An ambitious college learner from Merthyr Tydfil is set to spend the summer of a lifetime in the states after impressing bosses across the pond at the famous Camp America programme.
19-year-old Ffion Faith Evans has bagged herself a place at the famous American camp after spending a successful six-week stint there last summer.
The Travel and Tourism learner from Coleg y Cymoedd will be jetting back off to the USA at the beginning of June for an eight-week summer camp placement.
Camp America is a cultural exchange programme that provides young people from all over the globe with the chance to spend their summer living and working on a camp in the USA, taking care of and entertaining younger camp residents.
The dedication and enthusiasm she displayed last year while working as a Camp America lifeguard and dorm leader impressed the team so much that she received the rare opportunity to be invited to return for another sought-after placement.
The return to Camp America will see Ffion, who plans to travel the world working in the skies as a flight attendant, clock up her air miles. Not fazed by being the other side of the globe, Ffion jumped at the chance to take part in the trip the first-time round and could not wait to hear what job she would be doing once she was there.
As a strong swimmer with training as a swimming coach, unsurprisingly Ffion was allocated the role of lifeguard – a position that she loved. Ffion explained: “While at the camp I was responsible for ensuring pool safety, organising and running activities at the waterfront, such as aqua aerobics and ninja warriors.
“On top of this, I also stayed in a dorm with twelve eight-year-old children whom I had personal responsibility of during all periods of downtime, as well as at night, which was certainly a testing but enjoyable experience.
“Working at Camp America was an absolutely incredible experience and one that I will never forget. I made some friends for life while I was out there and learnt so much, both in terms of skills, and about myself in general. I came back home with so much more confidence, and I can’t wait to go back out there again.”
For Ffion, the time at Camp America provided her with a number of valuable skills that she plans to use in her future career.
Those skills will be added to those Ffion has developed while studying for a Level 3 qualification in Travel and Tourism with Air Cabin Crew at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Ystrad Mynach campus, which prepares learners for a career in the travel industry with modules including customer service, the business of tourism, and practical sessions in passenger care and health & safety. The course even includes a trip to Heathrow Airport to take part in British Airways training exercises on aircraft evacuation and water-based survival sessions.
Ffion added: “The experience taught me that it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from, anyone can work together and build strong friendships, even after just a couple of weeks together. It’s also shown me that patience is a virtue, and that no matter how tired you are, if you have the willpower you can push through and get a job done. I think all of this has prepared me for a future role in cabin crew.”
Ffion was supported to take part in the programme by Coleg y Cymoedd with the college paying for her expenses through the Boost programme.