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Types of camps
Summer camps are a real North American tradition.
Each year thousands of children aged six to sixteen look forward to spending anywhere between 1 to 9 weeks at summer camp.
It’s their time to break loose – to enjoy themselves, have fun, make friends, try new things and get looked after by a bunch of people with funny accents!!
Kiwis tend to imagine camps as looking like the movies – lots of trees, a lake, pool or river and a collection of wooden cabins, tents or buildings. Most camps are like this but no two camps are the same and many cater for specific needs, faiths, activities focus or philosophies.
Life at camp is intense – it’s hard work, and in a very short space of time camp becomes your bubble…and each world is different, because each camp is different.
Camp America works with the following types of camps:
  • Private / independent camps
  • Agency camps / not for profit camps
  • Specialty camps
  • Special needs camps
  • Faith camps
  • Disadvantaged camps
  • Girl scout camps
  • Day camps
Private / independent camps
These camps are the flagships of the great summer camp tradition and many have been around for a long time, some have even been passed down through the generations in families. These camps are residential, and on average, campers attend in 2 or 4 week sessions. They are privately owned, offer extensive facilities and are expensive for campers to attend. Because parents have paid quite a bit to send their kids to camp, emphasis is placed on the facilities, and a huge range of sports and arts activities will be on offer – which means there will be plenty for both you and the kids to enjoy!
Private Camps from Camp America NZ on Vimeo.
Jewish Camps from Camp America NZ on Vimeo
Private / independent camps
Camp America deals with a large number of these camps, who offer a truly unique and rewarding experience. They’re generally funded by charitable organisations and rely on donations. Sessions last one or two weeks which means meeting lots of different children.
Your campers may be from traditionally troubled areas like the Bronx or South Central LA or come from backgrounds that do not receive the same opportunities as other children. Many have never even seen a tree growing before.
Specialty Camps
These camps normally have one particular area of interest such as tennis, gymnastics, horse-riding etc. Although they offer other activities as well, they focus on specialised areas and seek staff with experience or certification.
Special Needs Camps
Provide for children and/or adults who have a variety of needs. Camps cater to campers with learning or emotional needs, physical or mental disabilities. These camps tend to have a very high staff to camper ratio. Counsellors often tell us that it is a challenging but rewarding role. Prior experience is a plus with staff in high demand.
Special Needs Camps from Camp America NZ on Vimeo.
Faith Based Camps
Faith based camps offer campers from Christian or Jewish backgrounds the chance to enjoy activities found at traditional camps, but with time incorporating their faith.
There a are generally 2 types of faith camps. Some are “faith’lite” – where the focus is fully on giving the kids a great summer experience. On other camps, faith will play a central role that serves to unite the camp’s community, with services and faith studies comprising a significant part of the day-to-day life on camp.
For many faith camps, a belief in the practiced faith is not a pre-requisite for counsellors, however, being open-minded, respectful and willing to learn about the lives and faith of others is essential. They won’t be hiring you to teach bible study if you know nothing about it… you’ll be employed to teach what it is you do know.
Christian Camps – the experience from Camp America NZ on Vimeo.
Jewish Camps from Camp America NZ on Vimeo
Disadvantaged Camps
Children from an urban, low income, difficult or homeless background get the chance to spend a couple of weeks in the countryside. Camps funded by local authorities, charities or agencies.
Lower Income Camps from Camp America NZ on Vimeo.
Girl Scout Camps
These all girl camps are about fun filled outdoor living, usually in platform tents. Activities concentrate on hiking, waterfront and team building with songs around camp fires before bed time.
Girl Scout Camps from Camp America NZ on Vimeo.
Day Camps
Children from the local area spend time at camp for a full range of activities during the day returning home at night. Staff may live on camp or with local families with the evenings free. Camps generally run for 10 weeks.
Day Camps from Camp America NZ on Vimeo