An Internationals Guide to Getting a job at a US Summer Camp
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Choosing a Camp
There are literally thousands of camps in the United States. They range from general camps which offer over 50 activities a day to their campers, through to specialist camps for the likes of Sports, Performing Arts, and Computers.
Each camp is different - some are traditional camps with rustic old cabins in the woods offering a general programme, while some private camps offer extensive specialist facilities that any college would be proud of. Many camps for younger children are Day Camps, which means you work with children during the day, but may have your evenings free. At most other camps, you can expect to be living in a cabin situation, with one or two other staff members, and anywhere from 6-20 campers.
There are a couple of routes to securing a job. The most common is to simply return your completed application to your agency, who will contact you for a face-to-face interview, to determine whether you'd be a suitable candidate.
Again, be positive and enthusiastic in your interview, and be clear about the activity areas you'd most like to work in. You'll also be asked about the age group of children you'd like to work with, whether you'd prefer to be at a single sex or a co-ed camp, and whether you'd like to be placed at a general or specialist camp.
The interviewer will probably ask how you'd cope in certain situations.. say if it was raining and you had to keep your campers indoors, or what you'd do if a fight broke out in your cabin. Think carefully about your responses, and answer with what you believe would work in each situation.
The interviewer will then determine whether you'd be a good camp counselor... If you've convinced them, they'll then send your application/CV on to a range of Camp Directors in the USA. Be patient - it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before you might be offered a position at a camp. Applicants with specialty skills and experience are more in demand and will often hear back fairly quickly.