A Summer To Remember at APC Vietnam

POST CAMP BLUES

Having been used to living in a camp setting for weeks, it’s a weird but good feeling to finally get out of the routine. However, it’s quite odd waking up in the morning and going out of my room without the sight of the beach, and getting out of bed not having to say: “Good morning, girls! It’s time to wake up!” every single morning. Well, that’s a picture of a typical morning at camp; mornings that I didn’t expect I will terribly miss.

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My usual morning view

CAMP LIFE

Everyday is a busy day at camp. We do almost everything under the sun (and even under the rain. LOL). We sing songs, we dance, we act, we play, we swim, we climb, we crawl, we draw, we paint, we create, we experiment . . . etc. It’s literally all about FUN and LEARNING.

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When I first saw1 the job description, I was so excited and intimidated at the same time; intimidated because there’s a bunch of activities that I haven’t even tried a single time in my life, and excited because I’ll be able to try them all at camp. The fact is, I didn’t just get to try them, but I got to teach them as well!

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I always challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone as much as possible, as long as there are opportunities to do so. I’m in constant pursuit of becoming the best version of myself. While camp was a mixture of challenges, tears, sweat, blood, and big smiles at the same time, I can say that it is one of the biggest opportunities that ever knocked on my door in terms of self-improvement, character building, and skill enhancement. Given the extreme variations of activities offered at camp, I have learned to be more flexible. From making a fire, to balancing my weight on a paddleboard on a rough weather, to conquering my stage fright, to finishing the high ropes course… indeed, my experience at camp has been really instrumental in boosting my self-confidence.

Every week at camp was really memorable for me as I got to teach a variety of activities like Wilderness Survival, Soccer, Archery, Arts and Crafts, Photography, Painting, Sculpture, Badminton, Kayaking, Drama and Costume Design, Self Defense, Baseball, Dance, and many other…

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Photography Class

 

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Archery
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Painting Class
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Jr. Kayaking Class

Drama Class rehearsals & Closing Campfire Performance

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Session 3 Drama and Costume Design Class

My amazing dancers from Session 4

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Wilderness Survival Class

Here are some more pictures of our campers in action taken by our awesome camp photographer, Taavi Muide.

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Nothing beats seeing the smiles on our kids’ faces. I can’t think of a better job that pays us to have fun all day.

Aside from their scheduled activities everyday, we also had a different activity every evening.

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Counselor Transformation: The boys transformed me into a rugby player from New Zealand
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Counselor Safari: Counselors got to be animals for a night. We hid in different areas of camp and the kids went looking for us 🙂

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Lipsync Presentation

We also took the kids to the mountains during the weekend of our 2-week session

MORE THAN JUST CAMPERS… THEY ARE OUR KIDS.

For me, the best thing about being a camp counselor is working with kids, which is my passion. Unlike in a school setting where we get to observe our kids only during class hours, camp enabled us to build a deeper relationship with our students because we were with them 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. As their counselor, we were like their second parents. We were in charge of waking them up in the morning, observing their manners during mealtime, making sure they thoroughly clean up themselves during showers, and even telling them stories before they sleep at night. Aside from being their parents in the cabin, we also have to establish our authority as their teacher during activities.

Seeing our kids grow, conquer their fears, and develop their confidence even in a short period of time that we were together is the best reward that any counselor could ever ask for. Moreover, seeing the them smile and cry hard at the same during closing campfire is definitely one of the most fulfilling moments for us because we know that we did our job well. Hearing them tell us that they’re going to miss camp and they didn’t want to leave, makes us feel happy and accomplished.

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Acadia
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Zion
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YellowStone
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Joshua Tree (2-week session)
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Joshua Tree

THE FACES BEHIND CAMP

Camp won’t be camp without kids. But what is a camp without the counselors, the program director, and of course, the camp director?

Meet the faces behind this awesome camp 🙂

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Despite the differences in cultural backgrounds, the time we’ve spent together at camp was enough to prove that there is beauty and strength in diversity. Each of us had a different set of skills needed for a particular task. We had our own strengths and knowledge to contribute in making the camp enjoyable for the kids. It’s quite funny how our different personalities complemented to achieve a balance at camp. Although we all had our share of tough days, at the end of the day, we still encourage, motivate, support, correct, and (most of the time) laugh at one another.

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We were a family! And APC was a place that we once called home.

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I thank the Lord for giving me this adventure of a lifetime. It was indeed A Summer To Remember!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

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