"Be a Summer Camp Counsellor in America!" the poster at uni proclaimed. I checked out the website: IEP
. Requested more information. Subsequently recieved not only a brochure on IEP's Summer Camp USA program, but also an application
form. It does cost to apply, so some committment was required before I even knew if I was going. I had some work experience,
including working with kids and coaching basketball, and after a telephone interview with one of IEP's people, was placed
at Kutsher's Sports Academy in New York, USA.
Kutsher's Sports Academy
is a co-ed summer camp which caters mostly for wealthy, Jewish, sports-playing kids out of New York, New Jersey and Florida.
Counselors include former KSA campers, as well as 'internationals' or 'foreigners' such as myself, who come from all over
the world. Last year, countries represented included Australia, NZ, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, South Africa, Germany,
the Netherlands... I apologise to whoever I forgot.
Before I could leave the country, I had to travel to Melbourne to get my J1 Visa, which involves sitting in a very long
line for some time, followed by a short interview with one of the US consulate people. Slightly scary, cos if you don't get
the Visa, you can't go, but ultimately not too much of a hassle. Arrive early. Talk to the people sitting near you - you never
know when you might run into them again.
I was also required to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation session in Adelaide. Interesting to meet people who were doing
the same insane thing as yourself, but really, nothing is going to fully prepare you for the summer camp experience. For one
thing, camps are so different to each other, there's no way one answer can cover it.
I departed Darwin late one night (or early one morning, I can't remember which) for Sydney. After a very cold and boring
wait, interrupted only by check-in and inspection of by baggage by a guy wearing a turban, I was finally on the plane, bound
for New York City, by way of LA.
More to come soon...