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5 Questions We Get About Working at a Special Needs Camp

5 Questions About Working at a Special Needs Camp

There are a lot of questions about the topic of working at a Special Needs Camp. Some people don’t know what to expect and think it’s not the summer for them. Unsure whether it’s for you? Becky spent her first summer working as Support Staff at the Special Needs Camp Southampton Fresh Air Fund. She is here to talk about her experience working at a Special Needs Camp.

Do You Need Experience to Work at a Special Needs Camp?

I had never worked with anyone with Special Needs before and I didn’t even have any experience with children. Most camps will fly out their staff before camp starts for a training week. All the training that you need will be provided to get you ready for the summer. If your camp didn’t think you could work with people with Special Needs, they wouldn’t have hired you and we wouldn’t have accepted you to work at a Special Needs Camp!

Will I do a Good Job?

Everyone who is going to camp for the first time is going to be in the same boat. Before working at a Special Needs Camp, you will all get trained together and soon enough, you will be a pro at the lifting techniques and be able to handle anything that is thrown at you. If you are every worried, there will be returning staff who you can talk to and get some guidance from. Everyone will be supportive! When all the campers arrive, it will be overwhelming, but once you sit down and start speaking with them, you will build a bond with them very quickly.

Are Special Needs Camps Different from Other Camps?

Every camp is different. No two camps are the same, but we aim to make sure the kids have the best summer possible. At the end of the day, kids are kids and we want each and every kid at camp to have an amazing summer no matter who they are. Each camp has their own quirks and traditions and Special Need Camps are no different! We did Colour War and also planned a Prom. All the campers and staff got dressed up, took lots of photos, and ate LOTS of cake. On the very last night of camp, we did wish boats where each camper would write a wish on a small boat, light a candle, and sail it across the pool. The last campers candle to go out would have their wish come true.

Why Did You Decide to Go for a Special Needs Camp?

When I spoke to the Camp Directors, I got a very good vibe from them. They were both so lovely and helpful throughout the whole process of getting to camp. I was 18 when I flew out to camp and it was my first time flying on my own, but I was able to meet some of the new staff online before flying out which helped to calm my nerves. Soon after the kids arrived at camp, I realised that working at a Special Needs Camp was the best decision I had ever made. It was an extremely rewarding experience that brought out a completely new side to me.  Since you are working with fewer kids, you are able to form stronger bonds with them as they often stay for weeks at a time.

Why Should Work at a Special Needs Camp

One of my favourite memories from camp was with a camper. He was new to the camp and wrote a little note to say thank you to all of the Counselors and Support Staff in his bunk for helping him settle in and have an amazing time at camp. This experience has changed my outlook on life leading me down a career path aiming to work with sick children in hospitals and I couldn’t be more grateful for the amazing staff I worked alongside. This could be your experience next summer.

If you would like to spend your summer making a difference, apply here.

Becky
Becky
Becky is a member of the USA Summer Camp gang. She worked at Southhampton Fresh Air Fund as a Kitchen Support Staff!
Call now +44 (0)121 411 9165

USA Summer Camp Staff Spotlight – Meet Chloe

 Get Ready To Put Your Game Face On

Unsure what a Summer Camp game day is? When you get to camp, you’ll soon realise Summer Camp game days are EVERYTHING. The campers live for these events and stock up on accessories, face paint, and outfits to get into the camp spirit.

Don’t think you’re the competitive type? Think again! Game days can get intense, but don’t worry, we’re here to make sure you’re super prepared for the events of the summer. Keep reading to find out how to smash and win game days at camp!

Colour War/Olympics

“Make sure you have loads of colourful tees and shorts you don’t mind to get DIRTY!”

Colour War is one of the most famous Summer Camp Game day across America. Split into teams with fellow counselors and campers for some serious games of tug of war, sports, capture the flag and more! The campers will put their ALL into these games so this is your time to show the rest of camp what you’re really made of.

Top tip, you won’t know which colour team you will be on until you get to camp. Prepare and bring as many different colour tees or stock up on your visit to Walmart. There’s nothing better than standing with your team members all kitted out in your colour, representin’ the team. GO TEAM BLUE!

Camp Carnival

“You’ll eat your body weight in sweets, popcorn, and candy floss.”

Camp Carnival is a little treat game day for the campers to let loose and have fun! There’s Carnival games, bouncy castles, and LOADS of food. You’ll never get hungry as popcorn, sweets, candy floss and chocolate are to be seen everywhere.

Depending on your camp, you’ll be able to go on the rides with your campers and really act like a big kid again. As well as all the rides and food, you can even get married at one of the Carnival stools.  Fake marry your BFF Camp Counselor and live happily ever after.

Rope and Fire

“Get ready for some INTENSE scenes!” 

This is the game day that the older campers and counselors prepare for throughout their Summer Camp years. A couple of days before the event, the rope is soaked in water to make sure it’s extremely hard to burn.

When the event starts, counselors and campers are required to start a fire and build it tall enough to reach the rope. The atmosphere is crazy and everybody screams, sings, and chants for their team. Finally, when the rope breaks, everybody goes absolutely crazy. It’s definitely something you’ll never forget.

Ready To Get Started?

 

 

Make The Most of Your 30 Days!

We know the feeling of seeing an amazing trip, but not being able to afford it. Worst feeling ever. Whether you’re wanting to go to Summer Camp for the first time or looking at doing the ultimate Trek America trip after camp, it can be hard to save up the cash. With an office full of travellers and counselors, we’ve had our fair share of saving and budgeting for trips over the years so if you’re desperate to save up for the trip of a lifetime, keep reading below!

Prioritise Your Spending

You see a piece of clothing you just have to buy, it’s calling your name, but you have to stop and think. Is this more important than my trip to America? Probs not! Prioritising your spend is one of the first steps to saving up for the trip of a lifetime. Take a look at all the things you buy over the month and think about if you really need to spend your money on these items. If not, put the money away and save it!

Cut Back On Nights Out

Nights out are fun, but not as fun as exploring a new country, completing your bucket list, and gaining new experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Nights out can be expensive with the drink, entry, and taxi. It all adds up. Save up for the trip of a lifetime by cutting down on the nights out, saving up that money, and chilling at home. Trust us, you’ll thank us later when you’re chilling on a beach in the US of A!

Track Your Spending With An App

To really get motivated and save all the money you can, download a money saving app! Most apps around will show you exactly how much you are saving and set you a goal for each month. Some apps even cancel your unused subscriptions for you which is super handy. Keep an eye on how much you save and really get excited when you reach your goals! Some apps we recommend are Qapital, Claritymoney, and Monzo.

Open a Savings Account

With all the money you save, put it into a separate savings account. This means you won’t be tempted to dip into the money you’ve saved. Top tip: Make it your mission to put at least a pound a day into your savings account. It really will add up!  Your money will be safe and sound in your account, ready for you to take out when it’s time for your trip of a lifetime.

Once the money comes rolling in, you’ll soon see that the trip of a lifetime can be a reality! Whether you’re planning on going to Summer Camp for the first time or going a Trek America trip after camp, you’re going to make it this summer. Ready to get started on your trip of a lifetime? Click below.

Find out More!

Hey, I’m Chloe!

This is my first season in the office! I help all our applicants on their journey to head out to Camp from making sure profiles are completed, documents are in and helping get everything prepared for their departure to the States. I also visit universities to meet our applicants and hold information stands and presentations.

My Favourite Work Memory

My favourite memory has to be attending our Dublin Job Fair in January. This was my first job fair and was the best experience. I loved helping and meeting our Irish Applicants and it was such a rewarding feeling seeing applicants so excited when they got placed at Camps! It was also fun to get to meet so many of the amazing Camp’s that we work with.

My Day in Three words

Dr Pepper, Kardashians, and Documents

My Favourite Place I’ve Travelled

It has to be Cancun, Mexico! I’ve visited here with my family 3 times and each time we have been able to do so many different things such as swim with Dolphins, Flyboard and release baby Turtles back into the ocean. Everything about Cancun is beautiful from the weather, beaches, food and scenery. Visiting here is definitely a must!

My Summer Camp Experience

I’m hoping to head out to camp next summer! Working in the office has shown me what I’ve missed out on all these years not going to camp. If I could turn back time I would have headed out to camp for my first summer as soon as I turned 18!

The Best Thing About Camp

Meeting friends for life, having fun all day long, and learning new things about yourself! It is such a unique and rewarding experience heading out to camp. It also looks amazing on your CV and to future employers as you will learn so many transferable skills over the summer. A huge benefit is also getting 30 days after to travel around the States. Travelling is the perfect way to end summer with your besties from camp in a State that you have always dreamed of visiting.

My Favourite Place in America

I have been very lucky to visit New York, Miami, and Florida! I loved each place for so many different reasons. But my all-time favourite place EVER has to be New York. I visited here in 2012 and in February this year; I just love the busy atmosphere of the city and how everywhere you walk reminds you of a movie. The food and shopping are also amazing- especially Sephora and the Hershey’s store. If I could live here I definitely would!

Want to Find Out More About Summer Camp? Apply Here!

 

Chloe Wild
Chloe Wild
Chloe is a member of the USA Summer Camp team. She is a placement student and studies Business and Management at Aston University. Her favorite place ever is New York City. She also is a huge Kardashian/Jenner fan and has even been tweeted Happy Birthday by Khloe Kardashian!
Call now +44 (0)121 411 9165

How to Save Up For The Trip of a Lifetime

Hey, I’m Chloe!

This is my first season in the office! I help all our applicants on their journey to head out to Camp from making sure profiles are completed, documents are in and helping get everything prepared for their departure to the States. I also visit universities to meet our applicants and hold information stands and presentations.

My Favourite Work Memory

My favourite memory has to be attending our Dublin Job Fair in January. This was my first job fair and was the best experience. I loved helping and meeting our Irish Applicants and it was such a rewarding feeling seeing applicants so excited when they got placed at Camps! It was also fun to get to meet so many of the amazing Camp’s that we work with.

My Day in Three words

Dr Pepper, Kardashians, and Documents

My Favourite Place I’ve Travelled

It has to be Cancun, Mexico! I’ve visited here with my family 3 times and each time we have been able to do so many different things such as swim with Dolphins, Flyboard and release baby Turtles back into the ocean. Everything about Cancun is beautiful from the weather, beaches, food and scenery. Visiting here is definitely a must!

My Summer Camp Experience

I’m hoping to head out to camp next summer! Working in the office has shown me what I’ve missed out on all these years not going to camp. If I could turn back time I would have headed out to camp for my first summer as soon as I turned 18!

The Best Thing About Camp

Meeting friends for life, having fun all day long, and learning new things about yourself! It is such a unique and rewarding experience heading out to camp. It also looks amazing on your CV and to future employers as you will learn so many transferable skills over the summer. A huge benefit is also getting 30 days after to travel around the States. Travelling is the perfect way to end summer with your besties from camp in a State that you have always dreamed of visiting.

My Favourite Place in America

I have been very lucky to visit New York, Miami, and Florida! I loved each place for so many different reasons. But my all-time favourite place EVER has to be New York. I visited here in 2012 and in February this year; I just love the busy atmosphere of the city and how everywhere you walk reminds you of a movie. The food and shopping are also amazing- especially Sephora and the Hershey’s store. If I could live here I definitely would!

Want to Find Out More About Summer Camp? Apply Here!

 

 Get Ready To Put Your Game Face On

Unsure what a Summer Camp game day is? When you get to camp, you’ll soon realise Summer Camp game days are EVERYTHING. The campers live for these events and stock up on accessories, face paint, and outfits to get into the camp spirit.

Don’t think you’re the competitive type? Think again! Game days can get intense, but don’t worry, we’re here to make sure you’re super prepared for the events of the summer. Keep reading to find out how to smash and win game days at camp!

Colour War/Olympics

“Make sure you have loads of colourful tees and shorts you don’t mind to get DIRTY!”

Colour War is one of the most famous Summer Camp Game day across America. Split into teams with fellow counselors and campers for some serious games of tug of war, sports, capture the flag and more! The campers will put their ALL into these games so this is your time to show the rest of camp what you’re really made of.

Top tip, you won’t know which colour team you will be on until you get to camp. Prepare and bring as many different colour tees or stock up on your visit to Walmart. There’s nothing better than standing with your team members all kitted out in your colour, representin’ the team. GO TEAM BLUE!

Camp Carnival

“You’ll eat your body weight in sweets, popcorn, and candy floss.”

Camp Carnival is a little treat game day for the campers to let loose and have fun! There’s Carnival games, bouncy castles, and LOADS of food. You’ll never get hungry as popcorn, sweets, candy floss and chocolate are to be seen everywhere.

Depending on your camp, you’ll be able to go on the rides with your campers and really act like a big kid again. As well as all the rides and food, you can even get married at one of the Carnival stools.  Fake marry your BFF Camp Counselor and live happily ever after.

Rope and Fire

“Get ready for some INTENSE scenes!” 

This is the game day that the older campers and counselors prepare for throughout their Summer Camp years. A couple of days before the event, the rope is soaked in water to make sure it’s extremely hard to burn.

When the event starts, counselors and campers are required to start a fire and build it tall enough to reach the rope. The atmosphere is crazy and everybody screams, sings, and chants for their team. Finally, when the rope breaks, everybody goes absolutely crazy. It’s definitely something you’ll never forget.

Ready To Get Started?

 

 

Make The Most of Your 30 Days!

We know the feeling of seeing an amazing trip, but not being able to afford it. Worst feeling ever. Whether you’re wanting to go to Summer Camp for the first time or looking at doing the ultimate Trek America trip after camp, it can be hard to save up the cash. With an office full of travellers and counselors, we’ve had our fair share of saving and budgeting for trips over the years so if you’re desperate to save up for the trip of a lifetime, keep reading below!

Prioritise Your Spending

You see a piece of clothing you just have to buy, it’s calling your name, but you have to stop and think. Is this more important than my trip to America? Probs not! Prioritising your spend is one of the first steps to saving up for the trip of a lifetime. Take a look at all the things you buy over the month and think about if you really need to spend your money on these items. If not, put the money away and save it!

Cut Back On Nights Out

Nights out are fun, but not as fun as exploring a new country, completing your bucket list, and gaining new experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Nights out can be expensive with the drink, entry, and taxi. It all adds up. Save up for the trip of a lifetime by cutting down on the nights out, saving up that money, and chilling at home. Trust us, you’ll thank us later when you’re chilling on a beach in the US of A!

Track Your Spending With An App

To really get motivated and save all the money you can, download a money saving app! Most apps around will show you exactly how much you are saving and set you a goal for each month. Some apps even cancel your unused subscriptions for you which is super handy. Keep an eye on how much you save and really get excited when you reach your goals! Some apps we recommend are Qapital, Claritymoney, and Monzo.

Open a Savings Account

With all the money you save, put it into a separate savings account. This means you won’t be tempted to dip into the money you’ve saved. Top tip: Make it your mission to put at least a pound a day into your savings account. It really will add up!  Your money will be safe and sound in your account, ready for you to take out when it’s time for your trip of a lifetime.

Once the money comes rolling in, you’ll soon see that the trip of a lifetime can be a reality! Whether you’re planning on going to Summer Camp for the first time or going a Trek America trip after camp, you’re going to make it this summer. Ready to get started on your trip of a lifetime? Click below.

Find out More!