Sunday, 24 June 2012

Salutations from Huckins

Me and my room mates outside our cabin

Hey everybody, after a six year break I am writing this blog post at Camp Huckins on Lake Ossipee in Freedom New Hampshire.  In-case you missed it I left New Zealand over three and a half weeks ago and headed to the USA and Camp Huckins.  I was last at the camp in 2005 when I was 19 years old and for the last six years I have been meaning to come back but life kept getting in the way. This year however I had the perfect opportunity to return.

After a very long trip to get to the States I touched down in New York on Saturday June 9th.  feeling slightly jet lagged I made it through customs and into New York with not too much hassle, only getting a little confused at the the way in which the streets are named.    A night in New York followed by two bus rides via Boston I finally made it to Conway ready to be picked up by Mark another international staff member who began his Huckins experience in 2005 and is now a full time member of staff 7 years later.

After two weeks of getting ready for the campers to arrive. We are now finally up and running, having welcomed the 1st session campers on Saturday 23rd.

So what is Huckins you may be wondering?
Camp Nellie Huckins is an all girls camp in Freedom New Hampshire. It is lots of green and white cabins surrounded by pine trees beside a lake. It is a place that has that will capture the heart and inspiration of anybody who enters. (hence why I am back seven years later) It is a place that allows girls to be girls for two weeks every summer. 
Meeting New People
Over the next 10 weeks I will add entries on here that will explain Camp Huckins to you all. But to sum it up for now camp for me is sharing a room for ten weeks,  eating family style, standing on benches to sing, flag raising, making amazing friends, chapel talks, dress-up meals, cabin activities, the waterfront, awards, craftshop, the island, loons, vespers, talent shows, program days, camp-fires, Hucksters ceremonies and Candlelight. 
Dress Up Lunches
During staff week I was in a meeting and suddenly the cheers theme tune came to mind which I thought summed up Huckins perfectly. 
Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away? 

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.

Keep coming back to find out more at life at Camp Huckins. 

Thanks for reading, 
Katie .x.x

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Cabin fever

Hey everyone, currently on my 8th hour of a 15hr flight. This is the longest flight I have ever done, and I think I am starting to get cabin fever. Eeeek. When you get excited to hear Jackson five and Madonna and don’t care that people see you dancing in your seat I think it is safe to I am slowly going insane.
I'm on my way to New York having broken up the rest of the journey slightly over the last couple of days. I began in Auckland on Wednesday flying to Melbourne. This flight was not too bad only 6hrs. Then on Saturday I flew from Melbourne to Shanghai (11hrs) having a 15 hour lay over in Shanghai. Which was slightly surreal. I was staying at a hotel at the airport but was not in the least bit tired so ventured into the city to look for food. Definitely an experience in it self.

And then today I began the last part of my journey flying from Shanghai to New York, and that's currently where you find me writing this. I have managed to sleep for about 2hours of my time so far but now wide awake. I have watched a movie on my laptop, tried to read a book and been beaten by my phone at solitaire a lot. Only another 7 hours of boredom to go. :) For the last two hours I have been flitting between two thoughts/ The first being food; Pringle’s, French fries, four cheese pizza and bagels loaded with cream cheese. Oh my goodness, heaven. Its a good job its all American food that I'm craving as I will certainly be on the hunt this evening for all of the above. My second thought is I am claustrophobic what the hell am I doing in this plane for 15hrs this is hell. ARGH. (it's a shame sailing is so expensive and takes so long that would be so much better than this)

On the bright side though we seem to be chasing sunsets and sun rises around the world at the moment so the view outside my window is pretty incredible. 

Well I guess it's back to the flight I go. If I ever mention to anyone in the future that I am planning on embarking on a 15hr flight, please, please stop me from booking. Or at least make sure I go with an airline that provides entertainment at my seat and has Pringle's on board. Awkward

See you all in New York.

Katie. x.x

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Island life is the the place for me!

Hey everyone.
My South Island road trip has now ended and I am now on my last week in New Zealand :(  (for this trip anyway). I am currently staying on an Island close to Auckland called Waiheke. I arrived on Thursday afternoon in Auckland as I had my embassy appointment for my USA visa Friday morning , which all went swimmingly (although for some reason I did get very worked up about it thinking the US would not let me in). On Saturday I decided to leave Auckland , as I am not the biggest fan of huge cities and head somewhere new. A friend of mine had recommended Waiheke Island, which is a 40 min ferry trip away so I figured what have I got to loose. I walked down to the waterfront with my 21kg pack (which it turns out is very uncomfortable to carry, eeeek) and hopped on the next ferry.

I arrived in Waiheke Island with stunning sunshine, after a quick bus ride to my accommodation (the best hostel I have been to yet. ) I headed out to see the sights. My main plan for my time on Waiheke to rest, take things slow and just enjoy. As one of my quirky quotes says- 'good and quickly seldom meet' This was certainly achieved on my first afternoon here. I walked, slept on the beach, painted and enjoyed yummy home cooked food and company all at a nice relaxed slow down pace; heaven! 
Waiheke Island Life, the perfect place to relax and chill out.
Enjoying stunning views
My second day has pretty much been the same. With me walking around the island and truly taking advantage of a little down time and letting my body recover from a few months of busy time. Waiheke and it's relaxed Island life certainly lends itself to this. I walked to palm beach and then over to rocky cove. Stopping by a shop along the way where I bought these three lovely ceramic hearts. 
Two weeks of travelling and the curly hair is back!
After an hour of drawing at Rocky Cove the weather started to turn and I decided to head to the main hub of Waiheke, Oneroa and find a cup of tea. This alas was not found as instead I was side tracked by the smell of fish and chips (I am English after all). 
A small walk back to my hostel and I was greeted by my hostel hosting a BBQ with amazing food and sangria, a perfect end to a fun day of Island life.

Katie. x.x.