The positions you can apply for as a Camp Counselor;
Specialist Counsellors, Special Needs Counsellors, Religious Counselors
As a counsellor to American youngsters, you’ll be employed to teach them new skills, share experiences and cultures as well as providing overall supervision. In other words, you’ll be a ‘brother, sister, mentor, supervisor’ all rolled into one. You’ll work for 9/10 weeks from June to August. You could be hired as a specialist counsellor, a religious counsellor or a special needs counsellor.
Either way you must have experience of working with children and be able to provide references, which testify to this.
Specialist counsellors teach different groups of children specific skills such as:
Most camps need trained Lifeguards
There are over 100 different areas you can teach in. They are all listed on the application form online. The higher demand your particular skill is the more in demand your application will be.
A few camps (not many) also hire some General Counsellors who may also have areas of specialisation but they are primarily responsible for the overall activity programme and supervisory care of a small group of boys or girls. You’ll make their camp experience fun and rewarding and spend quality time with them from morning till dusk! To be a general counsellor you should have some teaching experience (ie primary, ECE, or secondary), or have some practical childcare experience.
As a Christian Counsellor, you’ll be required to combine the elements of counselling with the philosophy of a Christian Camp. On these camps, Christianity is the driving force behind the daily programme and they provide opportunities for Christian nurture and fellowship as well as traditional camp activities, sports and arts. Staff will take part in services, assist in bible study and provide spiritual mentorship.
If you have childcare experience and a personal commitment to share and explore your faith, such camps might be just the right placed for you! Christian Option participants will do the same type of activities as those who apply for the other Camp America Camp Counsellor Options, but Christian Option participants will have an additional duty to promote the Christian values and ethos of their camps. In return, they will have the satisfaction of knowing that their work at Christian Summer Camps is helping in the faith formation of their young charges, and in so doing, strengthening the Christian Community of the United States.
Working with people with disabilities is highly rewarding, but it is not an option to be selected lightly. These positions are especially suitable for those interested in future social work. As a special needs Counsellor you will work long hours and may well be required to lift physically disabled campers. Unlike other camps, 90% of special needs camps include some adult campers who will require the same attention and service as the children.
Assignments at special needs camps can sometimes require Counsellors to offer care and assistance of a very personal nature – bathing and being taken to the toilet for instance. Before selecting this role, potential applicants must ask themselves honestly whether they are capable of providing such help while maintaining due regard for the campers’ dignity. We take particular care in placing staff at special needs camps. We will not place you at such a camp without your prior agreement. While you are not required to have experience in order to work with campers with special needs, we strongly advise that you gain some before you depart for the US. Working on a Special Needs Camp can be the most fulfilling of the three camp roles.
The work requires alot of energy and patience as Campers can be very demanding. At the end of the day All Counsellors live in the same cabins as the campers and eat their meals with them. The exception to this is Day Camps where the children only come for the day. In all positions, you will be required to respect camp rules, which will include a curfew (time when you must be back on camp after evenings off) and a ban on alcohol. Smoking is greatly discouraged. Apart from specified days off, your nine weeks at camp will be devoted almost exclusively to your duties.
“It was incredibly hard work, a hundred times more so than last year but every minute was worth it for the friends I made and especially all those underprivilage kids which I hope I helped… It really was awesome.” Read more…
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What You Pay
You’ll need about $3800 for flights, fees, visa, and a little spending money – but here’s the breakdown