Call­ing new re­cruits for Camp Amer­ica

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LEY TANTAU

A Hamil­ton stu­dent is pre­par­ing for her sec­ond year at an all-girls ortho­dox Jewish camp in Penn­syl­va­nia.

In June, Rhi­an­non Jones will head to the camp for a sec­ond time and wants to en­cour­age other Ki­wis to give Camp Amer­ica a go.

Camp Amer­ica is the orig­i­nal camp coun­sel­lor pro­gramme, and the big­gest sum­mer work ex­pe­ri­ence pro­gramme in the world.

When Rhi­an­non first ap­plied in 2014, she was of­fered the role of high ropes staff at Jewish camp Shoshanim.

Although at first she said it was a bit scary not know­ing any­thing about the cul­ture, Rhi­an­non took on the ad­ven­ture.

At the camp, skirts had to fall be­low the knees and shirts were not al­lowed to show el­bows.

For the high ropes course Rhi­an­non could wear shorts and t-shirts, but no sin­glets, she said.

They also all ate kosher, which means no pork and no shell­fish. They also don’t mix milk and meat to­gether.

‘‘They have a com­pletely dif­fer­ent life­style to us,’’ Rhi­an­non said. ‘‘But at the same time the girls are no dif­fer­ent. Some are as cheeky as the kids here.’’

On her first trip to the camp Rhi­an­non spent a week train­ing in New Jer­sey, where she gained her high ropes cer­tifi­cate.

Af­ter tak­ing a three-hour bus ride to Penn­syl­va­nia, the weather changed dras­ti­cally.

By the time they were called for breakfast, it was al­ready 25 de­grees, she said.

Rhi­an­non said there was around 30 in­ter­na­tional staff work­ing at the camp, with six fel­low high ropes teach­ers. Cam­pers ranged in age from 8-16.

De­spite foot­ball be­ing more her thing, Rhi­an­non took on the high ropes course with gusto.

So much so that she has be­come the head of ropes this year, earn­ing her an ex­tra $1000.

When the camp ended, Rhi­an­non toured around Amer­ica, sight­see­ing through places such as New York City, Bos­ton, Philadel­phia and Wash­ing­ton. It was her first time trav­el­ling any­where past Aus­tralia.

‘‘I feel like I’ve dealt with so many dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions now,’’ she said. ‘‘It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re shy or if you don’t play sport. They’ll find you some­thing to do and you’ll love it.’’

For more info visit: cam­pamer­ica.co.nz

Hamil­ton stu­dent Rhi­an­non Jones is on her way to her sec­ond year at Camp Amer­ica and en­cour­ages other Ki­wis to give it a go. PHOTO: KEL­LEY TANTAU/FAIRFAX NZ

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