Hey Camp George!
I recently returned from four months in Africa. For three of those months, I was interning at Men’s Health Magazine (South Africa) and I spent the last month traveling the country (stay tuned for more information on that.)
Having never lived or worked anywhere besides Toronto (or Parry Sound!), heading into this new situation was intimidating, but with the help of the skills I learned at camp, I soon realized I was, in fact, quite prepared for such an adventure!
In my role as an intern, my responsibilities included anything from going to stores to borrow clothes for photoshoots, to researching different beauty products to helping to put photoshoot looks together. What was most exiting, and very reminiscent of a day at camp, was that no two days were alike! One day I could be in the mall borrowing clothes and the next day I was hiking through a quarry, with an armful of clothes, in order to get the perfect shot for our photo spread. Knowing that I was part of the team that works to publish each monthly issue was a great feeling, and of course being a part of the behind the scenes action was awesome!
Of course,the first few weeks were very overwhelming. Getting to know a new city (and a new continent!) was a completely unfamiliar feeling for me. Along with learning the layout of the city, figuring out the best and safest ways to walk to and from work, I also had to learn new South African terms, and adjust to constantly hearing the South African accent. For the first time in a long time, I could relate exactly to what our new campers at camp felt like!
Many of the skills that I learned at camp came in very handy at my internship! Below I’ve included just a few examples of how these skills helped me transition to interning for Men’s Health magazine:
- Being organized: As a unit head and Communications Director at camp, I know there are always projects to work on, things to plan, and, of course, lots of phone calls and emails. At camp, you can often see me scrawling in my notebook (that I take everywhere with me!). These are skills that I brought with me to my internship. Keeping track of to do lists, ideas and important information helped me stay on task and absorb all the new information I was learning!
- Using teamwork: At camp, we all work together to make every summer the best that it can be – from living with others to planning huge programs like Maccabiah. At the magazine, we all worked together to make each monthly issue the best that it can be. In both cases, each person’s role contributes to the bigger picture, thus being able to work with others is vital. I came into my internship understanding that working well with others leads to the best end results—be it an evening program or a monthly magazine.
- Not being of afraid to ask questions: When I was a counselor, I learned it was always better to ask more questions to clarify and make sure I truly understood. Whether that meant asking a camper to give me more details about why they wanted more time on the Sport’s field or asking a staff member to explain the program they wanted to run—I learned that more information created better communication. So, knowing that my co-workers at the magazine felt the same way, I always made sure to clarify things if I was unsure, whether that meant asking about a clothing term or asking someone to repeat their instructions, because I didn’t quite understand what they had said the first time.
Looking back on my experience, I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to participate in this internship experience. Of course, I’m especially glad that I went into it with all the skills that I learned at Camp George because as it turns out, there are more similarities to running a summer camp and running a magazine than you might think!
From South Africa to Canada: still your Communication’s Director!