If you’re wondering where this idea for GetSETraining came from, its origin is back in the summer of 2010 at a summer camp in Pennsylvania.
This was my first time doing a work-travel opportunity and working on a J1 visa in the USA, while our other co-founder, Renee, had already been working at camp for a few seasons and had some great experience under her belt. During my first few years at camp, Renee was always a strong leader for me. She used her experience and wisdom to not only help myself and others get through personal struggles and challenges working with campers, but she also inspired many to be better people overall. It has been clear that she always wants the best for others, and wants to help them succeed personally and professionally.
In the summer of 2014, I moved into a leadership role at the camp where Renee and I worked. This change meant that we were working quite closely together on a regular basis and got to know each other much better. We found out that our leadership styles and professional interests aligned quite well. While we originally began working in the camp industry to provide campers with a fantastic experience, our focus has now shifted to staff and their success.
Most staff at summer camp are 18-25 years of age, and are currently in a newly recognized life stage called “emerging adulthood”. This stage is incredibly important as it is when many young people are gaining greater independence by having experiences separate from their family lives. During this time, they are really discovering who they are now, and who they want to be in the future. Renee and I have always had a passion to support staff members during this experience.
Over the years we have seen more young people struggle with the experience of being a staff member at summer camp. In this role they are not only responsible for themselves, but also the many campers in their group. They have to negotiate new social relationships and discover who they are as an individual in a group of staff, apart from who they are as a family member or student. It is a challenging time and more emerging adults are struggling with this experience and process of exploration. This is especially true for those who are engaging in a work-travel program and leaving their support network to travel overseas for this incredible experience.
As Renee and I both travelled to a different country to work at a summer camp, we understand the hardships that come with this, but also the life-changing experience that it is. We have personally experienced it and worked with hundreds of emerging adults who take part in the J1 cultural exchange program. We firmly believe in the importance of preparation for this experience. As we want to support summer camp staff ahead of time, we formed GetSETraining to help young people during this work-travel experience. We hope that with our guidance and support, emerging adults will be able to successfully navigate summer camp work and bring their newfound skills and experiences home.
We’re here to help you! Let us know what type of support you’re looking for in this experience!