Scottish lifeguard gains new perspective at TTT camp

This article submitted by Stephanie Everson on 07/22/97.

For some young people, summer camp can be an anxious experience. Meeting all new people in an unfamiliar place can be exhilarating and unnerving at the same time, but even though she's come all the way from Scotland, it doesn't seem to bother TTT Camp's new lifeguard.

Claire Pollock, the 19-year-old lifeguard and camp counselor from Glasgow, spent last summer working as a nanny for a family in Chicago. She considered continuing on for them this summer, but decided she wanted to see another area of American life.

She contacted Camp America, an international organization that places camp workers with camps in the United States. Pollock, whose strong point is lifeguarding, filled out an application including her talents and activities. The TTT Camp near Eden Valley, who needed a lifeguard and camp counselor, responded; and the Camp America organization paid her flights and pocket money.

Two years ago Pollock finished her secondary schooling, but at 19, this summer will be her last free summer for traveling. Next year, she will put her love for children to a purpose and begin four years of training as a pediatric nurse at a university in Edinburgh. Commenting that her father is a doctor and her mother a nurse, she joked, "I think it's in the blood."

Her summer at the TTT Camp, which will last from June 16 through August 9, is already teaching her new confidence she'll take home. Each eight-day session brings new faces, different personalities, and unforeseen challenges. The TTT Camp, which is for underprivileged and disadvantaged girls, brings with it varied perspectives and behaviors as each girl relates with others as well as themselves. "I can handle it," Pollock laughed. "We just talk it out."

In addition to the other challenges each day brings, Pollock has also been learning the American words for several common things. For instance, pants are not pants in Scotland, they're trousers, and what Americans refer to as tennis shoes, Scottish people call trainers; but perhaps the most interesting word difference, especially for Minnesotans, is the word for mosquitoes. Pollock calls them mitchies.

When she finishes out close to two months at the TTT Camp, Pollock will spend a little more time in the United States. She and a friend will travel to Chicago to visit the family for whom she served as a nanny, and then go on to New York.

Her return to Scotland will bring a new career and different responsibilities, but her experiences in the United States will give her a varied perspective to draw on.

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