What are YOU doing next summer?

Thinking about summer camp next year? Stop thinking and start applying!

It may seem a little early to consider what you may or may not be doing next summer, but if you’re looking for an experience you’ll never forget, with the opportunity to travel afterwards, then summer camp in America may just be for you!

When I first considered joining the Camp Leaders programme, last August, I had hundreds of questions that I couldn’t always find the answer too. Hopefully, this post will answer a few of those.

“What is it all about?!”
Summer camp is a huge tradition in the states. Thousands and thousands of parents send their children away to camp each summer, leaving them in the hands of us! The kids are after a good time, learn new skills and make memories that last a lifetime.

“How do I know if I’m going to enjoy it?”
Take it from us. You just will. As long as you’re outgoing, patient and don’t mind looking a fool for a childs entertainment on the odd occasion, its for you! It is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have, and it is something you can take away with you forever. Not only that, you will be able to brag when you get home that it is possibly the coolest summer job ever.

“What do I get for my money?”
With Camp Leaders the programme fees can be as little as £389. This is an incentive for you to put all your work in and get you application processed and placable as soon as possible. Included in your fees are your return flights, medical insurance, all your visa paperwork, admin fees, 24/7 support here and in the states, and obviously a paid summer job in America.

“Will I get placed?”
99.9% of participants get a place at camp.

“But I don’t have any experience”
Yes you do! Everyone has a skill that makes them unique to camp, and if you’re really worried about it, check out local volunteering opportunities. Do-it has a wide range of youth and childcare opportunities nationwide that would enhance your application. If you’re still unsure, check out the some of the courses that are offered by Camp Leaders.

These are just a few of the questions I get asked on twitter, instagram and facebook, but honestly, you will not regret your decision to sign up. There is a camp out there for everyone, and all camps are completely different, so no experience will be the same, but your summer memories will last a lifetime.

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Summer is Over

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Summer is officially over. As I’ve been gone for some time, I wrote this small blog post for Camp Leaders, so potential applicants could see a ‘true’ story about summer camp in America.

I was hired at a girl scout camp in Virginia as a lifeguard. Both girl lifeguarding and being a girl scout were completely new to me, so I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. Before I left for the USA I trained as a lifeguard on the camp leaders ARC course. This was a brilliant week of meeting like minded people, and it also answered many of questions that I had about camp. 

I left for the states on the 10th June, not knowing too much about what camp life would really be like. When I arrived I stayed with a host family so I could get over my jetlag and ease into American culture. They were some of the best people I met during my time there. They picked me up from the airport, took us out sightseeing and for dinner, picked us up on our weekends off so we could have a little break from camp life, and looked after us before we flew home. They were so welcoming, and as they were a family that had attended the camp themselves before, they definitely settled any nerves! 

The camp itself was very basic. We had no electricity, no flushing toilets and lived in platform tents. The experience itself was a challenge, especially when it came to removing spiders or seeing a snake every now and then. But having everything so basic, made me more appreciative of everything that I have at home! 

Our day to day routine was very similar to other camps. We would get up around 7, attend flag, go to breakfast and then the activities would start. Being waterfront staff, meant that I got to spend my entire day at the waterfront, taking part in the activities. These included swimming, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing. The campers go to experience a lot of the waterfront, as well as arts and crafts, but we always had some crazy all camp games to end the day. We also had fantastic themed weeks, such as pirates, the hunger games and harry potter, which was obviously very popular!  

After an amazing 9 weeks, saying goodbye to 24 of the best people I could have ever met was so difficult. Camp friendships are a little different as you are not only friends, but you’re also your own little family. I can now say that I have friends all over the world thanks to camp in America. 

I was lucky enough to travel after camp for 3 weeks. in this time I went too Florida, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC and New York. I got to visit some beautiful places, and experience things I never thought I would.  

If anyone is in two minds about whether they should apply or not, my advice would be to go for it! You will not regret a single minute when you are at camp and it will be the best experience of your life. 

How to make a Camp Leaders video

I’ve been meaning to post this for a loooooong time, so here it is!

After being fortunate enough to be placed at a camp at the beginning of November, I still find myself checking the Camp Leaders facebook page at least 10 times a day. I’m not 100% sure as to why yet! But I read all the comments in hope that I can write something here that will help future applicants out. One thing that has really stood out to me, is people asking about the compulsory video.

So after filling in what feels like the longest application form in the world, and got to the next stage – Woohoo! –  you then receive the email about making ‘that’ video. Yup. And let me guess, you have absolutely no idea where to even begin? Exactly. So lets start with the basics.

The only scary thing about making a video, is how you’re going to be perceived by others. And yes, I understand that you can look like an absolute nutter and it is cemented on the internet for everyone to see, but just think of the end result. You’ll be doing something you love and getting paid for it.

Start with a solid intro. Tell everyone who you are and your reason behind what they’re about to witness.

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The key to the video is to have fun. It only needs to be a minute and a half long, so look at your list of top skills and get brainstorming. Think about how you can show these off as quickly as possible, whilst looking so energetic at the same time. Try and make it as unique as possible. Don’t just chuck a load of old photos of you in different places, with a group of children, you at a bake sale etc and turn it into a slideshow. Get ultra creative. Show that you’re willing to put all the work in because after all, you’re about to put a hell of a lot more work in when you get to camp.

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And don’t forget to film a closing line! Thank everyone for watching and tell them how much you can’t wait for the summer working with them. And don’t forget to reallllly think about that all important song for your video!

Remember, you’ll be working with children and your future employer is potentially about to see absolutely everything you put into it. Not only that, check your YouTube channel. Clear that up! Set your videos to private if they’re a little inappropriate. You wouldn’t want your boss to see you or your mates getting wild in a club on a Saturday night now would they? Nahhhh.

After watching my video back a stupid number of times, there are hundreds of changes I would make, but if I looked at it and thought it was perfect, it wouldn’t have reflected my personality and style. I’m just glad my best friend was there holding that camera  because she’s probably the only other person in the world that understands how crazy it can be.

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Thanks Clo 🙂