I camp nursed in 2002 for a month. Initially, I understood (having asked the son's owner of the business) about visitors and having my SO (significant other) stay with me at the campsite. I understood I had private housing at the Canteen and it did not seem unusual at the time of asking. I was to be in a different part of the US and looked forward to showing my SO that area of the country.
Well, not only was he NOT welcome but I was to have one evening and one day off each two weeks. Transportation was very hit or miss and you were slave to the courtesies of the staff or not. This lack of freedom to come and go had me feeling like I was on an island without a raft. I will NEVER be in a situation where I have to rely on someone for transportation again. I did end up taking a few taxis’s out of the camp (very expensive but worth it at the time).
My SO never visited because, even if he did come stay elsewhere, (very expensive) and come to see the sites, I would only be able to spend about 20 hours with him.
The camp was tightly run; the good of that was it was organized and goals were made and accomplished. Was it a nurturing environment? No... The poor staff, who were mostly young kids who were experiencing their first "real job" were quite coerced into working very long hours with virtually no breaks (does one count as a break your being able to rest while you have the kids, about 8-24 of them are yours to share clean their rooms?... no
) The youthful staff members either loved it or hated it. Most had the time of their life and several (4-6) came back year after year; others, maybe about 4-6 of the 100 members of youth staff actually jumped ship and left before the completion of the summer program. Some of the staff members were from other countries like Ireland, Australia, and England. To resign from the summer camp was
particularly difficult because then their Visa was compromised.
All in all... I would do it again; I would bring with me a different perspective and expectation though. I felt I had been treated dishonestly. At the core of the owners was an underlying crust of dishonesty and lack of respect for their employees. Many will say that this is a particular management style and yes, it does work. The dishonest treatment of the employees, lack of respect for the staff, and other instances I observed left me with a bad taste for that place. Maybe my expectations were too high. Staff members who have done camp leadership at other facilities did share with me other experiences that were totally positive so there is many facilities out there that are more upfront and flexible who realize "staff needs to have fun too".
I would do it again in a heartbeat but not at the same facility. I would make sure I had my OWN transportation. I would be sure to have it spelled out if promises were made and therefore kept.
Have fun with your summer and let us know how you made out.