Back from Camp Reception

The U.S. Embassy hosted its ‘Back from Camp’ reception on September 21, 2017. Recently returned camp counselors were greeted by U.S. Embassy Staff, and alumni and staff from local camp placement providers.

The U.S. camp counselor program is one of the most popular exchange programs in New Zealand, with nearly 900 participants across almost every state in America. Young Kiwi students, youth workers and teachers share Kiwi culture and ideals with the people of the United States. In exchange they get an opportunity to learn about America, its values and its people, have an amazing time – and share that experience with others back home.

Public Affairs Officer Natalie Wilkins welcomes camp alumni and shares her travel experiences.
Public Affairs Officer Natalie Wilkins welcomes camp alumni and shares her travel experiences.

Camp counselors often take advantage of the opportunity to travel around America after their summer contracts finish, and many were thrilled to share stories of trips to New York, New Orleans, Houston, San Francisco and lots more in between.  A number of the attendees were repeat counselors, who after going once had to go back again!

Winner of the #USNZCampCounselor photo competition. Photo credit: Anna Karolczak-Young
Winner of the #USNZCampCounselor photo competition. Photo credit: Anna Karolczak-Young

This year the U.S. Embassy organized the inaugural [#USNZCampCounselor] photo competition – a chance for returning camp counselors to share the photo highlights of their great times at work.

We were overwhelmed with the number of entries and caliber of photos, but could have only one winner – a shot by Anna Karolczak-Young that captured good times with friends at Long Lake Camp for the Arts in New York.

Throughout all the entries, whether depicting bonfires, trust falls, sports or dress-up parties, there was an underlying theme throughout every photo: friendship, adventure and life-changing experiences.

For more information on camp counselor programs, visit http://j1visa.state.gov/programs/camp-counselor/.