Tag Archives: International Staff

CCUSA: It’s Camp Counselors USA and We Love It!

Hey SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD it’s me, Dori! I am the social media coordinator at Catalina Sea Camp this summer!

CCUSA Dori

I thought I was going to be the weirdo all the way from the other side of the country. After all, I endured a five-hour plane ride all the way from Atlanta, Georgia, to be here. Then I found out that some people here had a five-hour layover on their 15 HOURS flight across nations and oceans—suddenly Georgia seemed just a hop and a skip away from here.

My slight southern accent fades to irrelevance in the wake of the Australian and New Zealand accents here. Is Catalina Sea Camp just that famous? Is it known all over the Earth? Do people from the far reaches of the planet clamor for the opportunity to work here?

Maybe or maybe not.

Catalina Sea Camp is a sponsor for an organization called CCUSA— Camp Counselors USA. This program works with the US Department of State to facilitate international opportunities for young people to work at camps all over the globe. Catalina Sea camp hosts 6 of these adventurers. Let’s meet these incredible people!

CCUSA GI

Gi

You’ll see her cooking up some shrimp or bicycling her way to ice cream this summer.

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Plans for after camp: Exploring the west coast for two months, making her way to Canada and eventually to Hawaii.

“Most of this stuff here have been firsts for me—this whole environmental and things I’ve been doing. It’s cool to just take it on and go headfirst into it all and know people that are returners, but also knowing that there are new people here too. It’s teamwork on a different level, and everyone offers a hand or does what they can to help.”

CCUSA Sam

 

Sam

Even though he’s an avid surfer outside of camp, he’ll be filling his time with skit performances, crazy costumes, and camp songs this summer instead.

Hometown: Kaiapoi, New Zealand

Plans for after camp: Visiting family in Seattle, traveling the west coast of America. Planning to visit San Francisco because of the city’s aesthetics and film history.

“This place has similar traits to my favorite place in the world—Malborough Sounds. It’s disconnected from the rest of the world.”

Brian

Pursuing his masters in education, Brian is taking the summer off to experience education in a different environment.

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Plans for after camp: Traveling for six weeks through America and Canada, specifically the Grand Canyon and Texas.

“My field is youth, and my friend did a program in Canada, and he loved it. This is my chance to see America and also have a break from university.”

CCUSA Anna

Anna

Working as the surf instructor, Anna gets the chance to shred the gnar with some first time surfers this summer.

Hometown: Tuross Head, Australia

Plans for after camp: To Indiana to visit a friend she met last year at Catalina Sea Camp, and then wherever she wants for the next month.

“I loved it—the island, the people I worked with. I made lots of new friends and did lots of things outside my comfort zone.”

CCUSA Olivia

Olivia

She may be missing whale season to work here, but she’d rather be here, spending time teaching kids about the ocean.

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Plans for after camp: Working on the Great Barrier Reef on Lady Elliot Island

“This place has such good community. We’re one big family. And I have the best boss in the whole world, Jeff.”

CCUSA Ben

Ben

Already having spent two summers here, he was appointed Crew Chief for this third summer at Catalina Sea Camp.

Hometown: Dunedin, New Zealand

Plans for after camp: Traveling the United States and the world

“Being able to be Crew Chief this year has allowed me to be challenged in new ways, that’s why I came back.”

Trying Something New in the USA

Sometimes you have to just got to get out and try something new! Some of our campers are nervous to even think about diving in a couple years. Our scuba in a bucket class gives them a small glance into what going diving might be like.

Trying something new like going diving or even coming to Catalina Sea Camp can be a challenging experience. Sometimes even our staff has the same nerves about coming to camp as the campers do. Check out these two stories from our loved international staff.

WOW Surfs Up at Catalina Sea Camp

Igor

All my life, I have spent traveling Europe, surfing different spots, going back home to Portugal to see family and close friends. In all that time I never dreamed a place like Toyon Bay and Catalina Sea Camp could exist. I still remember walking out of the airport doors at LAX and thinking to myself; ‘this is a different world’.

I grew up with a bunch of younger cousins (14 to be precise) and I have always had a blast playing with them and coaching them in they’re life experiences. I love it! It’s such a nice feeling to have when you know you have made that small change in a child’s life. Seeing them smile when they have accomplished something like when my little 7 year old cousin, Tiago caught his first wave! His smile was priceless. The feeling is something that cannot be explained, however I knew at that moment I wanted to coach the sport I love which is surfing and I wanted to help kids achieve they’re potential in activities they enjoy. Possibly even show them new sports or activities that they might love the rest of their lives. Thankfully, I am in the right job for that and it’s the job I have here at Catalina Sea Camp.

I got myself through a surfing academy and got my instructors qualification to coach surfing. I have been doing it for a few years now, coaching new students at my university and coaching clients back home in Portugal. But I never knew I would get the opportunity to come to such an amazing place like Catalina Sea Camp to do what I love.

The amount of activities I have done since arriving at Catalina Sea Camp, well I’ve lost count. The amount of times I have had to step out of my comfort zone (eg. Touching sharks for the first time or diving to depths I never thought I could) has been more than I can remember but believe me, I would do it over and over again because CIMI has given me so much in the past month and I will be doing everything to give back to them. It is so much fun playing with the kids out in the water or climbing with them on the climbing wall. It’s a great feeling to have knowing that I am showing them a great time at Toyon Bay and seeing they’re smiles and making new friends is awesome!

My adventure here at Catalina Sea Camp has only just begun, I have met some great and friendly bunch of people who I can call friends. I look forward to so much more learning both for me and the children who attend Catalina Sea Camp. Here’s to summer and here’s to Catalina Sea Camp!

Igor 

The Girl from Africa, Lands at Catalina Sea Camp.

IMG_1757

It all started when I had the urge to travel and go overseas. I went on to the internet and searched…”work at summer camps in the USA”. I came across an agency that ultimately helped me get this job. Paul “Butterkup” Kupferman, contacted me through this agency. When I got the first email from him I was super excited but also very nervous. I had an online interview, because of course, I was in South Africa and he was in California. I knew my skills and qualifications in Culinary Arts and experience with taking care of children would be perfect for the job of the Sea Food Cookery Instructor, and so after a nerve-wracking interview I got the job.

I was ready to leave South Africa to experience the cultures of America, especially Toyon Bay. I said goodbye to my family and off I went. I travelled for 15 hours non-stop to the USA, thinking of what I was going to teach the campers.

I was greeted by Guided Discoveries staff and spent a night at the founders Kristi and Ross Turner’s house. They are amazing, caring, and welcoming people. I am not just saying that because they are the boss, they are genuinely the sweetest people. We took the boat to Catalina Island and off I went to begin my new life at Catalina Sea Camp.

During staff training I got my Sea Food Cookery area ready with a new deep fryer, a new fridge, a new flat top grill, and many more awesome kitchen items. I went snorkeling, kayaking, rock climbing and went on a giant swing. After a week of training the campers arrived. Yay. The joy on the kids faces as well as the instructors was the best view of all.

Today, the campers had guacamole with pita bread, shrimp tempura with noodles, watermelon crush and OREO ICE CREAM! I have been here for more than a month and it has been the best experience yet. Everyone here is amazing. I am so glad I had the courage to come out here to experience this adventure.

Every child should experience the fun and adventure of CIMI Catalina Sea Camp, Toyon Bay.

-Enize Wilson

 

WELCOME TO THE SEA CAMPER BLOG

We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. Catalina Sea Camp is a hands-on marine science program with an emphasis on ocean exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and ocean happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at minimum a Bachelors Degree in Marine Science or related subject. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science and ocean information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.catalinaseacamp.org for additional information. Happy Reading!

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