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One of my proudest moments!

One of my proudest moments!

Author -  Jessica Hodges

One of my proudest moments! 

Graduating from University I wasn’t ready to step straight into a job, I wanted to experience what was out there in the world before settling down. 

Jessica Hodges Camp America and Canada 2.jpg

I had heard of Camp America and went along to an information evening. It was there I learnt that IWH doesn’t just run Camp America NZ but there are some amazing trips/projects they oversee as well. I started researching all the different programs IWH had to offer and I originally wanted to go to Camp then Africa but after taking everything in to consideration I ended up having my heart set on the Canadian Working Holiday program. 

Not long after the info evening I applied for Camp America as I knew it took some time, it was a fairly straightforward process and there was always someone to help or answer any questions! I had a few interviews with some camps and didn’t hear back but IWH/Camp America let you know this is a normal process and that you’re not necessarily going to be hired by the first camp you interview with, you also have to find the right fit for you. I was lucky enough to be offered a position with the second camp that interviewed me, Camp Waukeela, an all-girls camp based in the New Hampshire forests. 

Jessica Hodges Camp America and Canada 1.jpg
Once I had been placed and had my J-1 visa accepted, I decided to apply for the Canadian working holiday. Again, this required a few forms to complete, an interview and then an application to the Canadian Government website for the visa, IWH provided easy to follow instructions how to complete everything which was a big help! I was placed in a small town called Banff in the province of Alberta which was surrounded by forest, mountains and lakes. I was interviewed for a Hotel front desk role whilst at camp and they offered me the role! I did have to re-apply for the visa as I hadn’t heard back before I left the NZ, but after re-applying for the visa it had been accepted within two weeks of applying thankfully!

June came around pretty quickly and it was time to fly to Boston via Los Angeles. There were times before I left where I questioned was this the right thing for me but that all came down to nerves and I knew once I got their I was sure to have a great time! Arriving at camp and seeing everything for the first time was almost like a dream. Having only being able to see it via their website and actually being able to walk amongst the pine grove was awesome! I was a bit nervous about going to an all-girls camp but meeting the director in person and other staff immediately put my mind at ease! Once camp was over, I had a few weeks to travel before flying to Canada to start the next journey. Again, the nerves appeared as I was stepping out of my comfort zone to live and work in a new country. They disappeared pretty quickly on the bus into Banff and seeing the stunning nature that Canada had to offer, I knew immediately I was going to love it there!


Camp and Canada provided me with so many different experiences and memories! From these experiences I now find it easier to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, I have learnt about different cultures and I can adapt to change quickly. Camp was a great place to build on confidence, communication and leadership as I was able to improve and really put the skills into action on a daily basis. Canada allowed me to work on my independence as I was going to a new country not knowing anyone, though it was helpful with how friendly the locals were and the fact there were Aussies and Kiwis in the same position as me! 

Jessica Hodges Camp America and Canada 3.JPG

I think a challenging part of the experience was making sure I formed a good bond with the kids at camp when they first arrived. It was a little daunting going into a place that means so much to them and I wanted to ensure I carried that on along with the traditions. With the support of other staff members especially those who had been there since they were campers and having the kiwi can-do attitude, it helped immensely being able to communicate and provide the support needed for the kids. Showing that you were having as much fun as them as well allowed them to relax and give it their all too! In terms of Canada it was adjusting to the cold temperatures at first. -30 celsius can be quite a shock especially when your nostrils, hair and eyelashes start to freeze! You do learn to adapt pretty quickly and the scenery definitely made up for it!

Jessica Hodges Camp America and Canada 4.png
I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to go to camp for an additional two summers and what I found challenging when the kids first arrived, turned into one of my proudest moments! There was no better feeling when returning to camp a year later and you are greeted by the kids with screams and hugs! One of my proudest moments in Canada was for sure going up the mountain for the first time and learning to snowboard, although I am still pretty terrible at it, the experience was pretty awesome!
If you are considering going Camp or doing the Canadian Working Holiday, I couldn’t recommend it more. They are both such incredible opportunities and they allowed me to grow as a person. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be quite scary at first but with the support from IWH, it makes the process a lot easier!

If you are interested about finding out more about Camp America and Canadian Working Holidaycheck this page out or our website!

One of my proudest moments!

Graduating from University I wasn’t ready to step straight into a job, I wanted to experience what was out there in the world before settling down. I had heard of Camp America and went along to an information evening. It was there I learnt that IWH doesn’t just run Camp America NZ but there are some amazing trips/projects they oversee as well. I started researching all the different programs IWH had to offer and I originally wanted to go to Camp then Africa but after taking everything in to consideration I ended up having my heart set on the Canadian Working Holiday program.

One of my proudest moments! 

Graduating from University I wasn’t ready to step straight into a job, I wanted to experience what was out there in the world before settling down. 

Jessica Hodges Camp America and Canada 2.jpg

I had heard of Camp America and went along to an information evening. It was there I learnt that IWH doesn’t just run Camp America NZ but there are some amazing trips/projects they oversee as well. I started researching all the different programs IWH had to offer and I originally wanted to go to Camp then Africa but after taking everything in to consideration I ended up having my heart set on the Canadian Working Holiday program. 

Not long after the info evening I applied for Camp America as I knew it took some time, it was a fairly straightforward process and there was always someone to help or answer any questions! I had a few interviews with some camps and didn’t hear back but IWH/Camp America let you know this is a normal process and that you’re not necessarily going to be hired by the first camp you interview with, you also have to find the right fit for you. I was lucky enough to be offered a position with the second camp that interviewed me, Camp Waukeela, an all-girls camp based in the New Hampshire forests. 

Jessica Hodges Camp America and Canada 1.jpg
Once I had been placed and had my J-1 visa accepted, I decided to apply for the Canadian working holiday. Again, this required a few forms to complete, an interview and then an application to the Canadian Government website for the visa, IWH provided easy to follow instructions how to complete everything which was a big help! I was placed in a small town called Banff in the province of Alberta which was surrounded by forest, mountains and lakes. I was interviewed for a Hotel front desk role whilst at camp and they offered me the role! I did have to re-apply for the visa as I hadn’t heard back before I left the NZ, but after re-applying for the visa it had been accepted within two weeks of applying thankfully!

June came around pretty quickly and it was time to fly to Boston via Los Angeles. There were times before I left where I questioned was this the right thing for me but that all came down to nerves and I knew once I got their I was sure to have a great time! Arriving at camp and seeing everything for the first time was almost like a dream. Having only being able to see it via their website and actually being able to walk amongst the pine grove was awesome! I was a bit nervous about going to an all-girls camp but meeting the director in person and other staff immediately put my mind at ease! Once camp was over, I had a few weeks to travel before flying to Canada to start the next journey. Again, the nerves appeared as I was stepping out of my comfort zone to live and work in a new country. They disappeared pretty quickly on the bus into Banff and seeing the stunning nature that Canada had to offer, I knew immediately I was going to love it there!


Camp and Canada provided me with so many different experiences and memories! From these experiences I now find it easier to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, I have learnt about different cultures and I can adapt to change quickly. Camp was a great place to build on confidence, communication and leadership as I was able to improve and really put the skills into action on a daily basis. Canada allowed me to work on my independence as I was going to a new country not knowing anyone, though it was helpful with how friendly the locals were and the fact there were Aussies and Kiwis in the same position as me! 

Jessica Hodges Camp America and Canada 3.JPG

I think a challenging part of the experience was making sure I formed a good bond with the kids at camp when they first arrived. It was a little daunting going into a place that means so much to them and I wanted to ensure I carried that on along with the traditions. With the support of other staff members especially those who had been there since they were campers and having the kiwi can-do attitude, it helped immensely being able to communicate and provide the support needed for the kids. Showing that you were having as much fun as them as well allowed them to relax and give it their all too! In terms of Canada it was adjusting to the cold temperatures at first. -30 celsius can be quite a shock especially when your nostrils, hair and eyelashes start to freeze! You do learn to adapt pretty quickly and the scenery definitely made up for it!

Jessica Hodges Camp America and Canada 4.png
I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to go to camp for an additional two summers and what I found challenging when the kids first arrived, turned into one of my proudest moments! There was no better feeling when returning to camp a year later and you are greeted by the kids with screams and hugs! One of my proudest moments in Canada was for sure going up the mountain for the first time and learning to snowboard, although I am still pretty terrible at it, the experience was pretty awesome!
If you are considering going Camp or doing the Canadian Working Holiday, I couldn’t recommend it more. They are both such incredible opportunities and they allowed me to grow as a person. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be quite scary at first but with the support from IWH, it makes the process a lot easier!

If you are interested about finding out more about Camp America and Canadian Working Holidaycheck this page out or our website!

One of my proudest moments!

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