Summer Camp in Germany is where superstar Dominik Semrau, quiz-show host to be has been for the last 8 years. Since the age of 17, he’s worked his way up the ranks. Now he is sharing how this experience has been life-changing and career-changing. Read on to find out just why Domi is a camp addict.
Tell us about yourself Domi. We’d love to know more about you!
Hi, my name is Domi. I’ve spent 5 years living in Hamburg where I studied Applied Media. Now I work as a freelancer for all kinds of jobs on TV and events. Eventually I want to reach my dream of hosting my own quiz show on TV.
Tell us about your path working at summer camp in Germany. We’ve heard you started off as a camper yourself?
My first year in Camp was 2012 when my neighbour talked me into taking part. At 17 I joined the leadership program. I learned a lot about social skills but more importantly, I got hyped for Camp!
I came back summer after summer for the past 8 years and didn’t have any other summer holiday and I don’t regret a single second of the past eight years. After the leadership year, I came back as a Counselor in Training (CIT) followed by 2 years as a “teamer”. When I came back for my fifth year I was asked if I wanted to join the coordinator’s team and become a Camp Director which I have been doing now for the past four years.
Now, after my eighth amazing summer at camp in Germany, I became a part of the Camp Office Crew. But instead of the office in Hamburg, my office will be at our camps in Bavaria where I will be working as a Destination Manager. It’s a job which does not feel like a job. What could be better?
What is your favorite age group to work with and why?
This is the number one question new “teamers” ask me every summer. At Camp Adventure we have 2 different age groups: Juniors (7-12 years) and Seniors (12-17 years). I got to work with both groups each summer and I never got a final answer to the question myself.
The Juniors might be a little harder to handle but they just do ridiculously funny and cute things that cheer you up. The Seniors are more independent but sometimes they are just ‘too cool for school’ and it takes some time to get them into camp mode. Once you crack their shell you will be surprised how stunning a 15-year-old boy looks with nail polish and a dress. So no matter which group you will be working with, fun is guaranteed!
What is one thing about the life of a “Camp Teamer” at summer camp in Germany that you weren’t prepared for? Our readers love to know the inside scoop.
Definitely the lack of sleep in my first year as a teamer. The days are long and the campfires are warm. So once the kids are in bed all the teamers gather around the campfire and talk about their days. And these are the moments where you gather your energy for going on even after 4 exhausting weeks of camp.
You constantly get reminded that you are not alone because everybody is experiencing the same situations and this keeps you going on. This is pure quality time where you actually get to know so many different people from different countries that you will never ever again need a hostel in any country because you always will have a couch to crash on.
What has been the most rewarding part of your experience so far?
It’s not one specific experience but one specific moment at summer camp is arrival day in Germany. The kids that come back year after year just like you start running towards you as soon as they see you.
The joy in their faces shows you time and time again how much they are looking forward to summer each year to come back to camp. The last years there were teamers coming to camp that I have known as kids for five years. Now all of a sudden they are my colleagues but the joy in their faces is still the same.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Like every year: meeting new friends, seeing old friends, water fights, campfire, digital detox and craziness.
What advice do you have for someone who is on the fence about becoming a “Camp Teamer” at a summer camp in Germany?
The less you expect, the more you will get. Camp is beyond everything you can imagine. The kids, the spirit, the family. If you come with an open mind and are willing to challenge yourself, your first summer at Camp will be a unique experience you will never forget!
Thank you Domi, for taking the time to share your incredible (and super-fun) story with the Premier TEFL community.