Camp America – Leeds City College students visit Camp Laughing Waters before exploring the USA

Posted: August 11, 2022

Earlier this year, Leeds City College took part in a project with Camp America which offered up to 90 students a once-in-a-lifetime work experience opportunity in the United States over the summer. The trip, which was organised through Keighley College (a fellow member of Luminate Education Group), included travel, accommodation and living costs.

Students travelled to various camps across the United States. Camp Laughing Waters, in Gilbertsville, East Pennsylvania, is currently hosting two of our students who are working with young American campers aged 9-17. The students, Aanisha Anisko and Jamie-Leigh McLaughlin, have just completed their musical theatre course at Leeds City College’s Quarry Hill Campus and are making the most of the camp’s facilities.

Around 100 campers per week pass through to enjoy a range of activities whilst living in this 500-acre site in rural Pennsylvania. Horses, a swimming pool, art and craft areas and a huge indoor climbing wall are all framed by a breathtaking backdrop.

There are around 50 staff working on-site and half of these are young European students getting the experience to lead activities with groups. Each counsellor has a self-chosen camp name; Aanisha is “Dory” and Jamie is “Target”. The two have made fantastic friendships which have led to plans for further travel after the summer camp closes for the season. 

Jamie says she feels a new level of responsibility after leading the groups. This has really boosted her confidence, which has in turn given her an incentive to explore the world more. She is learning to speak Hungarian, having already picked up numbers, colours and animals. After camp, she plans to travel around America for a month, visiting Chicago, Ohio, Michigan and Rhode Island, before travelling to Hungary with her new friends later in the year.

You can get a further idea of what life on a Camp America placement is like here.

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