Retired woman assumes role at US summer camp under J-1 visa

"My God, do it.

Retired woman assumes role at US summer camp under J-1 visa

"My God, do it. This is the only chance we have to make it a great one.

Fiona Griffin is a grandmother from County Kerry, who follows her passion for travelling by working at an American summer camps.

Fiona, 66, is taking the traditional route used by students looking for a summer full of adventure. She is proving that you don't have to be too old to follow your passions.

The Tralee grandmother-of-5 and mother-of-4, Tralee, said that her circumstances had "fallen into place", meaning she was able spend the summer in the USA.

Fiona said to BBC News NI that she had to leave what I call my PAYE job in April because of my age. She was extremely disappointed about this.

Fiona discovered that she had more time to spend with her grown children and her mother Nuala, who is now 90 years old.

"I felt that I still had a lot of to offer and I was full of energy so I asked Miss Google for help. It brought up camp leaders and so I applied to work this summer.

"Are you mad?" Fiona asked her friends the first question after she told them about her plans. She assured them that she wasn't mad and that she was adventurous.

Fiona is also a wedding celebrant. She traveled to the USA on a J-1 Visa - which is a route many young people in Ireland consider a right of passage to travel to the USA for work.

Fiona stated that "Nobody got more out of it than I because I was aware about the J-1 visas since my two older sons Ray and Geoff went on J-1s while they were at college."

"I had a lot of fun waiting in line at the US Embassy in Dublin. I was in line with 20-year olds and teens, possibly, and we were all waiting to see if our J-1s would be granted.

Fiona arrived at Clearwater Camp in Wisconsin's forested environs in June. She received two weeks of training and was ready to welcome the children she will be working with.

Fiona is an activities counselor and looks after children at camp. She leads them in outdoor pursuits such as canoeing and archery and also teaches arts and crafts.

Fiona stated that her colleagues have accepted her despite their age differences.

"We went on a camping trip, and while we were trekking in the forest at night, one of our guides approached me and asked if I needed any help. Fiona stated that it was wonderful.

She added, "They look out for my well-being and take care of me."

Fiona's adventures captured imaginations back home. Her Instagram page was initially created to share photos with family and friends, but now has thousands of followers.

"I didn't think I would be able to make such an impact in encouraging others to do this. She said that they have been incredibly supportive.

Fiona recommended that anyone looking to make their own adventures in later life do some research on the various options.

Fiona stated that she had seen much of the world, and that there is still much to see.

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