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British counselor finds friends at American camp

By Alissa Sage
Published: September 2010

This summer, I worked as a camp counselor at an overnight camp that I have been going to for nine years.
As a first year counselor, I was worried about who I would be working with.
In the beginning, we all stood in a circle and received a single earring. We were then instructed that whoever had the match to our missing half is our co counselor.
My nerves were calmed; I was quite relieved to discover that my co-counselor was Jodie, a tall and slim girl with bleached blonde hair. I was beyond thrilled to be working with Jodie. I loved her aura of calm collectability, her contagious sense of humor, but most of all I loved her British accent.
Each summer, my camp hires about 10 to 12 young women from an agency called Camp America so that they can have the opportunity to work as a counselor in the United States and travel after.
The international staff this year came from all different parts of the world including Israel, Scotland, Mexico, England, and the Ukraine.
Working with Jodie was an incredible experience.
Although she was 20 and I was 17, we formed an unbreakable bond that was blind of the three-year age difference. Within the first couple days of camp it was like we had been best friends our entire life.
Ironically, even though Jodie was older, it was actually I who taught her the ropes of camp and the strategies of being a new counselor.
At first it was hard. Not only did I have nine girls- none of whom had ever been to camp before- to explain the rules to, but I also had a co-counselor whom I had to fill in as well.
Jodie was, at the beginning of the summer, worried that the girls wouldn’t like her.
However, that sentiment proved to be completely wrong. Our girls adored Jodie.
As much as we taught her the culture of camp, she taught us the culture of her country. Our bunk would often pile on her bed and take “British Lessons, where Jodie would teach us that  “crisps were chips, “chips were fries, and “trainers were sneakers.
We had contests to see who could imitate the best British accent, poured over her British magazines, and devoured her English Chocolate.
Despite our many differences, however, I was surprised to find out the many similarities we shared, like our mutual obsession with the television show Glee.
The summer went by smoothly.
Jodie and I worked incredibly well together and were never afraid to confront each other about any issues.
Now that the summer has ended, I miss spending everyday with her, but I still keep in touch with her via Facebook.  Working with Jodie was an experience I will never forget.

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