Some camps will accept direct applications from overseas students but most prefer application through a recognised agency such as BUNAC Camp America, or Camp Counselors USA. Similar jobs can be found with activity centres in Europe.
Summer. Camp Counsellors need to be available from June.
Work is in one of the 12,000 children's summer camps in the USA. The camps may be day or residential, run by private organisations, scout groups or religious orientated, or for children with special needs.
Your duties will involve acting as a "cross between a teacher and a big brother or sister," working and playing with the children 24 hours a day and instructing activities for them. Your main role will be to keep the children safe and happy during your nine week or longer stay.
You need to be able to like American children for long bouts at a time, be patient, fit, hardworking, and aged 18 or 19 and a half (depending on placement organisation) to 35. Applicants should also have no criminal record, speak English and, if a smoker, agree not to smoke. Some behind the scenes jobs are open to students only.
Around $700 to $1000 pocket money for the season; more for working on a special needs camp or if you've worked a past season . Tips may be available from grateful parents and the beautiful surroundings should also count as a perk. Counsellors will also receive a J-1 work visa, return flight, board and accommodation, and up to six weeks holiday at the end of camp to travel.
It is possible to arrange a job through a camp but most will insist on application through a placement organisation, such as BUNAC, Camp Counselors USA or Camp America. These organisations have been authorised by the US government to recruit thousands of counsellors and dish out work visas. Fees for their services are around £300 to £500. Other payments may be required to cover the cost of a police background check and visa fees.
Work on your stamina and patience.
Summer Jobs USA lists many of the camps dotted across the States. The latest edition is available from amazon.co.uk
Image courtesy of rachellynnaeÂ©