Would you like to spend a few months in the United States but unsure how you could ever afford to? I am sure you have heard of Camp Counsellors and working at a US summer camp. This is a great way to see America without spending a fortune. Most camps last approximately two months and your visa allows you a month of travel after camp (and up to 30 days before camp!).
There are so many different jobs you can get at a summer camp! My role was as a specialist counsellor in the computer department, the idea being that I would teach the kids digital design and coding skills. Aside from working as a specialist counsellor in the computer department during the day, I also had my own bunk of 8 Sophomore girls to look after in the mornings and evenings (with the help of a couple other counsellors).
I didn’t really have any idea what to expect once I got there. All I knew about summer camp was from the movies and to be honest when I arrived at Camp Chipinaw it did look a lot like the movies. The camp was located on the edge of a lake with little cabins circling a flag pole and a communal dinning room where we all ate together. The facilities were pretty damn amazing with horse riding, high ropes, circus, water skiing and rock climbing just being a few of the activities children could choose from!
We were all warned that camp was hard work with just several evenings and one day off a week. But I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so tired. During camp was the first time that I EVER fell asleep in a movie theater and that happened twice in a month… but that being said it was also a lot of fun! I met amazing people from all over the world, the campers were pretty cute and I got to experience this amazing camp culture. From color war to camp songs (friends, friends, friends, we will always be…) to 4th of July to smores around the fire, it was pretty great.
You might think “you’re not really experiencing summer camp if you’re stuck in the computer room all day.” Fair point, I would have loved to be part of the waterfront team, that would make for an awesome summer. But the perks of the computer room were air con and internet. Plus I am a graphic designer, so my skill set was well suited to the computer room. We were all given one period off per day, where we could go and enjoy any of the activities around camp. I also got to be involved in a few off site trips with the kids. We took the entire camp to a theme park for the day as well as taking the Sophomores out for Trifecta (ice skating, lunch and a movie).
I’ll be honest with you though, days off were the BEST! They pretty much always started with a night out and then a slightly hungover day by the beautiful lake. The camp also organised a few excursions for our days off including a day in New York city, a trip to a huge mall and tickets to the Mets baseball game.
So would I recommend summer camp? Yes, I would. Its damn hard work! And there are times when you may wish it was over but its a great experience. I would go back for the friends I made alone.
What kind of jobs can I get at a summer camp?
- Rock Climbing
- Horse Riding
- Zip lining
- Arts & Crafts
- Circus Arts
The list goes on, there are so many different camp activities that you can get jobs in! As a first time camp counsellor you do have to go through an agency to be placed at a camp. I used CCUSA which are based in a number of different countries around the world and they were great! You also have to pay the agency a fee, but the payment you receive at the end of camp will be higher than the fee (especially including tips!). So look at it as a fun cultural experience where you receive a little pocket money for your future travels!