On The QT

Cape Cod Sea Camps

Blogger: Stephanie Lynch

A few years ago, I decided to try something a little different. I wasn’t the type of person who wanted to do a typical J1 – go to a town, share a house with other Irish people and get a job in a restaurant or a shop. I wanted to try something different and something I couldn’t experience at home.

A J1 but in my own style. In my head, I didn’t want to go away to America and spend my summer surrounded by Irish. I wanted to meet new people, step out of my comfort zone and try something completely different. That is exactly what I did. I decided to pull on my own strengths and applied to some sailing summer camps in the USA. I was over the moon when the lovely Otis from Cape Cod Sea Camps offered me the job. It all happened very fast. I got the job, got my visa, booked my flights and was about to enter the world of camp. I was definitely out of my comfort zone but little did I know, this experience was going to be the best experience of my life and was going to shape my career.


I stood out before I even got there when I emailed the camp asking did I need to bring my wetsuit!! I quickly learned…American sailing in the hot weather is completely different to Irish sailing in the rain and gusts!! I stood out even before they saw my pale skin, freckled face and heard my Irish accent. My first summer at camp was in 2010 and I will always remember my first day. Butterflies arouse and my first job was to welcome parents with their kids! How hard would that be? Well I quickly learned to go to the correct side of the cars approaching to chat to the driver and not the passenger side, learned the phrase we are “all set” and figured out that Irish sarcasm generally needed be explained! But it was my first experience with a little camper that made me realise, this was somewhere I didn’t have to be nervous, I could just be myself and enjoy my summer. My first memory at camp will always stay with me. A little tiny 4 year old boy comes up to me holding his moms hand, places his hand in mine and looks up at me and said “I love you”. My heart melted and then I suddenly heard “thats 3…let’s have camp”  and my summer of camp began. Camp brought lots of memories, along with lots of sailing on the pond, baysailing, lifeguarding, trust walks through the camp, pool parties, dances, ice cream at cobies and friendships forever. As you can see below, style goes out the window and you just have the best fun throughout your summer days. My main job during the day was sailing which suited me down to the ground. Sailing Sunfish on the lovely Long Pond and sailing Mercurys on the lovely Bay… the best job in the world.

For me, as the summer progressed, I made friendships to last a lifetime. Friends I will never forget. These friendships still exist today and will for many years to come. Since camp, I have had visits from many friends from camp to Ireland. Including three great friends who came to my 21st and Christmas with one of my closest camp friends, Darcey. A Christmas I will cherish forever. These friends showed me the local spots in Cape Cod, the places that as locals they fell in love with and returned again and again.

I enjoyed camp so much in 2010 that I returned in 2012 for another unforgettable experience. 2012 was a different summer but just as amazing as my first experience. New people and new experiences. Following my summer in 2012 of having a local experience, I came back to Ireland and realised that people flew into Dublin, went to Cork to kiss the Blarney stone, then went onto the Ring of Kerry but went nowhere in between. People weren’t seeing the local gems and getting the local tips like I was in Cape Cod. Without knowing it, the confidence I had built in camp during my two years gave me the courage to set up my own business showcasing the hidden gems, the local spots in Ireland. This was the gap I spotted in the tourism market. I have the amazing camp, along with my amazing camp buddies to thank for showing me my career path and for also giving me the courage to go for it. If anything before I went to camp, I was a shy person but camp gave me the opportunity to be confident, come out of my comfort zone and be who I really was(I know that sounds corny but it’s true). An experience like this is something everybody should have in your own way. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try something different.

At camp, your friends will become your camp family, your campers will become like brothers and sisters to you and your experience will become the best experience of your life. In the words of CCSC ‘Be good, feel good’.

I returned in 2012 and had another summer of my life. In 2012, I introduced camp to my best friend, Enya. If you think you are close with somebody…try going away to cape, staying in a cabin in an area so small that you could hold hands if you tried when lying in your bed. I know my first experience was on my own but my second experience of opening my world of camp to my best friend was just as good. We met new friends and had new experiences. We may have lived in a area small enough to touch hands lying down but you learn if you can get on well living in each others pockets, you have your one true friend. Camp may have allowed me to make new friends but it also allowed me to appreciate true friends. If anything camp made us stronger friends…sisters. I am truely grateful for that. Share your experience with your best friend and be grateful that you both share the best experience of your life together.

The moral of this blog is life doesn’t wait for anyone so go out and experience it. Try new things…Go to the drive in, experience 4th of July, get a job you love, go on roadtrips, change your style, experience a new culture, make new friends, bungee jump, enjoy the sun sets(while also seeing a sunrise or two), sail, surf and travel, travel, travel. To do this, you need to go out on your own, out of your comfort zone and try…. try something new. Dream. Discover. Explore. 

This was my experience…. what’s yours?


  1. Wonderful blog. You gave as much to camp as you took from it. So proud of you!!

  2. Great Blog Stephanie. Well done

  3. You’re the best Stephanie. Nice job and goodluck with the QT.

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