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USA | Summer Camp

My summer working at Disability Camp in the USA

We know how Kate spent her last summer...

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We caught up with Kate Fox who spent summer of 2019 as a Camp Counsellor at a Disability Camp in America. Her story is guaranteed to melt your heart.

From the moment I applied for USIT’s Camp USA program, I knew I was going to have an unforgettable experience. Little did I know, my summer at Camp Albrecht Acres would give me new lifelong friends, incredible memories and transform my outlook on life.

Applying for Camp USA was a decision I made on a whim. I had my eye on the program for a number of weeks, until I finally said ‘Why not?’ I paid my deposit and sent in my application. When I got my first email from Albrecht Acres saying they wanted to interview me, I was initially nervous hearing it was a disability camp, as I had no previous experience working with children with disabilities. But after giving it some thinking and realising how I could help these kids have the best summer, I agreed to do the interview and soon enough, I was hired as a Camp Counsellor.

Camp is not your typical day job

Being a city girl, driving down the country roads of rural Iowa was most definitely a change of scenery. When I first arrived at Camp Albrecht Acres, I was greeted by my fellow counsellors and full-time staff. I became good friends with the other counsellors initially and we all quickly became a big family. Our first week at camp was spent training in all areas of disability care. In the evenings, all the counsellors were taken out for team bonding trips such as bowling and a team barbeque.

After a week of training, the first set of campers arrived and the adventure began. Being a camp counsellor is definitely not a typical 9-5 job. You’re pretty much on duty from the minute you wake up until your campers go to bed. It can be tiring sometimes, but you’re having so much fun with the people around you that it doesn’t even feel like work! The campers participate in a wide range of activities such as swimming, fishing, nature and science, arts and crafts, fun and games etc.

United nations at camp

The camp is divided into four nations: Sioux, Mohican, Kickapoo and Cheyenne. All four nations would come together in the evening for the evening activity. I particularly loved the evening activities, as it was great seeing all the nations bonding. Evening activities included a movie night, awards night, visitors from the community and my all-time favourite event – the dance! The dance was always on the night before campers went home. It got emotional sometimes, but they loved getting the chance to dress up and dance the night away!

Building relationships with the campers

One of the most rewarding parts of my whole camp experience was seeing the joy on my camper's faces. I developed a great bond with each and every one of my campers. They look forward to going to camp all year and I’m so glad me and my fellow counsellors helped make their experience a memorable one. Saying goodbye to my campers every Friday was never easy, but I did promise them I would be back soon.


Pool hangs with fellow Camp Counsellors


New friends States side


The hardest goodbyes

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USIT Staff

Our content is shaped by our community. If you also have a way with words and a travel tale to tell, DM us about writing for USIT.

“One of the most rewarding parts of my whole camp experience was seeing the joy on my camper's faces.”

A new family

One of the best things about camp is the friendships you make. After a few weeks, it felt like I had known these people for years. Our team quickly became a family. One of my favourite memories from the summer is spending time with my friends on our time off. Whether it was late-night Walmart trips, heading to the cinema, getting breakfast at IHOP, or playing hide and seek in the dark, we always had a great laugh and we got a great glimpse into American life.

A second home in the USA

Leaving camp was one of the saddest days of my life. Although we were excited to travel around the States, we weren’t ready to go our separate ways. It was breaking my heart knowing I wasn’t going to be living with my camp family anymore. Through the tears, we reassured each other that it was not goodbye, it was to be continued…

I can not thank this wonderful place enough for the experience I had. I was so lucky to spend the summer with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. Working with children with disabilities taught me some valuable life lessons which I’ll always value. And I’m planning on returning to my second home very soon.

To start your very own Camp USA adventure with us, check out our Summer Camp page and keep an eye out for updates on hiring weeks and when to apply.

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USIT Staff

Our content is shaped by our community. If you also have a way with words and a travel tale to tell, DM us about writing for USIT.

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