomed with open arms into this amazing family and I haven’t looked back since.
If you had asked me back in 2016 if I would be returning to camp for my 3rd year this year I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet here I am, more excited than ever to get back to the best place on earth (yes, its cheesy, but it’s true!). To even consider this as a job seems ridiculous to me. Summers at camp have been the most enjoyable of my life to date and I couldn’t even imagine what I’d be doing elsewhere. Seeing campers return year on year as excited as the staff are really sums up the buzz that camp entails. Being able to work with such incredible kids is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences you will ever have and the laughs will never end!
The variety of nationalities that come to camp really astounds me. In my years at camp, I have made friends with the most amazing people; people from Israel, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, The Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland and of course America. The list of countries and friends is really endless and the memories are just as unforgettable. From luaus by the lake to staff soccer games under the stars, the memories truly stay with you forever.
As a returning staff member, I cannot wait to meet all the new staff that 2018 brings this summer. You truly cannot comprehend how much joy this place will give you. It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Here’s to a great summer and to many more!
Kevin is a third-year staff member returning as the Junior Boys Division Leader for Summer 2018.