To Our International Staff
Hidden Valley has a long history of hosting staff from many countries including all parts of the U.K. and Scandinavia; Hungary, the Netherlands, and other European countries; Thailand, South Africa, Senegal, Australia, New Zealand, China, and elsewhere. It is our sincere hope that — like the many hundreds of internationals who have preceded you here — you'll be comfortable at camp and in the surrounding community, and that Hidden Valley and Coastal Maine will become your 'home away from home' in America. To this end, former internationals have helped us compile some tips for those of you traveling here for the first time.
Packing: Our supply of sleeping gear is limited so please bring a sleeping bag or linens. If you cannot, we'll lend you blankets and linens during staff training, and you can purchase linens and blankets in the local town. (Pillows available for all.) You can review a detailed packing list here.
Travel: Scroll down this page for all details.
Mail: We'll provide a few stamps when you arrive here. Once you get settled, camp's office staff can help you acquire postage from the local post office.
Phone, Email & Skype:
- Internet connections are available and two computers are shared by staff for browsing and email use.
- If you have a laptop, you will be able to make skype connections.
- Office staff can sell you phone cards, good for use on pay phones in the US. Rates are reasonable. Phone cards are sold for $10.
- Please remember that cell phones (mobiles) are not permitted on camp property, and your time to use these will be limited to off time only.
Lock Boxes: We have lock boxes for money & valuables (passports, etc.) Please bring a bank card as these are safer than cash. Paychecks are issued bi-weekly, and can be picked up at any point during the summer. These checks and travelers' checks can be cashed nearby for dollars; local banks do not carry foreign currency.
Language: For some of you, English is not your first language. Rest assured that in previous summers, counselors have become comfortable with English after a few days here. You may want to practice speaking English before you begin your travels.
Cultural Differences: You can expect a few, such as American children's interest in 'talking out' their feelings. Or, poor table manners in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world! So, we'll set aside some time to discuss these and other relevant cultural issues when you arrive at camp.
Returning Internationals also provide new folks with guidance and support. And, always remember that Hidden Valley Camp values the unique talents and perspective that Internationals bring to our summer community.
What To Do
Things you may want to do on your off time:
- Local staff may invite you to their homes. American staff are eager to socialize and learn about your country.
- Visit Acadia National Park
- Go Hiking
- Go shopping at the factory stores
- See the Seadogs play baseball
- And have many more adventures!
No wonder my girls love the counselors and instructors you hire, it's nice to know you are looking at the whole picture and not just a body with a certain skill.
– HVC Parent
Off time is generous and will provide you many opportunities to explore Maine. Leaving camp is easy and can be done by sharing rides with Americans who have brought cars to camp, renting camp's staff van (to qualified drivers, for a nominal fee), or purchasing an inexpensive car to provide transportation during and after the camp season.
Travel around the States after camp is likely in your plans. As in the past, American staff may extend invitations to stay with them.
Often, we find that Internationals come to camp at the start of an extended travel experience. While you will have time to explore this part of the U.S., please note that you are expected to treat your counseling and teaching at Hidden Valley as a professional job. You will be working hard this summer.
More Advice on Getting Ready
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