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American turns summer camp dream into reality in Vietnam

American turns summer camp dream into reality in Vietnam

Thursday, June 12, 2014, 21:12 GMT+7

A young American man has recently realized his dream of starting a camp for local and foreign kids in Vietnam by opening the country’s first “American Style” summer camp.

Jason Doyle, 28, has visited 28 countries, achieving his goal of setting foot in the same number of countries as the number of years he has lived.

He has chosen Vietnam as his next destination, where he is launching his American Paradise Camp (APC), the country’s first “American Style” summer camp intended for children between the ages of 8 and 16.       The camping guy

According to recent statistics from the American Camp Association, over ten million American kids attend summer camp each year.

Doyle was among them. The eager boy went to summer camp as soon as he was old enough, and when he was too old to attend, he worked as a camp counselor. He eventually became a full-time camp coordinator 

“Look, you’re at a place with total strangers, and you’re ‘trapped’ there for a whole day or week. You sleep in the same tent with them, and confide to them over the flickering fire what you normally wouldn’t share with your family or friends. It’s a miracle that a total stranger turns into a best friend that quickly,” Doyle said, explaining his infatuation with summer camp.

He stressed that fellow campers can also give one the inner strength to overcome obstacles and do what otherwise seems impossible.

“I managed to walk on a tightrope 12m above the ground because my fellow campers were cheering me on, although I was terrified of heights. Camps are where kids have new experiences and realize potentials beyond their own and their parents’ expectations,” Doyle shared.

He noted that although the kids may not realize they are learning new skills at camp, they will begin to realize it as they grow older.

Set on becoming a professional camp organizer, Doyle majored in child psychology and camp management at the University of Florida.

He worked as a part-time coordinator during his university years and a skiing instructor for kids at camps upon graduation. After some years of travelling, he served as head coordinator of the Camp California program in Croatia.

Totally ‘unplugged’

His new-found company, APC, is located on a stunning beach at Vinh Loc resort in central Binh Thuan Province’s Phan Thiet City, some 180km (a 4-hour bus ride) from Ho Chi Minh City.

APC offers over 30 different activities, including Water Activities, Sports, and Creative and Performing Arts. 

APC’s native English speaking counselors offer young campers from around the world a rewarding summer camp experience, making sure they make new friends and learn new skills while being immersed in a fully English-speaking environment.

“Though Vietnamese kids and teenagers may shy away from such unfamiliar, adventurous games as tightrope walking, fencing, archery, rugby, boating, surfing, sculpture, musicals and film production, their fears and anxiety will gradually melt away once they make friends,” Doyle said.

The young man also makes sure that campers are strictly forbidden from using cellphones or other electric devices or accessing the Internet during their camp stay. Coordinators constantly update parents on their children’s activities.

He shared that of all the 28 countries he has visited, he has found several like-minded friends in Vietnam, who are highly motivated to realize their dreams of offering kids rewarding skills and experiences and teaching them to cherish familial bonds and social connections.

Jason Doyle’s American Paradise Camp (APC) is ready to receive its first young campers this summer.

Those interested can visit www.campparadise.com.vn, email camper@campparadise.com.vn, or call (+848) 3526 8520 or (+848) 3526 8529.

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