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Foreign summer camp coordinators enjoy life to the full in Vietnam

Foreign summer camp coordinators enjoy life to the full in Vietnam

Sunday, August 17, 2014, 18:06 GMT+7

Young camp coordinators from different countries have found endless joy and satisfaction with their job at Vietnam’s first “American-style” summer camp.

This summer, youths from different countries gathered at American Paradise Camp (APC), based in Phan Thiet City in central Vietnam’s Binh Thuan Province – some 180km (a 4-hour bus ride) from Ho Chi Minh City – to work as camp coordinators.

The camp is the Southeast Asian country’s first “American-style” summer camp intended for local and international children between the ages of 8 and 16.

It attracted many campers from June to August this year.

Luke Smith, 31, from the UK, is among the young camp coordinators.

“Enjoying my life,” he replied when asked what his current job is.

In November last year, Smith quit his sales managing job to travel around Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam.

He then applied for a coordinating job with APC to bring joy to young campers with his photography, guitar playing and camping skills.

His wife, Amy Lythgoe, who works as a nurse, also provided medical care for the APC campers.

What these young foreigners have in common is a sense of adventure and their plans to stop and work in one country before moving on to explore other places in the world.

“I was confined to the computer and the office for two years, and was almost ignorant of what’s going on outside. I didn’t think my hobbies such as filmmaking and baseball would land me such a dream job,” another young APC coordinator said.

They do not totally rely financially on their seasonal camp coordinating jobs. Most of them have other jobs, including English teaching and sports training, during the non-camping seasons.

The young coordinators share that their greatest difficulty was staying bouncy and boisterous all the time during one or two weeks of camping.

Their job was mostly about cheering the kids up, clowning, and devising new tricks to fully engross the young campers, while going to great lengths to ensure their safety in aquatic games and adventure sports including archery, fencing, and tightrope walking.  

American guy Tyler Mather, 25, said that despite the challenges it was really hard to be low-spirited among such adorable, energy-bursting kids.

He just had one of his most memorable birthdays when he received a cordial birthday wish from one of the kids every 5-10 minutes during that day.

With the same sense of adventure, APC founder, 28-year-old Jason Doyle, 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 chose Vietnam as his next destination, where he has realized his dream of starting a camp for kids.

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

His APC, located on a stunning beach at Vinh Loc resort in Phan Thiet City, offers over 30 different activities, including aquatic activities, sports, and creative and performing arts.

The young man always makes sure that campers are strictly forbidden from using cellphones and other electronic devices or accessing the Internet during their camp stay so that they can immerse fully in the camping joys.

APC coordinators also constantly update parents on their children’s activities.

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