Earlier this year, Illinois AuPairCare Area Director Lays organized a memorable camping trip for her au pair cluster in Hoover Forest Preserve in Yorkville. The event proved to be a rousing success and fostered cultural exchange among au pairs from all across the world while honoring the time-honored American tradition of camping.
In the U.S. the tradition of camping has deep historical roots dating back to mid- 19th century. Around then, Americans sought to escape from urbanization and industrialization through the restorative power of nature. It embodies the American values of self-reliance and resilience. For these au pairs, this camping trip was an opportunity for them to immerse themselves in an American tradition while sharing their own cultures with one another.
This event included classic camping activities like a nature scavenger hunt, hiking, yard games, and a campfire gathering with s'mores and stories. The night culminated in an “international dance party” at the bunk house, complete with music from each au pair’s home country. Beyond a simple camping trip, this event symbolized the unity our community finds among our diversity. It allowed our au pairs both to embrace nature and build meaningful connections across cultures.
Au Pair Giulia from Brazil valued the chance to interact with peers globally, saying,
"My favorite part was connecting with people from different countries."
Au Pair Rion from Japan enjoyed both the outdoor adventures and bonding with other au pairs over their American aspirations.
"Everything about the camping trip was very fun, especially our evening walk with friends to see shooting stars,” she said. “We had deep conversations about everything we want to do in the US!"
Like the enduring spirit of camping in American history, this au pair camping trip fostered the priceless value of cultural exchange, by creating lifelong memories of international bonding and mutual appreciation.
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