I’ve got my visa, my passport’s been packed for weeks and I’ve downloaded Frank Sinatra’s iconic New York, New York for my iPod.
On June 18 I’m leaving England and doing something I’ve dreamt about since I watched the Parent Trap seven years ago. I’m going to live in America and work at a kids’ summer camp.
Summer camps are a US institution. Living in log cabins, raising the flag before breakfast and singing the national anthem along with activities like swimming, sailing and playing soccer are the norm for your typical American camper.
Imagining the same happening in the UK presents a challenge. Being honest, even I don’t know the words to the National Anthem and find it doubtful many young Brits would.
Living in an environment where fresh air and camp fires are the order of the day might not be met with the same enthusiasm in the UK as it does in the US – Americans are fed on a diet of patriotism and camp songs from the word go.
At Golden Slipper Camp, I will be helping to supervise a 320-strong group of seven to 15-year-olds who will spend four weeks at camp in a structured routine.
A 7.45am wake-up call, six activities, a general swim then skits around the campfire to round off the day will exhaust me for sure, let alone the seven-year-olds who might be away from home for the first time.
Living in 600 acres of woodland in the Pocono mountains an hour away from New York City will certainly be different from spending my summer in Chichester as I normally do.
I won’t be returning from university to my part-time sales assistant job or have to put up with the inevitable disappointing summer weather, instead I’ll be able to ‘pop in’ to the Big Apple on my days off and hear ‘have a nice day!’
Although my view of what summer might be like has been glorified by countless Hollywood movies and cheesy TV series such as Glee, I can’t wait to experience ‘real’ America and live my own American dream.