Beyond the Summer: Gwynn Valley Staff Updates is a series of blog posts to help share the stories of our amazing staff when they’re not here at Gwynn Valley. This blog celebrates the professional and personal successes of our staff and tells the stories of the journeys along the way. In some cases, their time at Gwynn Valley sets the path, sending our staff on travels to visit places they wouldn’t have had the connection or courage to visit before or on career paths they didn’t yet know were their calling. In other cases, the experience as a Gwynn Valley staff member offers enrichment, helping hone their teamwork and communication skills as they move on to a predetermined field. For all staff, Gwynn Valley is a special place and we want to celebrate the stories of the exceptional people who make the summer experience possible for our campers.
Every summer our staff consist of both national and international persons. We can have anywhere from a quarter to a third of our staff from other countries. While some may believe that camp is a place for education majors, or outdoor recreation focuses, our staff expand beyond these career paths. Gary, from the summer of 2017, and George, from 2014 and 2016, are both on the medical track.
Gary wrote “I am currently halfway through my second year of Medical School at the University of Sheffield. In the UK, you don’t choose your area of focus until after medical school, but I am very interested in Pediatrics and Neurology. Working at camp has definitely helped develop many of my skills. When working with children, especially young children, your communication skills with them and/or your co-counsellor has to be very good in order to avoid chaos. An entire summer of this will leave you with much stronger communication and interpersonal skills. Working in a team is a key part of GV life and my experiences will definitely be beneficial when working in a hospital treating patients. Being part of the GV family has been an incredible experience for me. They gave me the opportunity to train as a lifeguard which is something I never thought I would do. I made so many lifelong friends and it is a summer I will never forget.”
– Gary Neill, former staff member
George is currently in his 5th year of medical school in Cardiff, Wales, doing a specialist degree in Emergency, Pre-hospital and Immediate Care which he will qualify for in 2020. He is currently doing research in Patient Safety, hoping to publish research within 18 months and come to America to present. George also plays on the Cardiff Medics Football (Soccer) Club. He and his team won the National Associate of Medical Schools Soccer Cup. He says that camp has given him many memories for life, and friendships that cross the globe, while also cherishing the simple joys and the reminder to get back to nature whenever he can. He hopes to one day be back at camp as the doctor.