USA - American summer camp

Introduction to American Summer Camp

The camp experience is as mentally and emotionally fulfilling as it is challenging. In one word, it’s UNFORGETTABLE! All participants, whether they are counsellors, campers, support staff or directors, end the summer with memories and friendships that last a lifetime.

  1. Summary of Conditions
  2. Type of Job: Two Ways to Make a Difference
  3. Accommodation

WARNING! HARD WORK AHEAD! Working in a summer camp is hard work and should not be considered a vacation. Regardless of your role at the camp, you are directly responsible for another person’s child. This responsibility should never be taken lightly. Many of the camps where you might work will have stringent rules, including curfews, grooming requirements, and alcohol and smoking restrictions. To decide if this is the right programme for you, be sure to consider all of these factors.

Summary of Conditions

American summer camp
Type of job Counsellor, Support Staff
Salary (other benefits) Negotiable with camp (pre-placed applicants only)
Accommodation Provided by camp.
Location of job placement Various locations across the US.
Duration of the placement 2.5 months
When to apply? All applications should be submitted no later than March in order to start in June till August.
Eligibility. Who can apply? All applicants must be 19 onwards.
Application process in more detail.
Visa Required J1 Visa
Programme cost First time applicant 500 USD - including booking fee;
Second timer 380 USD including booking fee
Booking fee of 90 USD (non-refundable) which must be paid with application.
There is a 140 USD charge for applications received after the 7th of March.
Cancellation Programme booking fee is non-refundable. Check programme costs and cancellation policy
APPLY for the programme & BOOK online!

The camp experience is both fun and rewarding. Camp can increase your self-confidence, strengthen your leadership skills and sharpen your ability to work in a team.

There are two ways to participate in the programme and there is a set of specifics and requirements for each option:

Camp USA applicants

  • Meet the eligibility requirements;
  • Attend an in-country orientation and interview session;
  • Are interested in working with children and have an appreciation for outdoor living.

Pre-Placed applicants

  • Meet the eligibility requirements;
  • Secured a position in a camp in the US without the assistance of Global Choices;
  • Have not applied to the regular Camp USA programme;
  • Have been formally interviewed by the camp;
  • Are responsible for their own travel arrangements;
  • Are responsible for negotiating a stipend with the camp.

Type of Job: Two Ways to Make a Difference

The Camp USA programme offers two positions: Counsellor and Support Staff. Although the two roles are very different, each position is vital to the safe and effective running of a summer camp.

Support staff work in utility positions that are vital to the smooth operation of the summer camp. They provide crucial services to ensure the camp is clean, the campers are well fed and the facilities are maintained.

The majority of support staff work in the kitchen where duties can include preparing food, dish washing, cleaning floors and tables and taking out garbage. Many support staff positions require the participant to work well in a team. However, there are several positions, such as maintenance, office and canteen, where the individual must work well independently. Support staff may sleep in cabins with campers or have separate housing, depending on the camp. They receive a slightly higher stipend due to the physical nature of the position and work hours, on average 12 to 14 daily. Qualifications for Support Staff are reliability, a strong work ethic, motivation, flexibility and a sense of humour.

Counsellors have the rewarding and exhausting job of caring for the overall well being of the campers, 24 hours a day for a period of 8-15 weeks. In this position, counsellors are in constant contact with campers. Characteristics of a good counsellor are maturity, flexibility and a sense of humour. Generally, camps look for 3 types of counsellors: general, speciality and special needs.

  • General Counsellors’ primary responsibility is to supervise a specific cabin of campers. Other responsibilities may include providing assistance in activities and organising events. Usually general counsellors sleep, eat and live in a cabin with their campers;
  • Speciality Counsellors have prior training in specific skill areas and/or are qualified to teach an activity such as tennis, ceramics, swimming, archery or sailing. Depending on the camp, Speciality Counsellors may be required to sleep in cabins with campers and perform General Counsellor duties. At some camps, specialists teach their activity for 3 hours per day while at other camps, they teach an activity for the entire day;
  • Special Needs Counsellors work with campers of various ages who have a wide variety of disabilities, from asthma to mental disability. Some of those responsibilities may include bathing or lifting campers or administering medication. The position requires patience, respect for the campers and a lot of energy.
    Camps seek out applicants with the following skills or experiences:
  • Archery;
  • Arts & Crafts (ceramics, jewellery, woodworking, general crafts);
  • Boating (canoeing, sailing);
  • First Aid and CPR;
  • Gymnastics (floor and apparatus);
  • Horseback riding (English, Western, dressage, jumping);
  • Lifeguards and water safety instructors;
  • Martial Arts;
  • Mountain Biking;
  • Pioneering and Outdoor living;
  • Religious Education;
  • Rock Climbing;
  • Ropes Course;
  • Social Work;
  • Special Needs;
  • Tennis.


Counsellors and Support Staff may live either together with campers or separately. Camps have a variety of sleeping facilities: cabins, tents, A-frames and dorms. The bathroom facilities may be in the cabin or in a centralized location.

Our Participants Speak / Testimonials

Daniel Philips - South Africa

"I want to thank you for making my trip a success and for being part of my experience. I have learned a lot at camp. I have learned to touch people's lives, I have learned to express myself and come out of my shell, and I have learned how to make a difference in people's lives. One camper's family thanked me for changing their grandson's life after camp and told me how happy and different he was after camp. That was when I realized that I have achieved something that I will never trade for anything in life"

Global Choices. Contact information

Global Choices, 146 Omega Works, 4 Roach Road, London E3 2GY, United Kingdom
Tel: (+ 44) 208 533 2777 (UK)
Tel.: (+1) 646 929 4656 (USA)
Fax: (+ 44) 870 330 5955

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