Ryan reflects on ‘life changing’ counsellor role

Ryan Bell (left) of Abbey Community College pictured at Camp Chen-a- Wanda residential summer camp in the USA.
Ryan Bell (left) of Abbey Community College pictured at Camp Chen-a- Wanda residential summer camp in the USA.

A Newtownabbey student has described the opportunity to be a summer camp counsellor in the USA as “life changing”.

Ryan Bell, outgoing Head Boy at Abbey Community College, has just returned from Camp Chen-a-Wanda, a residential co-ed summer camp in North East Pennsylvania, with which the college has set up a direct link as part of its enhancement curriculum.

Former head boy at Abbey Community College Ryan Bell who spent the summer as a Camp Counsellor in America..

Former head boy at Abbey Community College Ryan Bell who spent the summer as a Camp Counsellor in America..

Ryan successfully applied for the eight week post at the camp which caters for 600 children aged seven to 16 and was designated a group of 11 and 12-year-olds from the New York area. He said: “A regular day at camp, if there is such a thing, started at 7.45am with a bugle call. Then the rest of the day was split into activity periods, pretty much like a school day...the timetable consisted of all the sports you could imagine and other fun activities to keep 600 campers occupied for seven weeks.

“I’ve always wanted to work with kids so coming to America to work at a summer camp for children was an easy decision for me to go. The kids make the summer camp experience 10 times better with the energy and fun they bring.

“Getting the opportunity to be a summer camp counsellor in the USA was a life changing event for me, and I would encourage any young person out there who has the time and wants to work with kids to do the same. The experiences you get, the challenges you face, the situations you overcome have all made me a better man and proved to me that the only limits you have are the limits you place on yourself,” said Ryan who thanked staff at the college with special thanks to Mr Shields.