Gap year camp will help firm up plans for study

Are you someone who isn’t too keen on the idea of heading to University after finishing high school? Luckily for you, there are definitely other pathways you can take!

By Renee, September 2018

Examples of different pathways could be an apprenticeship, a gap year, or heading straight into the workforce. One of my friends is planning on taking a gap year, working at a camp in America, so I decided to ask her some questions to learn more about it.

Why did you decide to take a gap year?

Honestly, the main reason was because I had no idea what I wanted to do at University. Everyone else seemed to know what subjects they were interested in studying but I have more of a diverse range of interests, it’s hard to choose! I started researching other options I could take, especially ones overseas. I used websites such as, careersnz, and Latitude Volunteering to research ideas.

My number one place to visit on my bucket list is America, so when I saw an opportunity to work at a camp there I jumped at it! Also, having this camp leadership position on my CV is apparently very appealing to employers.

What will you be doing during your gap year?

So I’ve applied to be a camp counsellor on the Camp America website. Since I’ve grown up as a Christian, I’m wanting to be a Christian camp counsellor for kids because I feel like that would help me connect with them more. There are other types of counsellors you can be and they elect a camp for you to go on depending on your personality and skills.

I’m excited to help the kids out with bible study and answering their questions, but also for the outdoorsy activities like archery and swimming. I’ll be staying at the camp for 9-10 weeks from June to August, and we get 30 days after the camp to explore America, which will be amazing!

Other than the camp, I’ll be aiming to get a part-time job to earn some money to pay for my uni fees. I'm still planning on going to uni, but right now I want to travel and have some experience overseas. I would like to get a job working with children, maybe like a swim instructor or after school programme leader. It would look good on my CV and also help prepare me for my camp duties.

What do your friends/family feel about your decision?

My friends are really supportive and excited for me because they know I’ve been longing to go overseas. Most of my friends are going straight to university so it’s weird to think that I’ll be on a camp at the same time they’re studying!

My family at first were a bit apprehensive because most people in my family went the traditional route of going straight to uni. I explained to them the benefits of going on this camp and how I’m actually going to be saving more money for studying by getting a job and they are now supportive of my decision.

How do you think a gap year will help your future?

I think the main benefit will be that I will get work experience overseas which will really just help me grow as a person. I think I will also gain a lot of confidence in my independence because I’ll be overseas for a while without any of my family or friends!

Having time by myself surrounded by nature overseas might also give me time to reflect on what I want to do in university and the type of person I want to be. And obviously being a camp leader will help with getting a job as it’s a good addition to my CV.

If going overseas on a gap year sounds appealing to you, check out this article for more information