Volunteering in Canada – Outdoor Camp Assistant Josh

Posted on the 9th June 2020

Josh was a volunteer in Canada, as an Outdoor Camp Assistant in beautiful Alberta. He’s been kind enough to share some thoughts about his gap year experience. Thanks Josh!

What made you want to volunteer in the first place?

The opportunity to volunteer overseas was one that I couldn’t turn down, as I wasn’t completely sure on what I wanted to do after high school. The chance to take a year off and go overseas to gain valuable life experience was one of the big reasons behind volunteering with Lattitude.

I chose to volunteer in Canada because it was a country that was on my bucket list since I was a kid, so the chance to volunteer there was an ideal fit for me.

volunteering in canada - Lattitude orientation

Walk us through a day in the life of your placement:

A typical week during the summer season included ‘counselling’ a group of 4 to 8 kids for five days, from Monday to Friday. Our days consisted of: 8.30am breakfast, 12.30pm lunch and 5.30pm dinner with activities in between. These activities include high ropes, a challenge course, archery, nature walks, going to the pool and team building activities.

After dinner, we would do a camp-wide game involving all the kids and staff, then after this we would do the Canadian camp tradition of “campfire”. At first campfire is a bit daunting, standing up in front of everyone, but by the end of my time there it became my favourite camp activity.

Accommodation?

I stayed in the staff accommodation at camp, which at the peak of its times in summer would have up to 26 people living in there. That means you get to know a lot of different people from all around the world which is was an amazing experience. Sharing accommodation with that many people takes time getting used to, but you get very used to being around people all the time.

As a volunteer in Canada, you become part of a tight knit community you work with, so I developed and made some life-long friendships from all around the world which was an amazing up side of my time in Canada.

The local people are all really friendly, really helpful and happy to give you a helping hand or suggestions and are just friendly people and happy to have a conversation with you about anything and everything.

volunteering in canada - Lattitude placement

Travel/Free time?

I was able to travel during and after my placement. I went to Toronto and saw Niagara Falls which was a dream of mine since I was a kid. Also got to travel to Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver which was very good to go see and experience new things. Also during time off I had the chance to go camping and go on various hikes in and around the Banff and Canmore region which has stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.

We hung out a lot as camp staff and spent a lot of time together and bonded and did lots of stuff as a big group which was a great experience.

volunteering in canada - Lattitude sightseeinge

Favourite moments?

Being able to connect with the kids that came to camp, and being able to give the kids the best week of their summer or school year was an amazing memory.

Seeing the kids leaving with a big smile on their face was an amazing feeling for me, and hearing them wanting to come back the next year and be an Outdoor Camp Assistant themselves one day was a pretty awesome feeling as well!

Personal development?

I became more confident in public speaking was a big plus from my time away. Being able to live with a different group of people with varying personalities was a new and good experience, and to be able to look after myself made me a lot more mature, which was a real positive.

Throughout my time as a volunteer in Canada with Lattitude, I caught the travel bug so I want to explore more of the world and travel a bit before going to university. It’s made me think of studying speech and language pathology, as working with kids has become a passion of mine for sure.

Read more posts...

Personal Growth Through Making an Impact

Natalie wrote to us to share her recent volunteer experience as a School Assistant in the UK. Although she returned home to New Zealand early due to COVID-19, she truly made the most of her...

Posted 28 Sep 2020

A-Level Results Week: Now What?

If there is a single day in the year that focuses the minds of young people and their parents on this question, it is A-Level results day. Your results reflect the culmination of years of...

Posted 11 Aug 2020