Meet the Team

Name: John Joe
Position: Managing Director

 

Profile:
John Joe has over 15 years experience in the sector. He is a committed perfectionist, though the rest of the team call this being annoying. Happiest when he’s out and about with students, he is often recalled to the office in order to ‘administer’. He tends to sulk a bit when this happens. 

Top Place in Summer Camp Ireland:
“Really hard to decide! But if I have to choose, I suppose The Sliabh Liag Cliffs(pictured).. They are the highest sea-cliffs in Europe – yes higher than both Dover & Moher. It’s a part of one of our Saturday trips, and it’s just a ‘Wow!’ moment among the students -for me too, actually”

Favourite Moment:
“When I see students drop their barriers and work together to either solve a landscape riddle, or orienteer the woods around the lake, and become closer in the process”


 

Top Tip For Students:
“Enjoy yourself. Make lots of new friends. Listen & learn lots. Leave with a new perspective.”

Favourite Activity:
“I think some of the evening activities are when students really start to enjoy themselves, Though I think surfing has to be the number 1 activity, but of course there’s eagle flying, and we can’t forget horse riding – no sorry can’t decide!”

Motivations:
“To make the course ever more interesting, have more nationalities, and make sure that every student leaves with wonderful tales to tell around the dinner table at home”

 

 

Name: Alan
Position: Course Co-Ordinator & Academic Director

 

Profile:

Alan has over 10 years experience in the sector and has an extensive background in all aspects of course coordination. He really enjoys the cultural and social experience of working with young people from all over the world. Known for being the ‘the nice one’, Alan is usually seen grabbing the ball and running off with a stream of students running after him.

 

Top Place in Summer Camp Ireland:

“Keem Beach! (pictured)We go there every year and I just love the reaction as the coach reaches the top of the cliff road and you hear the collective gasp from the students and then feel the anticipation as they see the beach down below.”

Favourite Moment:
“Departures, though it’s also the saddest day. It’s where you get to see how close they’ve become and how much they’ve grown to love Ireland”

 

Top Tip For Students:
“Mix with the other students as much as possible, but also as early as possible during the course. These other guys will become your very close friends, so get the most out of it for as long as possible!”

Favourite Activity:
“Although horse riding & surfing are very exciting, I think my vote has to go to either arts and crafts or hill-walking – the students love to talk and they get a chance to absorb more of each other on those days.”

Motivations:
“Social integration, ie more mixing. Students learn more, develop more and have more fun when they’re mixing with other students.”
 

 


Name: Araceli Rodriguez
Position: Student Welfare Officer

Profile:

Araceli has over 5 years experience working in student welfare and is a both a consummate professional and a warm and caring  person. Araceli takes care of all student issues from major to minor and can be seen administering hot chocolate, words of wisdom and even sometimes warning!

Top Place in Summer Camp Ireland:
“That’s too hard to decide! Maybe the Glen up behind Ben Bulben where we do hill-walking. It’s a very special moment when the students go there. They really enjoy the beauty and silence – it’s one of the few times they are stuck for words!”

Favourite Moment:
“Seeing so many nationalities coming together and bonding like a family. I love to see students gathering in the courtyard of the residence or coming over to each others’ apartments  in the evening to visit and chat or play Monopoly or chess after the main activities have finished. Watching Russian, Saudi, French, Italian, Korean, Nigerian, Irish, Swiss, American, Brazilian, Mexican and Spanish students bond really well together is very gratifying. There’s something about them becoming one big family that gets me everytime!”


Top Tip For Students:
“Make friends from other countries!! Don’t just stick with people from your own country – your missing out on so much if you do.”

Favourite Activity:
“Don’t make me choose! It might sound odd, but…I know that we have a great selection of activities like surfing, horse riding, eagle flying, arts and crafts, shooting and archery, etc….HOWEVER….I really like the hour or two at night AFTER the main activities finish around 21:15 when they come back to the residence and chat, visit, gossip and  play cards, board games, etc. I think a huge amount of friendship building happens at that time.

For example, this year one of the Italian girls started an ‘English Evening’  in her apartment where she invited  the girls of other nationalities over to chat. Then the Irish girls from the Campus Camp programme started coming over and soon there were cheese platters and fruit and different snacks from the various countries being brought out – it was really nice. And all that happened just sort of organically with only a little help from us. They all exchanged emails and Facebook contacts and they now have another group of friends that they might never have had before.”

Motivations:
“To keep finding more ways of getting students to come out of their shell, and mix with others and enjoy the experience.”


Name: Aga
Position: Administrative Director

 

Profile:
Aga is one of the founders of the programme and is responsible for the behind the scenes work that ensures the course runs smoothly. Having a keen eye for detail, Aga is usually seen double-checking that everything is in order and that everyone is doing what they should be. Colleagues are slightly afraid of her – don’t let that smile fool you!

Top Place in Summer Camp Ireland:
“Mullaghmore. It’s a lovely little sea-side village where our students go scuba-diving, but I love it just for it’s own special charm. It sits out on the edge of Donegal Bay and is a great place to sit on the rocks at the water’s edge and just let the sound of the ocean relax you.”

Favourite Moment:
“Watching the coach arrive in the car park on day 1! It’s showtime!”

 

Top Tip For Students:
“Have fun. You’re only young once and this is something you’ll remember forever.”

Favourite Activity:
“The Wild Rose of Inisfree Waterbus ride. You just sit back and feel the lake go slowly past you. On a nice summer’s day the breeze that brushes gently on your face as you sail slowly along the lake past Hazelwood Forest… oh why am I always stuck in the office?!”

Motivations:
“Perfection – it just has to be possible!”

 

 

Name: Claire
Position: Activities & Logistics Director

Profile:
Don’t let the baby-face fool you. Beneath this placid exterior beats a heart full of ruthless energy; buses better leave on time, activities better happen the way they’re supposed to or someone’s gonna pay! Ruthlessly efficient, Claire has been known to leave certain senior members of staff behind if it ‘messes with her schedule’. Loyal only to the students and their enjoyment, safety and time-table, Claire can be seen with a clip-board under one arm and a lost student under the other orchestrating an afternoon’s activities.

Top Place in Summer Camp Ireland:
“Anywhere on a Saturday trip. Dublin, Galway, Achill, Donegal. Students love to explore the towns around Ireland, whether it’s just a little fishing village or the capital city, they get a great sense of excitement from the whole experience. ”

Favourite Moment:
“Saturday mornings – just before the trip. I just love the excitement of all the students collecting their packed lunch, deciding who they’re going to sit with on the coach, planning their free time, shopping, sight-seeing and gossiping. It’s just a personal little buzz for me seeing them all so happy and excited.”

 

Top Tip For Students:
“Don’t miss the bus – taxis are expensive…only joking!”

Favourite Activity:
“Apart from the Saturday trip, I think my vote goes to Irish dancing. It’s usually everyone’s first time. The guys are a bit nervous at first, but then they get really into it and they start trying to impress the girls. Lot’s of giggling and laughing, luckily our dance instructor has a sense of humour and understands we’re not looking for the next cast of Riverdance. ”

Motivations:
“To make sure time-tables run smoothly and everyone has a good day.”