My name is Rhys Smith, better known as Smitty at CCB, and I am originally from Australia but currently living and working as a youth worker in Queenstown, New Zealand. In the summer of 2013 I experienced the most exciting and memorable 10 weeks of my life and it was all thanks to Camp Carolina. I am so excited that in 2014 I get to return and enjoy another 10 weeks of laughter, friendship, beautiful sunny days, 3pm thunderstorms, campers having the time of their life, counselors matching the excitement and energy the kids… and allowing a NZ youth to see what an American summer is all about!
On return to NZ from CCB and getting over the initial “camp sickness”, I was lucky enough to begin working in a job which had the same value, beliefs and aims as Camp Carolina-to ensure a “special effort is made to send every boy back home stronger in body, keener in mind, more appreciative of nature, nobler in character and more confident in themselves.” The Youth Booth is about providing an opportunity for youth to achieve their goals by being a supportive adult role model in their lives and encouraging and supporting them in whatever way we can.
Working with youth everyday and doing activities such as white water rafting, paintball, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing etc reminded me of my times at camp and with this I had a ‘light bulb’ moment and I immediately contacted Alfred and Mary Ec with my big idea- to bring a youth over from NZ for 4 weeks! The answer I got in return was nothing short of astounding and generous, they offered to give a young bloke a chance to come all the way around the world and experience Camp Carolina and assisting us in all ways possible to make this dream a reality.
Baxter Thomas is a 13 year old Wakatipu High School student in Queenstown who I have had the pleasure of working with for over a year. He is more than deserving of being the first, and definitely not last, NZ youth we are sending over to Camp Carolina. Baxter was ecstatic when we first discussed sending him over and he has not stopped asking questions about all he has seen in the videos and photos on the website and all I can say in return is ‘’you think it looks awesome on the screen, wait until your there!”
The Youth Booth is excited! Baxter is excited! Smitty is excited and CCB says “Boy Are We Enthusiastic” for 2014!
What a day!
Rhys ‘Smitty’ Smith