SUMMER CAMP USA FAQ
SUMMER CAMP USA FAQ
YOU HAVE QUESTIONS & WE HAVE ANSWERS!
Working at a summer camp in America is popular gap year option for many young Australians. Typically this is the first time they will have worked abroad, which means there will be lots of questions. We are here to answer all your Summer Camp USA FAQ and ensure you have a great camp experience.
On our Summer Camp USA program there are so many things to consider; can I travel with a friend? Am I eligible for the visa? How much will it cost? When should I apply? What is included in the package? And so on… We recommend reviewing our Summer Camp USA FAQ below to learn more about the nitty gritty details of the program. If we don’t answer your questions here just give us a call on 1300 797 702, or contact us.
VISA & ELIGIBILITY
Who is eligible for Summer Camp USA?
Those aged between 18-30 years (18 must show excellent leadership experience and have great skills)
- Australia or New Zealand passport holder – for other nationalities contact us.
- Like children and have experience with them (see below), ideally in a leadership role
- Available for at least 8-10 weeks from mid-June. Most camp contracts start before 21st June.
- Are cheerful, energetic, friendly, hard-working, tolerant, flexible, conscientious, caring, reasonably gregarious, uncomplaining and able to adapt to camp life including the long hours, rules and curfews.
- Have some skills or qualifications in one or more of the camp activity areas. Your chances of being placed are higher if your skills and qualifications are in one of the areas highlighted as being in high demand.
Can I extend the camp visa?
I can’t commit for the full camp season (8-10 weeks). Can I still go?
Do I need a criminal record check?
I have a criminal conviction, am I eligible?
SUMMER CAMP USA PROGRAM QUESTIONS
What is included in the program?
- Guaranteed summer camp placement
- J1 Visa Sponsorship
- Pre departure travel info to prepare you for your trip. PLUS a departure orientation covering; camp life, American culture, transportation in the US, mobile phones, taxes and employment laws, and much more.
- Medical insurance included in fee
- HIGHEST camp salary in Australia – you make more money with IEP
- 10% off Trek America tours
- Flight deals through STA
- Arrival orientation
- Free food while at camp
- Free accommodation while at camp
- 30 day travel after camp
Why choose Summer Camp USA over other camp organisations?
There are many different camp organisations in Australia, but here is where we set ourselves apart:
- Only $99 to start an application
- Low fees – we are the most affordable provider in Australia
- Highest camp salary. You are doing all the work at camp and we feel you should be paid for it! Other organisations will take a cut of your salary – we don’t.
- Guaranteed placement or your money back
- Simple and stress free application process- no need to worry about creating a video- We want to get to know the real you over the phone or face to face!
- Great flight deals through STA Travel
- 24/7 support in NZ and USA
- Over 20 years experience
- Easy online application system
Do I have to take insurance through IEP?
Can I choose my camp?
How long is camp?
When will I leave for camp?
How much will camp cost overall?
Total: $499AUD Application fee: $99 to start an application! Acceptance fee: $200 (Paid upon completion of online camp application & interview with our summer camp placement team.) Placement fee: $200 (Paid once your camp placement is confirmed. The placement fee includes medical insurance & also your J1 Visa SEVIS fee.) Other costs to consider: Visa: USD$160 – the SEVIS fee is included in your acceptance fee Reciprocal Passport Fee: $105USD Insurance: Basic medical insurance coverage is included in your acceptance fee Proof of funds: USD$400 Flights: approx. $2200 return So all up you are looking at spending roughly $3840. Click here for a full cost breakdown
When will I be placed?
Am I guaranteed a camp placement?
How much money will I make?
Summer Camp USA offers the one of the HIGHEST salaries in Australia!
- If you are under 21 years: up to USD$1,650
- If you are aged 21+ years: up to USD$1,800
- Work at a special needs camp and you can earn an additional USD$100
- If you are a returning counsellor you are free to negotiate your own salary with the camp directly, salaries are typically USD$2,200 or more.
How much experience working with children do I need?
What skills are in high demand at camp?
WATER SPORTS SKILLS
- Lifeguards – Pool or Surf Certified
- Motor Boat Driving
- Swimming Instructors
- Water skiing
LAND SPORTS SKILLS
ARTS & CRAFT SKILLS
- Ceramics and pottery
- Metal/Silver Smithing
- Trip Leader
- Canoe Tripping
- Go Carts / ATV/ Motor Cross
- Ropes – High & Low
- Horseback Riding
- Mt Biking
- Rock Climbing
- Nature Study
- Christian Bible Studies
- Disability/Special Needs experience
- Jewish Studies
- Scouting experience
- Social Work
- Photo (digital)
- Animal farm
What is accommodation like at camp?
It is usually communal living, so you will most likely be living with campers and other counsellors.
What is food like at camp?
Do I get weekends off?
If I don’t like my camp can I change?
If I don’t like my department can I change?
Where are Camps located?
How old will the campers be?
Will Camps/the Camp Director contact me?
Can I go to Canada after camp?
How do I find out more info?
How do I apply?
We offer a simple and stress free application process- no need to worry about creating a video! We want to get to know the real you over the phone or face to face! You will start by filling out our online application. We will then be in touch to start to organize and interview with our camp placement team as well as start our online camp application which will outline your skills, activities of interest, experience working with kids as well as a couple references. We will then review all of your application to ensure it looks great and then send it off to some camps in the US. How fast this happens, really depends on how fast you work on your application. Start an application now!
What is the difference between a general camp counsellor and an activity camp counsellor?
I don’t have a particular skill or activity I could teach. Can I still apply?
Can I work with a friend/partner?
It is possible, but we just cannot guarantee it. It is important that if you want to attend camp with a friend to apply early as that will increase your chances. You should know:
- If you are placed at a camp with your friend you won’t necessarily get the same days off. It is best if you plan to do your travels together after camp in that 30 day grace period
- Summer Camps prefer to hire individuals because they usually will make more of an effort to fit in with other staff make new friends.
- You will not be living in the same accommodation, so it will be difficult to spend time with your friend
- Summer Camps tend to steer away from hiring friends since if one of them becomes unhappy – the other usually follows suit. If one decides to leave, chances are the other is not too far behind
- Summer Camps have specific roles they are trying to fill. So if you have the skill or activity experience they are looking for in one role and your friend doesn’t you are limiting your chance of placement.
- By trying to be placed with a friend can look negative to a camp. They are looking for independent people and by asking to be placed with a mate it may be viewed as not being mature enough for the job
Like we said earlier, we’ve placed friends before but we really do not encourage it. If you still keen to apply early make sure you:
- Apply early to enhance your chances of placement together
- Complete both of your applications at the same time, including references
- Have a variety of skills to offer – don’t both be going for that life guarding role
Can I apply if I have a medical condition?
When is the latest I can apply for Summer Camp USA?
Do I need a passport to apply?
When should I apply?
TRAVEL AFTER CAMP
Can I travel anywhere in the US after camp?
Can I travel before camp?
Can I travel with my friend/partner?
Will I have the opportunity to meet other people on the program before I leave?
Can I drive in the US on my license?
FLIGHTS TO CAMP
Do I have to book with STA Travel?
RETURNING TO SUMMER CAMP?
Can I go back to the same camp?
Can I go back to a different camp?
How do I apply as a Returner?
To apply as a returner just follow these 5 easy steps!
- Apply online for returning to summer camp
- Get a contract from Camp
- Get two references on our reference form
- Complete the application form (much shorter than your first year!)
- Send us a photocopy your previous J1 visa and passport, a reference and copy of your contract…. then leave the rest to us!