If you want to make your summer more interesting, get a short-term work and travel, or you wish to explore new cultures, meet new people and spend some time in the nature, you’ve probably heard about Camp America.
It is fairly popular in the UK, Germany, and Poland, and if you’ve had enough of Europe, that is one alternative. It is a fairly cheap way to visit the US, and in the mean time make new friends. But before you start packing your stuff; let’s first examine what really is Camp America.
Camp America is a cultural exchange program that lets you visit America and work in a summer camp for children and people with special needs in exchange for payment. There are thousands of summer camps across America, usually situated in secluded areas such as forests and mountains.
Should you decide to participate in the program, you can choose between Single Sex Camps, Underprivileged Camps, Special Needs Camps, Christian Camps, etc. More than 7,000 people participate in the exchange program each year, according to the organizers.
For all first-timers, the whole thing currently costs about GBP 750, including J-1 Visa, medical insurance, and travel expenses, while those who have already participated in the program would have to pay a bit more than GBP 510.
What Activities to Expect
Some job positions require specific previous experience, but the majorities don’t. You can apply for one of the Camp Counselors positions, which include Adventure, Religious, Sports, and Special Needs Counselors, amongst all others.
No matter what type of Counselor position you may choose, you will have to work with either children or people who need of special attention.
Your other choice is applying for one of the Campower positions, which include kitchen and waiting staff, maintenance, housekeeping and office jobs. You can expect decent housing, three meals a day, and an after-dinner activities such as camp fires, pool parties, dances, etc.
Criticism and Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, Camp America is not an organization, but rather a company that, just like any other, has to make a profit. Some reports claim that certain camps made their employees work around 60-70 or even 80 hours a week, earning about 80-90p an hour after the company has deducted their share.
And despite the fact that the vast majority of comments about Camp America are extremely positive, some of them look really promotional. That being said, there are still numerous people who enjoyed the whole experience and don’t regret for participating.