Roles at Camp: Support Staff

When people think of roles at summer camp, they often think about the role of a Camp Counselor, which involves working directly with campers. Alternatively, camps also need a variety of support staff. Support staff are often the backbones of camps, and would really struggle to run without them!

Types of Support Staff Roles.

Below I have listed a variety of different roles that camps require, and a few examples of what the role requires.

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Alex Housekeeping working hard cleaning the office!

  • Kitchen Staff – preparing yummy food, assisting chefs, serving food, re-stocking the salad bar, cleaning dishes.
  • Housekeeping Staff – cleaning communal areas on camp (e.g. offices, bathrooms, corridors etc.), keeping cabins stocked with essentials (toilet rolls etc.), cleaning camp vehicles, laundry.
  • Maintenance Staff – maintaining camp, fixing broken things (literally ANYTHING from toilets to golf buggy’s), gardening, setting up equipment for activities.
  • Office Staff – taking phone calls, filing paperwork, creating schedules, running camp canteens/store.
  • Infirmary Staff – assisting the camp nurse, camper medicines, first aid, looking after campers in the infirmary.

The majority of support staff roles do not involve much direct contact with campers (with the exception of infirmary staff). However, you are always encouraged to join in with camp activities where possible. For example, the support staff at my camp are placed into tribes (along with the rest of the campers/staff), and can join in/support tribal games and activities.

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Kitchen staff taking part in an evening activity ‘Scavenger Hunt’.

Benefits.

There are many benefits to being a support staff member at camp. Here are a few that I can think of:

  • Higher salary than Camp Counselor.
  • Meet and work with people from around the world. Support staff often come from a HUGE variety of countries. This summer at my camp, we had support staff from Mexico, England, Poland, Colombia, Slovakia, USA and the Czech Republic.
  • One day off per week.
  • More time off than counselors – various times throughout the day and the majority of evenings off.
  • Share a cabin with other support staff – do not have to share a cabin with campers.
  • Option to join in with fun camp activities, and to integrate with campers.
  • Travel after camp.

Drawbacks.

There are ups and downs to any job role (although working at camp definitely involves more ups!). Here are a few drawbacks that I can think of:

  • Have to get up early in the morning to prepare breakfast (THANK YOU – we are very grateful!!!).
  • Less interaction with campers (although there is the opportunity to join in with activities if you wish).
  • Must be a full-time University student to be a support staff member.

So if you think you have the skills it takes, or would love to spend a summer in the U.S but are not sure you could spend 24/7 with the campers, why not apply for a support staff role? For more information, or to apply, check out Camp Leaders.

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Maintenance staff joining in the Fourth of July celebrations.

Summer Camp: Where Every Day is a Fancy Dress Party

Halloween weekend is finally here (YAY!!!). In my opinion, Halloween is by far the best holiday of the year: fancy dress, sweets and Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ on repeat; what’s not to love?! If you also love Halloween and, like me, love ANY excuse to wear fancy dress, its a guarantee that you were born to go to camp. 13

At camp, any outfit on a general day-to-day basis goes. A typical outfit will normally involve a staff t-shirt, shorts and trainers (or in my case, Crocs), but don’t be surprised if you come across people wearing frog ponchos, tiaras and tutus.

Many camps will have special days such as tribal events or Colour War. For example, my camp have tribal meets on Sundays, and the whole camp dresses head to toe in their tribal colour for the ENTIRE day. The more of that colour you wear, the more tribal spirit you have (dur!!). This can range from bandanas and headbands to legwarmers, ribbon, tutus and beads. And paint, lots and lots of paint.

GO MARICOPAS (A.K.A the YELLOW tribe)!!!

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Camps will also have various other events and activities that require fancy dress. Evening activities sometimes involve paint (so be prepared and pack a couple of things that you don’t mind ruining and throwing out *dashes to the nearest Primark*). Here is one of my evening activity favorites: Goldrush.

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Not all evening activities are messy though! Camps often have traditional campfires, and everyone LOVES themed campfires. Here is a picture of our Wicked themed campfire from 2015. Note to self: never wear tin foil near a fire again.

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Other activities may require a different type of fancy dress. When packing for camp, pack ANYTHING at all that you think might be useful for dressing up. Popular themes often include beach, party, Disney, film, superheros, neon and back to front (wear your pants on the outside of your outfit!). You never know when that wand, bucket hat or bow tie might just come in handy…

Home made costumes are just as effective (and cheaper!) than shop bought ones, so don’t worry about having a complete outfit! Walmart is also full of cheap tat, which makes for an excellent costume, and camps often do trips do local stores to stock up on essentials. If all else fails, camps normally have a great drama closet full of fancy dress items.

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So, what are your plans for Halloween? If any part of your costume is reusable, or could be transformed into something else, make sure to save it for camp next year – everyone loves a game of Zombie Apocalypse and there are 101 different animals you can pretend to be with a pair of cat ears! Happy Halloween!

Counselor Files: Abbey King

Abbey is from County Durham and is currently studying Childhood Studies at Leeds Beckett University. Abbey has just returned home from her first summer at camp, and shares with us her thoughts about her experience.

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1. Which camp do you/did you work at, and where is it located?

I worked at Camp Chinqueka in Litchfield, Connecticut.

2. How long have you worked there?

I’ve have only spent one summer working at Chinqueka, but I hope to return again in the future.4.jpg

3. What is/was your role at camp?

I was one of the arts and crafts counselors, but that wasn’t too hard to spot as I was always covered head to toe in glitter!!

4. Why did you decide to work at a summer camp?

Working in a summer camp in the USA has been something I have always wanted to do. I really liked the idea of being able to spend my whole summer doing something new and exciting every day, instead of being stuck in rainy England! I also love travelling, so working at camp was a great opportunity for me to explore parts of the US that I would have probably never considered going to before.

5. Which agency did you apply through, and would you recommend them to a friend?

I applied to camp through an agency called Camp Leaders. They were extremely helpful and weren’t too expensive, so I would definitely recommend them to a friend.

6. What is the best thing about being a camp counselor?

One of the best things about being a camp counselor for me is the bonds that you make with the campers, and being able to see them smile and laugh every day. Whether they are staying 2 weeks or 8 weeks, you are able to create such amazing friendships and memories with them. I used to really enjoy arriving back in the cabin after our evening activity and hearing all of the girls talk about everything that they have done in their action-packed day at camp, with huge smiles on their faces. Their love for camp was so contagious!!

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Abby and her crazy cabin!!

7. What is the worst thing about being a camp counselor?

Being a camp counselor was a LOT more tiring than I ever expected it to be as it was so full on every day, but I’m sure all counselor’s feel like that at some point during the summer.

8. What is your favourite camp memory?

I have so many, but one particular day really stands out to me. One morning our Camp Director and the rest of the Admin team decided to bring Christmas to Chinqueka! So instead of our usual morning bugles, they played Christmas songs over the loudspeaker. Santa then made a surprise visit and raised the flag for us, and the dining hall was turned into a winter wonderland – complete with a Christmas tree! It was brilliant, and I still laugh about it today!

9. What are three items that you could not live without at camp?

  1. Sunscreen, I burn very easily!
  2. Sunglasses, I don’t think I ever took them off.
  3. A sensible pair of shoes (such as Crocs!).

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10. Do you have any advice for people applying to work at a summer camp?

Don’t spend too much time worrying about what it will be like, and have belief in yourself! I felt very nervous applying to camp, and I doubted myself a lot even after I was placed at Chinqueka. I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in, or that the kids wouldn’t like me, or that I wouldn’t have a clue what I was doing when I got there. However, I didn’t need to worry. Camp is such an easy going environment and everyone made me feel so welcome when I arrived. I had the time of my life at camp and I’m so glad I decided to apply because I have now come back home with so much more confidence and self-belief, which is an amazing feeling.

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‘we are each unique and beautiful, but together we are a masterpiece’.

Counselor Files: Maggie Andrulis

All the way from the USA itself, we hear what Maggie has to say about her summer camp experience.

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1. Which camp do you/did you work at, and where is it located?

I work at Camp Chinqueka in Litchfield, Connecticut

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2. How long have you worked there?

I’ve only worked at Camp Chinqueka for one summer but I plan to go back for more!

3. What is/was your role at camp?

I am the webmaster/photographer.

4. Why did you decide to work at a summer camp?

I decided to work at a summer camp because when I was younger, I only went to summer camp once and didn’t love it. I really wanted to see what summer camp was all about! Plus, photography is my passion so when I was offered the photographer job, I just couldn’t turn it down.

5. Which agency did you apply through, and would you recommend them to a friend?

I actually did not use an agency. My family is from Litchfield so I grew up going to Mount Tom, the pond Camp Chinqueka is on, during the summer and always heard the girls laughing across the pond. When I decided to look into working at a camp, I knew it would be a great fit for me because of the location. I would totally recommend working at a camp to any one of my friends.

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6. What is the best thing about being a camp counselor?

The best part of being a camp counselor is when you have that special moment with a camper that just makes you realize that being hot and exhausted all the time is totally worth it. One time, I was so sunburnt and tired and just generally not feeling like being a counsellor in that moment and one of the campers looked at me and said, “Thank you for everything, you’re the best,” and it made it all worth it.

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7. What is the worst thing about being a camp counsellor?

NEVER ENDING BUG BITES! I was COVERED from hip to ankle in bug bites by the end of the summer. I do not miss my itchy days.

8. What is your favourite camp memory?

Water Sports day! It’s this really fun day where we go to our brother camp and compete in different swimming events. There is also a canoe race at the end that is incredibly important. This summer, Camp Chinqueka won the canoe race for the first time since the 90’s and it was so special to be a part of that moment.
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9. What are three items that you could not live without at camp?

1. A personal fan. There is no such thing as air conditioning at camp and at night, it’s the worst. I literally slept in bed with a fan every night.

2. Crocs. So at first, I was very against the whole croc situation because they’re honestly just ugly but they are so comfortable and convenient. I could slip them on and off down at the dock, they were easy to walk in, and I could wear socks if I wanted!

3. My camera. Obviously, this was so important to me as the photographer but also, it was incredible to capture memories with my friends as well. Some of my favourite memories at camp were with other counsellors, who I now consider lifelong friends. It was so important to be able to have those photos to look back on at the end of the summer.

10. Do you have any advice for people applying to work at a summer camp?

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back immediately. I applied in December and didn’t hear back until February. I had totally forgotten I even applied! Everything will work out and you will end up at a camp that is perfect for you. Trust the system.

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Why choose Camp America?

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Camp America is a HUGELY popular agency choice for many people wanting to go and work at summer camp in the USA. Established in 1969, Camp America (CA) are experienced in recruiting international staff to work at American summer camps. CA recruit over 7000 people per YEAR from countries worldwide, creating a truly international experience for its staff, and they also work with the most amount of US summer camps; meaning you have a higher chance of being placed for the summer of your dreams!

If you are ever talking to a ‘non-camp’ person (basically the equivalent of a ‘muggle’), you will often hear them say ‘Oh, you did Camp America?’, regardless of the agency you went to camp with. Camp America is the agency that hired you, but if even the MUGGLE people know about it, then surely it must be the original, the most popular, and therefore one of the BEST!

Below is a break down of the costs involved, and also what the package includes, for first-time counselors.

First-Timer Costs

The cost to go to camp in 2017 with Camp America is £772. This includes:

  • Flights – a return flight to the USA.
  • Medical insurance for the ENTIRE trip to the U.S.
  • Visa documentation and support.
  • A police background check.
  • Pre-camp meet ups/CA Orientations – a chance to meet people from your camp and ask any questions you may have!
  • Transportation from a New York airport to a selected CA hotel/hostel for an overnight stay.
  • Food and accommodation for the entire time you are at camp.
  • 24 hour support throughout the whole trip.

Here is a break down of the costs involved:

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Pre-Placement

Step One: Apply – £0.

It is free to register and apply with Camp America (CA) – nothing to lose!

Step Two: Application Fee – £35.

Once you have completed enough of your CA application, you will be prompted to book an interview with an interviewer in your local area. If for any reason you are unsuccessful at this stage, this money will be refunded to you.

Step Three: Police Check – £53.

All agencies, including CA, require you to have a background check to enable you to work with children and young people at camp.

Step Four: Assessment and Circulation Fee – £134.

This is the exciting part where CA readies your application for potential camps to view!

Total for pre-placement = £222.

Post-Placement

Step One: Confirmation Fee – £100.

Once you have been placed (YIPEE!) at a camp, this fee is to confirm your commitment to the placement.

Step Two: Medical Insurance – £212.

Camp America cover you for the ENTIRE time you are in the U.S., including your post-camp travels.

Step Three: Medical Form – £?.

I went for a health check-up with the nurse at my local surgery, and she was happy to sign/stamp the medical form free of charge. Find out if your local GP/nurse will do the same before paying for a medical!

Step Four: Visa – £120.

This includes all your visa paperwork and essential U.S. embassy appointment (extra costs may incur for your travel to the embassy ican London, check out Megabus for cheap deals!).

Step Five: Pre-Camp Meet Up – £0.

Camp America host pre-camp meet ups prior to your departure, a great opportunity to meet other people and ask any questions you may still have.

Step Six: Airport Taxes and Fuel Surcharge – £118.

Although the cost of your flight is included in your fee’s, CA do pass on the airport tax and fuel surcharge.

Step Seven: Regional Flight Surcharge – £?.

Flights with Camp America typically depart from London. If this is not convenient for you, you are able to fly from Belfast, Edinburgh or Glasgow airports. There is currently no cost for this, but if you apply late, there will be an additional fee. What are you waiting for?!

Step Eight: Return Flight – £0.

Included in your fee’s is a return flight from New York. You will need to select the date of your return flight home prior to leaving for camp. However, you are able to purchase a ‘flexible flight pass’ that will allow you to depart from different airports across the U.S. at a time and date that will suit you. In addition, you can select a flight home as late as TWO weeks before camp – perfect if you are not 100% sure of your post-camp plans yet!

Total for post-placement = £550.

Total Cost: £772

As a first-timer using Camp America, your camp will pay a fee to CA to cover your agency sponsorship, admin fee’s and flights. Camps will take this out of the ‘pocket money’ you earn throughout the summer, and what is left is your much-deserved pay check!

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Take me to the shops!!!!!!!

If you have anymore questions about Camp America, check out their website HERE! You can also find them on Twitter: @CampAmerica69.

Counselor Files: Mike Knight

Brand new to the ‘How to Survive Summer Camp’ blog comes the first ‘Counselor Files’ post. Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to spend a summer at camp too!

This week, we hear from boys camp Counselor, Mike Knight. 51. Which camp do you/did you work at, and where is it located?

Camp Awosting, Connecticut.

2. How long have you worked there?

Four summers (so far!).

3. What is/was your role at camp?

I have spent four years as an activity counsellor, three of those were as the Drama Counselor and a fourth on the Ropes Team.

3.jpg4. Why did you decide to work at a summer camp?

My original reason to work at camp was to get away from home and try something completely different from my routine.

5. Which agency did you apply through, and would you recommend them to a friend?

I applied through CCUSA. I already had a job offer (as I knew a family connected to camp), so I had to find an agency. CCUSA were the first agency to respond, and I would recommend them to a friend as they are a helpful agency, no matter what the issue.

6. What is the best thing about being a camp counsellor?

In my opinion there is not just ONE best thing about being a counselor. The best reasons for me would be:

1. As cliché as this will sound, the children are one of the best things about being a counsellor. They will not only teach you a lot about yourself, but they will become the friends and little brothers that you have never had. It is a strong bond.

2. You will meet some of the greatest people you will ever know, and create long lasting friendships. Friends who will be there for the rest of your life, no matter where they are from.

3. It is a chance to experience a completely different culture to one you are familiar with. Although there are many similarities between the UK and the USA, the differences are substantial.

4.jpg7. What is the worst thing about being a camp counsellor?

One thing few people will ever tell you before starting the greatest job you will ever have, is that it will also be the most EXHAUSTING job you will ever have. Both mentally and physically!!

8. What is your favourite camp memory?

No matter what I do at camp, whether it be an adventure on a day off, a game that has been played for the first time in a while, the friendships, the happy campers… nothing will ever beat the first time I ever arrived at camp. After a long day of travel, my first glimpse of camp was the entrance to the driveway with a huge ‘Camp Awosting’ sign above it. The trip down the driveway felt as if we were going in slow motion, and I was in awe of every single building and all that was to come. It looked better than anything I could have ever imagined.

9. What are three items that you could not live without at camp?

If I were to be logical about this, my three much needed items would be bug spray, sun screen and a water bottle. However from a camper’s perspective, bring items from home such as a flag or a sports jersey. The campers will be in awe of you!

10. Do you have any advice for people applying to work at a summer camp?

My only advice to anyone applying to work at a summer camp is to not take the decision to apply lightly. Thousands of parents all over America are putting their pride and joy into your hands, and you will become a friend, a role model and mentor to these campers. Be ready to be that person, and aim to be that counselor that a camper talks about in every letter, every phone call home, and every time they talk about camp – even long after the summer is over!

Planning your Post-Camp Travels.

Although it’s always a sad day leaving camp, after 9 jam-packed, exhausting weeks, you will be more than ready to go and explore what the USA has to offer (sans children). Your J1 visa allows you 30 days independent travel after camp has ended, and the sky is the LIMIT (or maybe not, if you decide to visit the Kennedy Space Centre, FL!).

Who will you go with? Where will you go? How will you get there? Where to stay? There are so many different things to think about when you are planning your trip but do not worry, here is some advice for when the time comes to plan your post-camp travels.

Questions One – Who are you going to travel with?

There are a few options here, make the right choice for you!

Option 1 – Travel alone.

Pros:

  • You get to see exactly what YOU want to see.
  • You can stay in hostels and meet even more new people!

Cons:

  • It could potentially be more expensive (no one to share cost of hotel room with, for example).
  • Boredom (potential long bus journeys).
  • Loneliness.
  • Safety in numbers.

Option 2 – Meet friends/family who have travelledhp to meet you after camp has ended.

Pros:

  • Your family may be willing to pay (hello NY shopping spree!).
  • You would be reunited with friends/family sooner – 9 weeks is a long time!
  • You can plan prior to leaving for camp (cheaper flights if booked earlier etc.).

Cons:

  • If you have pre-booked before camp, you may change your mind when you have new camp friends!

This year, I spent 10 days after camp with my sister exploring Florida! Here we are at the Universal Studios, Orlando.

Option 3 – Travel with your new camp friends.

Pros:

  • Fun.
  • You can all plan together at camp.
  • It can potentially be cheaper (sharing cost of hotels/ transport etc.).

Cons:

  • It can be tricky to plan with so many people to please.
  • You may not end up going where you originally wanted to go.

Question Two – Where to travel?

East coast or west coast is the question! Many camps, like mine, are located on the East Coast of the USA, and many people plan their post-camp travels based on this. To save on the cost of flying around, many people choose destinations such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Alternatively, you could visit L.A, San Francisco, Vegas, and National Parks such as Yosemite on the West Coast of the U.S.

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NY – a view from the Empire State Building.

Question Three – How will you get there?

There are a few different travel options for your perfect post-camp trip, the best one for you will depend on your budget, and how long you have before your return to the UK.

  • Fly – depending on how far you are wanting to go, and if you are short on time, flying is a great option to get around America. To get the best price, book as early as possible.
  • Car– ever dreamed of road tripping across the USA? Car hire in the U.S. can be pretty cheap, if you have a group of people who you can split the cost between. However, there is often an extra charge if the driver is under 25 years old. Check out all the terms and conditions of the rental before you sign! I rented a car this year from Fox Rent A Car, and they were pretty helpful and even upgraded us to a larger model than the one we had paid for!
  • Camper Van – To save on paying for hotels/hostels, a camper van is a great way to travel the U.S. Although I have never hired one, I presume the same charges apply if a driver is under 25 years old. Camper vans can be pricey, but you can always split the cost if you travel with friends. Check out Jucy, who specialise in small RV rentals.
  • Bus – if you aren’t in any rush, or if you are short of cash, buses are a cheap way to travel. There are several companies, such as Greyhound, Peter Pan and Megabus, that all offer cheap fares to several destinations.

Question Four – Where to stay?

Again, the answer to this question depends on your budget. If you are not short of cash, you could opt to stay in hotels or private apartments. If you are on a budget, you could opt for a hostel or even a tent! Airbnb is hugely popular in America, and often has something to suit all needs. I used a lot of Airbnb’s this summer, and my advice would be if there is a choice between a $37 room or a $43 room, pay the extra $6! I often found that the places that were still cheap, but not the cheapest, were 100x better and definitely worth the money!

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When you get to the Airbnb and find out it has a jacuzzi! Winner!

Alternatively…

Organised Group Tours/Treks

As I have been browsing Twitter recently (follow me @how2survivecamp if you don’t trek america.jpegalready!), I have noticed a lot of people asking questions and considering Trek America for their post-camp travels. Trek America run tours all over the country, and often include your transport, accommodation and sometimes even food. They also include a tour guide who can give you more information than you can shake your hat at (and not just made up facts like mine… just kidding, 100 99.9% facts here!)

There are many pro’s and cons to booking an organised trip with a company such as Trek America, and here are a few:

Pros

  • Less organisation = less stress. Trek America plan every single detail of the trip, taking a weight off of your shoulders after a hectic summer!
  • Trek America know all the places worth visiting, and will take you there on the tour. No more taking wrong turns down strange country lanes or being stranded on a Megabus to nowhere for hours on end.
  • You get to meet new people – you can never have too many friends, right?!
  • You won’t have to travel alone.

Cons

  • COST. You may get to visit a whole bunch of places, but Trek America tours often do not come cheap!
  • My sister has been on a few different organised tours with big companies, and the accommodation they place you in is never quite the standard of the Ritz (or in a lot of places, rarely even the standard of your cabin!).

I have seen many people thinking about booking a Trek America tour before they arrive at camp. My advice would be to wait until you get to camp. You will make SO many new friends at camp, and you don’t want to be the one waving goodbye at the end of the summer when they going road tripping around the State’s without you! And if you do still want to go on an organised tour, you can still easily book for the end of the summer!

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Post-camp travels are a great way to explore before you have to return back to daily grind. Make sure you enjoy and make the most of it!!

 

 

How To… A Guide to Completing a Summer Camp Application

So once you have chosen the agency that is right for you (see my previous post, ‘Summer 2017 Applications are Open‘ for more info), now is time to tackle the online application form. Here is your first opportunity to really sell yourself and stand out from the crowd with a ‘WOW’ profile.

Whichever agency you choose to go with, they all have similar application processes, and most of them want to know your details, your experiences and highlights in activity areas that you are interested in applying for, your previous experiences with children, and most importantly WHY you want to work at camp.

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Love working with kids?

Here are my six top tips on how to complete an application for summer camp:

1. DETAIL. Complete each section of the application in as much detail as you possibly can. Yes, the applications can seem lengthy and do take some time to complete, but the more information you get in there, the more committed you look to the whole process and the more chance of being hired! The agency will often ask for your skills and ask you to describe the experience you have in an activity. Ensure you put details in in there such as:

  • How long you have done it for
  • Where you do it.
  • How often you do it.
  • How you got into it.
  • Any qualifications/awards you have in it.
  • How this relates to children/camp.

2. DON’T LIE. I think this is probably one of the most important tips I could give you. There is nothing worse when a camp hires a counselor, who arrives at camp not knowing anything about their chosen activity. For example, don’t put that you are a canoe expert just because you fancy a summer at the waterfront, when in reality you only canoed once years ago! Remember, you will be expected to teach and share your knowledge with a group of campers .There is a role out there for everyone, so focus on your strengths.

3. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS. Your application needs to demonstrate that you are in it for the right reasons, that you LOVE children and want to spend your summer working with and caring for them. If you haven’t got any experience with children, try and do some volunteering prior to applying. Things such as volunteering at a homework club or at your local Girlguiding group (which won’t take up much of your time!) show Camp Directors that you have the skills and qualities that they are looking for.

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                                        #selfie

4. PHOTOS/VIDEOS. Agencies often request that you upload a photo of yourself to the application, so make sure you choose wisely when selecting the perfect picture. This is often the first time both the agency and potential camps will see who you are, and first impressions count. A picture of you in some bar with a blue WKD in hand is probably not the best choice, but a nice, smiley profile picture might just be what it takes to get a camps attention.

Not all agencies require to make a video as part of your application, but others do. I have never personally had to make a video, however I have watched a few on YouTube (check a few out for ideas before you make your own!). Make sure you put effort into the video; if its a snoozefest, Camp Directors are just going to switch it off half way through!

5. SOCIAL MEDIA. Linked to photos involving bottles of blue WKD, many agencies now ask for your social media profiles as part of their application. Although you are welcome to leave these blank, remember agencies and Directors are still able to search for you online. Everyone has a few dodgy photo’s online, ones that are funny to you and your friends, but is that something you want (potential) future employers to see? Check to make sure there is nothing offensive on your profiles, or better still; set your accounts to private.

6. CHECK… THEN CHECK AGAIN! Before you submit your application, make sure you read it and then re-read again! Make a good impression by ensuring that your spelling and grammar are correct, and if English was never your strong subject at school, have someone else read through it for you.

Your application is your gateway to the best summer of your life. Take time and put effort into completing it to the best level that you can, and a summer in the states won’t be too far away. Happy applying!

The Reality of Returning Home from Summer Camp

So another summer is over (*sobs*), and the majority of camp counselors all over the world have now returned home. Here is the depressing/miserable/gloomy (insert any synonym for sad) reality of returning  home from summer camp…

Nobody wants to sing with you at meal times.

And all think you are crazy when you suggest singing the ‘Superman’ Grace before a meal.

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You no longer have a lake…

… or a blob!

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Back to English portion sizes.

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American food at home costs a fortune.

Lucky Charms, Peanut Butter M&M’s, Cheetos… the list is endless.

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You need a REASON to wear a fancy dress outfit.

Luckily, Halloween is on the way!

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One word: rain.

No explanation needed.

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And why is it so cold in this country?

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Back to lectures.

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Or even worse still, back to work.

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So there you have it. The reality of returning home after camp is not great, HOWEVER, there is all of this to look forward to next year. Check out my ‘before camp’ section if you are interested in working at a summer camp, but prepare yourself for all of this when you get back home – trust me, its worth it!!

If The Office (U.S.) Did Summer Camp…

If the Office (U.S.) did summer camp, it would look something like this…

When your tribe wins an event.

Because coming second, or even third, is never an option.
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Dancing with your cabin at the social like…

Anything goes.

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When you hear the toilet in your cabin is blocked again.

If you didn’t know how to plunge a toilet before, you soon will…

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When a camper tells you that you are their favourite counselor…

… and make you that all-important friendship bracelet (deal-breaker!).

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When you hear your cabin has won a pizza party for being the cleanest.

And you are in complete shock because you barely cleaned at all this week, we all know cabin clean-up = nap time right?!
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When you are in a stand-off situation during an all camp game of Assassins.

Do not trust ANYBODY, they’re all out to get you.
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