A TOURISM student took off on an American adventure to gain valuable work experience with blind and visually impaired people.Print Page
Former Darlington College student Josh Brownless, 20, travelled to Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, for two months to work at Camp Dogwood, a Camp America recreational facility offering adults with limited or no vision the opportunity to experience the great outdoors.
Josh, of Northallerton, who studied a Level 3 extended diploma in travel and tourism at Darlington College, said: “I’d always wanted to visit the USA because of the weather, culture and food, however with flights and accommodation being so expensive I found that going to work with Camp America was a win win situation.
“I was so excited when the camp director rang me to explain about Camp Dogwood and when she offered me a place for the summer I accepted immediately.”
Josh’s work as camp counsellor and lifeguard saw him helping with activities including fishing, tubing, kayaking, boat rides, swimming and mini golf and also offering excursions out of camp to the local zoo, bowling alley and shopping centres.
“I really enjoyed my time at Camp Dogwood,” said Josh. “It was basically a holiday camp like any other just that the people were blind but the camp gave them a chance to have independence in an environment specifically adapted to them.
“My college studies came in really handy especially when it came to customer service and my tutors advice and past experiences definitely helped.
“I’m still looking to work in travel and am considering applying to be a holiday representative next year or even re-applying to Camp Dogwood. But long-term I would like to work for a travel company or work in care as travelling to the US has shown me that I really enjoy helping and looking after others.”
Darlington College tutor Jeanette Tate added: “Josh was a valuable member within his group and well-liked by tutors and peers. I am sure his experience in America will stand him in good stead for the future.”