So far my camp preparation has been a rollercoaster of emotions; and I haven’t even started packing yet! There were the nerves of knowing where I wanted to go and the fear of not getting there, followed by the excitement of the camp fair where I got placed…
Americamp made being placed even more exciting as on my ‘footprints account it named other people who were going to the same camp as me so I did a sneaky Facebook search and slowly found all 6 girls heading out. As much as you can feel like a Facebook stalker I totally recommend it as generally we all have the same questions and have really helped each other out.
After the sheer joy of being place came the stress of all the paperwork. Genuinely visas are really stressful, making sure you fill out the form right, actually finding an appointment as they release them with very little warning. However, americamp made it so much better as after my 1am bus journey and feeling pretty poop, there was a gathering of americamp workers standing in the rain outside the embassy willing to look after my stuff and give some words of encouragement. And the visa appointment is nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be!
I had booked my orientation in Edinburgh; there were loads of options available up and down the country but Edinburgh was by far the closest to me. It was literally snowing in April the day I went too so it was absolutely freezing. The location of the orientation wasn’t fantastic as it was outside of the city centre and the uni it was in had a few campuses and I think everybody went to the wrong one.
I was sort of dreading orientation because I was envisioning having to play loads of ‘camp style’ games which on a cold Saturday morning I wasn’t looking forward to. But it wasn’t that at all, it was basically a mass information provision, which was actually very useful. I was also really surprised how few people had actually been placed at this point I felt super lucky! So if you’re reading this still unplaced don’t worry they had a 100% placement rate last year Americamp will find you somewhere! Biscuits, sweets and tshirts finished the day off nicely and a big group photo.
I’m not going to lie, I’m currently avoiding completing my health declaration form because some people have found it really expensive so it’s going to be a last minute job for me (shhh don’t tell on me) but I did get my other job boxed off and complete my first aid!
If your camp required first aid training don’t panic. When I looked online I pretty much thought it was going to cost me another couple of hundred pound, but one of the girls heading to my camp mentioned she did it through St John’s Ambulance for just £30. Score! They have absolutely loads of local courses and they are a great pace and only 3.5hours. I even had the chance to buy a first aid kit so I’m fully prepared for summer!
Now all that’s left to do (other than my medical) is count down the days and face the dreaded packing! 47 days until I head stateside and 54 days until camp training starts!! Eeek!