Camp America – music student teaches campers how to perform and record music in New York State
Continuing our look into the experiences of students who were involved in the Camp America project – which offered up to 90 students a once-in-a-lifetime work experience opportunity in the United States this summer – we move from Gilbertsville, PA to Hancock, NY, where Connor Skinner is having an amazing experience at French Wood Sports and Arts Camp.
Following on from my visits to Camp Laughing Waters, and Camp Herrlich, my journey took me from Pennsylvania to New York State. This was to catch up with Connor Skinner, as he returned from a trip to Niagara Falls, to chat about the amazing experience he is having at French Wood Sports and Arts Camp. French Wood is a converted boarding school which has an incredible range of activities with a huge array of resources. There are campers from Brazil, Peru and Russia, Argentina and France on site. Students can “major” during their two weeks stay in subjects including rock music, fly fishing, aquatics, circus skills, musical theatre, cooking, skateboarding, art, equestrianism, magic and a range of team sports.
The counsellors and staff are chosen for their skills. There’s a former MBA coach working with the basketball majors and a circus troupe from New Mexico teaching students high wire and trapeze skills. Recently a previous camper there won America’s Junior Voice and is now a major celebrity.
Connor is a music student so is happy to be running the rock music department, where he shows the students how to perform and record music. The students do up to three gigs a week for the other campers, making up an audience of 220. As he drives us around the 400-acre site to visit pools, horses and sports facilities, Connor says that this is without a doubt the best experience of his life so far and he’ll be back working next year. Participants have the option of extending their stay, by up to 30 days, to further explore the US after they have completed their nine-week placement. Connor will be extending his stay on the camp for an extra cohort and is then off to explore New York.
You can see a snapshot of what life on a Camp America placement is like here.