One of the greatest things about Cheley Colorado Camps is the opportunity to learn about new cultures. Campers and staff come from all over the United States and even the world to attend camp at this establishment. Whether it’s a difference in accents, languages, traditions or location, campers get to understand and work hand in hand with their peers from all over the globe. This past summer we had 52 international campers which are about 6% of the total 911 campers representing Saudi Arabia, Mexico, France, Mexico, Belgium, Spain, Canada, UK, China, Brazil, Hong Kong, Seychelles, Russia, Turkey, Singapore and Taiwan. Along with the 52 international campers we had 10 international staff members out of 206. The majority of them hear about Cheley through the internet, exchange programs or family members that have attended Cheley. The registration process is the same as our native campers.
It is a unique experience for the children because they get to know people whose lives are very different from their own. Not only do they learn about the differences, they also get to recognize the similarities that they have. As I was talking to one of my international co-workers from Hungary we got the opportunity to exchange music. It was an interesting experience for me because although we live very different lives we also have many similarities and share the same taste in music. It was neat to realize that although we dress differently, speak differently and live thousands of miles apart we are more alike than different. I have gotten the opportunity to witness many of the campers as they share similar experiences as I have with my co-workers. I love watching them educate one another on their languages, traditions, and hometowns. They bond over sports, celebrities, music and more creating an irreplaceable experience that they could not find elsewhere.
Another neat thing about having a diverse group of backgrounds at camp is that it often times sparks the campers’ passion to travel. I believe it is very important for youth to want to see the world and learn about other cultures because it makes them more open minded and well rounded. After meeting people from these countries and states I have seen the desire to travel grow in these children. Attending camp with people from all over the country and the world has also prepared campers for their future when they work in businesses or attend schools where they are exposed to different lifestyles.
The opportunities at Cheley are endless and the campers enjoyed everything that camp has to offer including making long distance friendships that will last a lifetime.