Welcome Parents
There are two parts to this page….
Pre Placement
If your teen is applying for Camp America – no doubt you’ll have questions.
We encourage you to ask your teen (I use the word teen because we don’t hear from parents of those aged 20+) the questions you have – so that they can contact us themselves, find out the answer and then let you know. There are many ways they can do this – email, Facebook, phone (leaving a message if they can only ring outside working hours) and we have website chat and Messenger.
When parents ‘take over’ and start asking the questions – the applicant usually doesn’t find out the answers 1st hand – and they, after all, are the ones supposedly heading to camp.
We, and the camps, look for maturity – camps are reluctant to hire 18 year olds due to a lack of maturity – so having you call us on their behalf doesn’t do much to convince us of their maturity and ability to be able to cope at camp for 9 weeks.
If they have a problem – the process of solving it alone without your help, will do them the world of good, and if they can’t – well, again, we have to ask – are they the best applicant for Camp or should they wait a year?
For your reference though – please take a look at this page which outlines what it is they are applying for and the process.
Thanks for your help on this one.
Post Placement
Again – they are about to fly to America to a 9 week job..
They need to do all of this themselves. They have full and extensive instructions on their Camp America Direct Site, and from the NZ Office and if they read through them step by step, then they will find everything they need. If they have questions they should call, email, Facebook us and we will help them.
Please don’t be tempted to sort things out for them – because otherwise Camp will be a hell of a shock – and they need to mentally and emotionally prepare themselves for this, and doing their visa, contacting their camp, arranging their flights is all part of the process of getting them ready for camp.
If your son or daughter gets fired.
Yes – it does sometimes happen…
The first thing they normally do is call home – usually it’s the middle of the night and you just hear a distressed son or daughter on the phone.
Firstly – they will only get fired if they break the rules. The rules are told to them at camp before the campers arrive. Usually reasons for being fired are drinking, smoking, drugs, not doing their assigned duties. The Employment Law rules in America means ONCE and you are out – there is no warning system like in NZ. So if they stuff up at camp – they will most likely get fired – for breaking the rules or neglecting their kids.
The first thing they will tell you is; that they didn’t do anything wrong and they were fired for no reason.
In NZ we have been doing this for 16 years and I have noticed that teens don’t like admitting to their parents that they did something wrong and got fired, and ruined their camp adventure – so they don’t tell their parents – they normally feel ashamed.
The next thing they normally say – is that camp was awful, the staff were mean, the Camp Director nasty. Again – all things usually quite in contrast to their Facebook posts the day before they were fired.
So – what happens?
  • The US office need to be told – so if they have not yet contacted the US Office they need to do so ASAP. They may be able to be placed at another camp if the rule breaking was not too bad.
  • They will be asked to leave camp without saying goodbyes – as this disrupts the children and the other staff – normally they are really shocked about this.
  • They may be asked to leave camp immediately after being fired – so they are in shock. Often the camp or the US Camp America Office will arrange hostel accommodation nearby for them – but they will be banned from camp.
  • They will need to pay for any accommodation until they a. are placed at another camp, or b. fly home
  • Their visa will be canceled if they are not able to be placed in a different camp
  • They will then need to leave America without travelling.
It’s not a pleasant experience – so the best advice we can give is for them to do their job, and not break the rules.
They must call the US Office no matter what – 1-800-727-8233 – it’s a freephone number. The US Office staff are trained to deal with anything.
Can we suggest one way you can help your son or daughter be more prepared?
Consider gifting them the Certificate in Travel Health and Safety
  • This 2 hour online course will teach them the skills they need to manage their health and safety while traveling abroad
  • Great to calm nerves and become prepared if they are a traveling abroad for the first time, are a little nervous, or traveling solo
  • Find out more