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Monday, September 20, 2021

Program offers students a chance to work and travel abroad

Camp Adventure Child and Youth Services presents students the opportunity to go travel to various parts of the world, while getting free airfare, housing and a daily stipend. Selected camp counselors get the chance to explore life on a military base, while becoming exposed to new cultures and environments.

Camp Adventure, with its slogan “Catch the magic!” is a service program offered through the University of Northern Iowa, which provides college-aged students with summer camp counselor and leadership positions. The program has sites in 23 different countries in Europe and Asia, along with some in the United States. For assignments, counselors rank the countries from one to 23 in order of preference. While veterans are generally given priority, most participants will get to work in one of their top 10 preferred countries.

Megan Elliot, Staff Development Coordinator at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento, has attended sites at Hawaii, Italy, and Iwakuni and Yokosuka in Japan.

“We look for students who enjoy working with children. In Camp Adventure Youth Services, the children always come first. Camp Adventure students are full of energy, are creative and are looking to create magical moments for youth that last a lifetime,” Elliot said.

In order for participants to be considered, they must have 40 hours of youth experience in a group setting with children between the ages of 5 to 12, a GPA of 2.5 or higher and no misdemeanors or felonies on their record.

Camp Adventure does not just help those wanting to see the world, but it also offers valuable work experience.

“After my Camp Adventure Youth Services experiences, I received a job working as the Youth Activities Director on a Naval Base,” Elliot said.

Before participating in Camp Adventure, students must attend training alternating between the UC Davis and CSU Sacramento campuses, during Winter and Spring quarters, every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m.

“The training process was time-consuming but completely worth it at the end when I had all of these invaluable tools,” said Amanda Jones, a third-year psychology major who worked on the Iwakuni, Japan base this summer. It definitely prepared me for the summer with the kids.”

Camp counselors are trained in games and first aid, as well as how to deal with the problems that many military children have due to isolation and frequent moves because of their parents’ profession.

“I would highly recommend this program to others because it is a wonderful chance to travel abroad, to work with children, to build your résumé and to meet people from all over the country who have the same interests as you,” said Lindsey Armstrong, a fourth-year managerial economics major and head of recruitment at UC Davis. Armstrong spent 10 weeks on the Zama, Japan site.

Camp Adventure is currently accepting applications. Interested students should visit their website at campadventure.com to fill out information sheets. Information Sessions are currently taking place in 114 South Hall on various days from today at noon and Tuesday, November 27 at 11 a.m.

There will be all-day interviews on campus Nov. 27. An alternate date is Dec. 8, at CSU Sacramento. These sessions are mandatory in order to participate in the program.

NATASHA QABAZARD can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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