I flew out Wednesday evening from Washington Dulles Airport, arriving early Thursday Morning London time. I met up with another Camp Director from Maryland at the airport and she and I traveled to our hotel together. We ate breakfast in the Hotel while we waited for our rooms to be ready.
A little later that morning my new friend Kaitlin and I wondered around the Kensington area of London where our Hotel was. It was so fun getting to know another camp professional.
That evening I was lucky enough to meet up with my second cousin who is currently living in London. We had a great dinner and went down to the London Bridge area. I successfully navigated The Tube (the London Underground subway system) which opened up a whole world of opportunities for exploring.
Friday morning my roommate, another camp director from Minnesota, and I had breakfast and went to an orientation meeting about the fair. She and I both had never done this before and were not sure what to expect.
That afternoon I had lunch with Sam Roberts our favorite Camp America staff member and a couple other camp directors at a real English pub.
I was then able to meet up with former Camp Alleghany staff member Gaby Collen; it was great to see and catch up with her and obviously talk about camp! I then took a little time to be a tourist and walked over to Buckingham Palace and walked through Green Park.
I ventured back to the hotel to get ready for the reception that Camp America was hosting for all the Directors. It was held in this awesome room high above London with great views of the city. There I was able to meet and get to know many other camp professionals from all over the US.
Unfortunately my wallet fell out of my pocket on the bus on the way back to the Hotel. I went to talk to a few of the Camp America staff and they were so on top of the situation, calling the bus company and the venue to locate my wallet. Luckily it was found the next morning and I woke up to a text from my friend Kaitlin that she had my wallet! The whole next day every single person I saw asked if I had gotten the wallet back — I officially became the infamous “Wallet Girl.”
So finally we get to Fair Day! About 50 camps and roughly 1500 applicants all show up to the Queen Elizabeth 2 Convention Center (the QE2).
Thank goodness Camp Alleghany Staff Alum Georgie O’Toole was there to help me. We had about 20-30 people in our line from the time the fair opened to about when it closed. She worked the line, greeting prospective counselors and warming them up as I was interviewing staff. Many of those who showed up had really done their research — they knew they wanted to be at Alleghany.
I talked to so many wonderful people and had to make a lot of really hard decisions on the spot but I hired 10 amazing new counselors! I’m so glad that I got to meet these people in person and have face-to-face conversations. It was also amazing to get everyone hired in one day rather than over weeks or months via Skype.
By the time we were done I was exhausted but so excited to start the summer! I was able to have a great dinner with my roommate, and with Georgie and Georgie’s boyfriend. We had a great day and a great evening!
I woke up the next morning, took The Tube to the airport to head home. It was a quick trip packed with fun, sightseeing, networking, old friends and new, and a little very pleasant work.
I really appreciated the opportunity to attend the fair and take my first trip to London, so thank you Sam so much for that and to Camp America for hosting a wonderful fair!
Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to come back next year (nod-nod-wink-wink, say no more, say no more…Sam!)
And now on to our remaining push for hires.
On that note, we’re hosting #GhanyJobsWeek on our website and on all our social media channels next week. We’ll be announcing remaining jobs, offer tips for being a counselor, and generally build excitement to wrap up our staffing for Summer 2016 and begin planning for staff training.
Follow along all next week: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest — and please share our posts with friends to help us get the word out about working at the best girls summer camp in America!
— Taylor Fellows, Program Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls