The A-Z of Summer Camp USA

Summer Camp USA is high on the hitlists for travellers going into 2012. I’ve written a couple of posts recently on the subject of working in America, and they’ve gone down pretty well with readers, so I thought I’d come back with a summary for Summer Camp USA!

I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences around Summer Camp USA, so after you’ve rallied through the alphabet, take a moment to drop me a comment in the thread below and make the most of the chance to learn more about it.

Let’s get going, here’s my A-Z of Summer Camp USA, born of many months experience in the States.

The full A-Z of Summer Camp USA!

Activities: Gimme an A! Gimme a ‘Ctivities! If you’re applying for Summer Camp USA, then a qualification or experience in a specific activity will improve your chances of a placement.

Bunks: Welcome to your summer home and social unit. You and your bunk co-counsellors are in charge of these young minds and hearts for the summer; you’re their big brother or sister, stand-in parent, mentor, comedy-hero, fashion-icon and generally the coolest person they’ve ever met. Take some Brit-décor to make it homely, and earn some extra brownie points.

Accommodation at Summer Camp USA is usually set against a beautiful backdrop.

Colo(u)r war: Or Olympics. Or College Days. Or the best damn days of your whole camp life! Campers split into teams and compete in a range of activities to win points for their team. Usually kicked off with a ‘Break’; a super stealth and hyper-exciting grand opening, no one knows what it is or when it’s coming, but expect wee minds to be blown!

Dances: Get your groove on at one of the regular dance events. Pretty much a staple of Summer Camp USA, so expect to don your grass-skirt or superhero cape and hit the dance floor!

Experience: You’ll need relevant experience of working with kids in a leadership role, other than your own family experience or babysitting, to be considered as a camp counsellor.

Food and accommodation: Included for the whole summer! A home cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus the digs to sleep it off.

Group Flight: Turn up at the airport and we’ll hook you up with other people heading over to the USA. You’ll spend a night together in NYC, before heading off to camp the following morning.

Hundreds of camps with hundreds of positive people. Contrary to popular belief, they’re spread out across the USA. From the Northeast to the Southeast, across the Midwest, along the West Coast, and in Canada.

Interview: The first step to Summer Camp USA, to make sure camp is right for you and vice versa. Book it asap to avoid missing the boat. We’ll confirm all the details for you in advance so you’ll know what to expect and what to bring with you.

This year's 'Break' took on a Batman theme, and it's fair to say campers go all out to get in the spirit.

June 21st is the absolute latest date you can fly out to the States to begin Summer Camp USA. You’ll need to be available prior to this date to be accepted onto the programme; but heads up, the early bird catches the worm. Make yourself available early to stand the best chance.

KAMP programme is the perfect alternative for those who want the Summer Camp experience, but don’t have the experience of working with kids. Kitchen and Maintenance Programme (KAMP) provides a way to earn some cash during your USA epic.

Low upfront cost: Your £495 includes your interview fee, placement, return flights, help getting the J-1 visa, pre-departure orientation, all your food and accommodation while you’re at camp, full support for the entire summer, and travel discounts! (Not bad when a flight alone could cost you upwards of £500!)

Moose, mosquitoes and a whole host of wildlife: prepare to love creatures great and small — and remember to pack some bug spray!

Nine weeks is the amount of time you’ll need to be available for. We get a few people calling to say they need to leave before because of weddings/graduations etc. so it’s important to know that you need to be there for the whole summer.

Out of hours: It’s not all work and play, there’s some rest time too! Most camps are within a short ride of a small town or city, where you can plug into the real world.

Activities are a mainstay of camp life, and as a camp counsellor, you'll be right at the centre of the action.

Personal touch: this relates to the fact that we don’t just throw all the successful applications into a big pile and dish them out across the nation. We look at you as an individual, and match you with the most suitable camp.

Qualifications will certainly strengthen an application, but it’s relevant experience that will give you the boost. If you’ve got them, flaunt them!

Registration fee: just fifty quid to book your interview, which we’ll refund if you don’t make it through.

Six to sixteen: That’s the age range of the kids you’ll be teaching at Summer Camp USA.

Travel (it couldn’t be anything else, right?!): After you’ve shut up camp, there’s a whole 30 days available to explore the USA before you jump on the return flight.

Fancy spending your summer inspiring kids to be the best they can be, while having heaps of fun? Welcome to Summer Camp USA!

United States: You’re in the heart of the USA; land of the free and the home of the brave. You might think you know the country like the back of your ‘Friends’ hand, but trust me, you’ll see a whole new side to it through Summer Camp USA.

Visa: You’ll need a special J-1 visa, which was set up to promote cultural exchange. It can be fairly form-heavy, but don’t worry, we’ll help you obtain it.

Website: this is an important one — not least because you’re on it now, and if it disappeared we’d all feel a little foolish — because it’s where you’ll find the tools to book Summer Camp USA.

eXcellent and eXhilarating: OK, so we’re scraping the barrel a bit here, but we couldn’t skip these two because they capture the essence of Summer Camp perfectly.

Year after year: this isn’t a wild claim, people really do come back year after year to get their Summer Camp fix. It’s no surprise: it’s great value experience, doused in fun, throughout the balmy American summer.

Zzzzz’s! Put simply, you won’t be getting enough of these!

Summer Camp aficionado, Tace Bleasby is to thank for this eXcellent round-up of Summer Camp USA! Tace has travelled throughout the USA on Summer Camp, and she’s right here to answer any questions you have about this, or other opportunities about Working Holidays in North America.