Last Thursday I picked up Georgia, one of our international camp counselors, at the airport. She was flying in from New Zealand.
I arrived early with my "Camp Roundelay" handmade sign and parked myself in the baggage claim area pointing my sign in the direction of every young woman who passed by. Finally, a poised young woman broke out in a smile and pointed at my sign. "Georgia?" Whew! She made it.
Impressive from the start, Georgia managed to get an entire summer's worth of supplies in one bag. Before long we were chatting on our way back to my van. While I closed the hatch, Georgia opened the car door to get in -- "Oh" she exclaimed with a giggle as she backed away from the driver's side. "I wonder why all cars don't have the driver's side the same?" she mused.
We chatted for about 20 minutes as I made my way through metro traffic. Minnesota weather was nice and warm (it's winter in New Zealand now -- though they don't have winters as harsh as ours). The highway is so bumpy (freeze and thaw buckles the tar). Would she need more than a light blanket? (yes, we will stop and buy a sleeping bag) ... and so on. Her answers and questions slowed. We agreed she'd rest until we got to the store. She was resting so soundly I didn't wake her up until Pine City.
As I drove along I got to thinking what a "value add" International Counselors are to our camping program. They provide hands-on learning, global awareness, and diversity. Add in the benefits it provides for the incoming counselors, it's really a win-win!
When we got to the Wisconsin border I pulled over and woke her up again. We took the picture at the top of this article. Back in the car, Georgia told me she had gotten a bug on that adventure but that I shouldn't worry -- she wasn't afraid of bugs. Over the next few minutes she found 7 wood ticks.Color me surprised that they don't have wood ticks in New Zealand. I gave her "Wood Tick Basics: 101" ... she'll learn the rest at training next week.
Melissa, our Outdoor Program Manager, met us a few miles from Camp Roundelay and took Georgia the rest of the way. I couldn't resist giving her a hug before we parted. I hope to connect with Georgia at the end of the summer and see how it goes.
There's still time to sign up for summer camp so you can meet Georgia and our other camp counselors this summer.
p.s. Don't forget to check out our FREE Camp T-Shirt offer (article below or visit the Camp Guide page of our website).