I’m often questioned about where our staff come from.
My simple answer is: Passion! If we can find passionate people who are eager to make Camp Letts a safe and fun environment, then that’s who we have on board.
Having a passion for youth development means our counselors are doing what they love. Once that happens, everything else falls into place. Your patience is endless and even the most challenging of tasks is eased by the knowledge that you are exactly where you should be, doing what you should be.
We have wonderful American staff, many of them former campers, generously passing along their own skills, imparting knowledge and being every bit the “Role Model” their counselors have previously been for them. They have an ease about them at Camp; an ownership of the traditions, stories and spirit of Camp. Many of them are unaware of their stewardship role until they reflect on their summer home from a college dorm, a world away from the fireflies and smell of campfires.
Our international additions are recruited with the same philosophy in mind. So far, we have a team of diverse nationalities lined up for Summer 2015: Australia, England, Hungary, Ireland, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Uzbekistan and of course, the USA!
While researching talent for our 2015 team, I discovered the most fascinating people. The following are just a few examples of the passion and enthusiasm that our international staff have for making this summer the best possible experience it can be.
A Marine Biology student from England who can’t wait to teach kids about the wonders of the sea through sailing!
A British financial sector employee who feels she missed her calling as a teacher and is returning to school this Fall. She is so enthused by the prospect that she’s leaving her banking position early to spend the Summer at Camp Letts.
A Town and Environmental Planning Officer from New Zealand who is trading his office for his real passion: a Summer teaching kids to water ski!
A graduated law student from Scotland is returning to take advantage of her last opportunity to dedicate an entire Summer to Camp Letts! She has vowed to give it her all in 2015.
A former member of the Summer kitchen staff from Hungary, who returned home after last Summer, changed her major in college and is studying to become a teacher – all because of the impact of Summer Camp.
An English electrician who works evenings, weekends and holidays just to be able to spend 3 months at Camp!
A Scottish medical student who is looking forward to being outside, away from the books and among kids, who are the reason she wanted to be a doctor in the first place.
A teaching student who speaks 5 languages (Dutch, Hungarian, French, German and English!) and wants to help our campers feel more confident in expressing themselves by passing along a love of poetry given to her by a teacher she had when she was young. She would also like our Hispanic campers to help her learn some Spanish phrases because she believes that everybody can teach you something.
Among the many benefits of a Summer with us, Camp Letts has a unique ability to offer campers the opportunity to see the very best of other cultures. It also allows other cultures to interact with the most precious commodity available in the USA, our youth.
Summer Camp Director
YMCA Camp Letts is an American Camping Association (ACA) accredited camp and recruits highly skilled individuals whose warmth, maturity and leadership have made them stand out. Click here to read more about our staff selection process! Operating under the authorization of the US State Department, agencies such as Camp America and Camp Counselor USA (CCUSA) assist Camp Letts in recruiting qualified international applicants, allowing them to experience real life in the USA.
Camp America recently published Outcomes, a paper outlining the impact and importance of cultural exchange through the J1 Visa program. The report gives insight into the rewards obtained by the counselors (and even features a picture of Jimmy, a Camp Letts staff member from 2013 on the cover!).