This week, we sat down with Emma, one of our summer camp counselor managers for Day Camp Sunshine who comes all the way from Australia.
Where are you from?
I’m from a little town called Evans Head in the eastern side of Australia and I’ve lived there for 27 years.
When did you first come to America?
I first came on a school trip in 2005 where we did an exchange program, and I went to a school in Seattle for a bit. I started coming to America frequently in 2013.
How did you end up here today?
In 2013 I went through an agency called Camp Leaders. Basically you put in an application with this agency and camps take a look at your application. I had an interview with two camps before Day Camp Sunshine and I had to say no to them because they weren’t Christian camps, and my main purpose for coming over to America was for ministry. Day Camp Sunshine came along and interviewed me and now I’m here!
What do you do here?
For the past two years I have been the middler-camp manager. I oversee about 100 kids between the ages 5 and 8 for the summer. I work a staff with about 17 underneath me, and they work directly with the kids. Before that I was a camp counselor and I had the same group of girls for three years.
What are your plans for the future?
At the moment I don’t have any. I’m a qualified teacher - I have a teacher’s degree specializing in early childhood, so there’s potential for me to go back to that. At the moment, my future is in God’s hands.
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
I live in a small beach town with a lot of sea-life, so I love to go to the beach and going for walks. I love spending time with my family and having coffee with friends. Australia has an awesome coffee culture.
What are some of your favorite movies or TV shows?
I love to watch the Gilmore Girls, The Office, and Friends.
Do you have a favorite scripture?
“Be still and know that I am God.”
I love that one because we use ‘busy’ as an excuse to not spend time with people or God. I say I’m busy all the time but it’s important to draw back and be in God’s presence.
Any leaving thoughts?
It’s tough. You spend so much of your life with these kids - you’re with them everyday for three months of the summer, and I did that for five summers. So on Friday it really hit me when I said goodbye to like 10 of the girls and I lost it. We were talking about memories and how little they were. Then they started crying and I started crying. So I’m really going to miss it. A lot of my heart is here and I think it will always be here. This is where my life basically changed forever. I learned a lot over the past five summers and God has really changed and molded me to who I am today.