Austin Reno – U.S.A

English Camp 2012 is a place and a moment that I will never forget. It has shaped the way my past 3 years have played out. English Camp and Brazil was my first experience abroad. I had no idea what flying internationally was like, what do when I arrived, I spoke no Portuguese, and I certainly didn’t know what impact English Camp or Brazil would leave on me when I returned to the United States. In short, going to English Camp and being a volunteer international counselor allowed me to enter into the greatest friendships of my life. I was fortunate enough to meet a fellow leader, Luis Paulo Silva, who became one of the greatest friends of my life. I have since spent six months with him when I studied abroad in São Paulo. If I were never at English Camp, I would have never met LP and thus never had a solid group of Brazilian friends when I decided to study abroad for a semester in 2014. Second, I was introduced to Francine Pizzo who is a representation of how all girls around the world should act and carry themselves. To me, she is a person to take example from. Two other friends that I met at English Camp were Hugo Friere and Victor Berezutchi. Both of these guys have a joy for life and are genuine people who care about friendship. Fortunately for me, all of these friends that I met at English Camp were ones that were a large part of my study abroad experience; friends that I couldn’t have done without. And moreover, they are friends that are still close to my heart and ones that I keep in touch with on a regular basis. So, what all of this means is that English Camp is a place where you can make an impact on Brazilian kids’ lives and immerse them in American culture, but its also a place that you never forget. Whatever that reason is, English Camp is a place that begins a life of adventure, both for the campers and the leaders. I remember arriving to the office and chatting with Silvia before I left for camp. Then arriving to Sandra’s open arms. Lastly, coming full circle, by being introduced to Solange Pizzo. These three ladies love what they do and it shows in their passion to bring kids into the English Camp immersed adventure. The idea of English Camp is to create a spark in people that allow them to continue the adventure of life. That’s exactly what English Camp did for me. It taught me what my true passions were and allowed me to meet some of the best friends of my life. So for that, thank you English Camp. Muito obrigado e um grande abraço!

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