Thursday, 29 August 2013

Student applies knowledge in 'real world setting'

UCLan Tourism students have many opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge they develop in their programme in a 'real world setting'.

Beth Higson has just completed the first year of her studies and spent the summer at Camp Tioga, Pennsylvania. Beth thinks the experience will be of great benefit to her future:

"This summer I decided I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone and develop a range of skills by working at a traditional American summer sleep away camp.

"At Camp Tioga, I entered a whole new world without technology. The camp was set in a confined area, in a highly stressful yet highly rewarding environment.

"I was responsible for the constant supervision of 19 ten-year-old girls - from waking them up in the morning, motivating them to participate in activities and ensuring they were leading a healthy lifestyle away from home.

"I was presented with many challenges from the word go. Despite the ups and downs, I developed an amazing relationship with the girls, as well as my fellow counsellors. Over the months, I became a surrogate mother and sister, a friend, but also a disciplinarian to the campers.

"I learned about different cultures, particularly Judaism - a strong religion throughout the camp - backgrounds and upbringings, as well as American ways of life. I also developed lifelong friendships with people from all over the world, from my bunk duties and lifeguarding team.

"My job was very serious, as I was responsible for the wellbeing of several others, but also gave me the opportunity to motivate whilst having fun. Colour war, where the camp is split into two for three days of intense competition, was one of my favourite times at camp.

"Rarely at home can I paint my body green and run round chanting with an army of kids behind me! Summer camp is hard to describe and explain, but nothing compares to it.

The ups and downs of my job changed me as a person. I'm mentally stronger, more worldly aware and ready to tackle any challenge that comes my way."

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