Before Camp

Are You Ready to Return to Camp?

15th October 2019  |  Before Camp,Blog

Are You Ready to Return to Camp? You may have just finished your first summer at camp. Maybe you’re ready to return for your third summer or more! As soon as you’ve received your offer, you’re ready to return to camp. Summer may be quite a while away yet but as a returner, it is essential to get started with your application ASAP. Find out more about the steps to return to camp and getting started with your application. 2nd Year Returner If you’re returning for a second summer at camp, that makes you a 2nd-year returner. If you are returning to the same camp you will need to get an offer of return from your camp. Camps will start their hiring process around September/October time. Make sure to speak with your camp as early as possible to secure your place for the upcoming season. In addition to reaching out to camp yourself, you will also negotiate your salary. As well as your salary, it is important to know your role at camp. When you are ready to start your application to return to camp, log into your profile. From here, you will be able to select the option to create an application for the future season ahead. The Department of State often has limits on the number of returners that can be sent back to camp, because of this, it is important to start your applications as soon as possible. To fully secure your place you will need to pay your £99 deposit. You can do this either on the phone or on your profile. Find out more about returner fees here. 3rd Year Returner For those returning for their 3rd summer or more, it is ESSENTIAL to get started with your application as soon as you have received your offer. The Department of State limits the number of visas for 3rd year+ returners which means late applications will not be eligible for a visa. The Department of State insists that only 10% of total visa allocations are available for 3rd year+ returners. This is offered on a first-come-first-served basis. To start your returner application, log into your profile. From here you will be able to create an application for next season. You will then need to pay your £99 deposit. This secures your place on the program to return to camp for the upcoming season. Find out more about returner fees here. Returning to a New Camp You may have decided that you’d like to head back to camp but this time, you’d like to head to a new camp. If this is the case, you are classed as a first-timer. Everything is the same as when you first decided to head to camp, including the option of choosing your flight options. However, you will need to get a reference from your old camp to return to a new camp. You can get started with your brand new application here.   We can’t wait to help you get back out to camp and continue your summer journey. Remember to keep up to date with us throughout the year as well as the summer for exclusive news and competitions!  

» Full Story

How to Nail your Summer Camp Skype Interview

16th October 2019  |  Before Camp,Blog

Great news, a camp has put you on review and now wants to interview you! Your profile is all up to scratch but now you need to get ready your summer camp Skype interview. Like any other interview, camp wants to get to know you a little better and see if you’d be a great fit at there camp. Similar to your NST interview, it’s not as formal as a traditional interview. Camp wants to see your personality and your capability of being part of the team at camp. Find out how to nail your Summer Camp Skype interview with these top tips! Is your profile Summer Camp Skype interview ready? Make sure to finalise your profile and make sure everything reads perfectly! When camps are getting ready for your summer camp Skype interview they’ll use your profile to direct questions. Check to see if there any spelling mistakes or errors ready for your interview.   Set the scene This is a video interview which means that your interviewer can see you as well as your surroundings. Make sure you’ve scheduled a time to sit down in a quiet space with no distractions. Keep your background minimal and free from any busy clutter. Ideally, sit at a desk with your laptop, phone or tablet in a fixed position. No selfie positions here, please!   Make sure your Skype works for your Summer Camp Skype interview A number one bugbear of directors when interviewing potential counselors is technical difficulties! When getting ready for your interview, make sure your Skype is fully functional. This means making sure your wifi is connected, your mic is working, the sound is on and your camera is good to go. They’re small things to check but they can make or break your interview, so make sure all your technical checks are done!   Dress appropriately This isn’t a corporate role so there’s no need to dress in your best. However, you don’t want to rock up in your pyjamas. Keep it smart casual in a simple shirt or smart top. You may have heard of others conducting Skype interviews and meeting with a shirt on top but pyjamas on the bottom. Yes, they may not be able to see what you’re wearing on the bottom but if you do need to stand up for whatever reason they’ll be able to see your PJ bottoms. Don’t risk it and make sure your outfit is cohesive head to toe!   Friend request pending? You may have been asked to add the director on Skype or even Facetime. Avoid any technical errors and make sure you’ve done this well in advance. Also, make sure you know your Skype name (in addition, check that is an appropriate name!), this usually looks something like this “live:xxxxxx”.   Do your research There’s nothing worse than being asked “so, what do you know about us?” and coming up blank. Have a look at the camp’s website as well as their social media to get a vibe for what they do and what they’re all about. The more you know about them, the more impressed they will be! Similarly, you’ll want to prepare questions to ask them as well. It’s important to make sure that camp is a fit for you as well as you being a great fit for them!   Keep calm and carry on While completing your interview remember to keep cool! Understandably, you’ll be nervous about your interview but try not to let this affect your interview. Don’t speak too fast and rush through your interview because the camp may struggle to hear you clearly. Slow things down and take your time. If the camp keeps repeatedly asking you to repeat yourself, this may be a sign you’re speaking too quickly for them to understand. Remember, you are most likely going to be interviewed by an American and they may struggle to understand your accent. Additionally, any regional slang may be difficult for them to decipher.   Sell yourself & remember to SMILE! Be confident and ready to talk about yourself! This interview is about YOU and why you should be hired. Remember to read through your profile and emphasise your skills. Be passionate about what you do and this will show camp why you are the best person for the job. On top of all this, remember to SMILE! Camp is all about having fun and bringing joy to the lives of your campers which means smiles all around. Be friendly and excited for your summer of a lifetime and how you can make a difference this summer.   Social media Camps will often check your social media accounts before your summer camp Skype interview. Are your accounts appropriate? Make sure there are no inappropriate images such as ones with alcohol, rude gestures etc. Keep an eye on your posts as well. People have been rejected in the past purely down to their social media accounts. If you’re unsure, make them private!   Thank you & goodbye! Remember to thank your interviewer for their time. Manners go a long way and a small thank you at the end is their last impression of you. First impressions count of course but so do your last!  

» Full Story

Our 2019 Photo Competition Favourites

8th November 2019  |  Before Camp,Blog,Camp Life,Travel America

Each year, USA Summer Camp holds a photo competition searching for that perfect photo that represents how amazing summer in America really is. Whether it’s images from travel or camp, we get hundreds of photos rolling in with spectacular scenery photographs of the Grand Canyon to 1000000 images capturing the beautiful camp sunsets. Trust us, after seeing all the pictures of our applicants having the time of their lives, it made every person in the office this summer get extreme Summer Camp FOMO. It was HORRIBLE, but we fought on and after some hard consideration, we picked our favourite photographs and the winners! The Final Three In 3rd place – Molly Nelson! In 2nd place – Bethan Mccormick! z And finally… The winner of the 2019 Photo Competition – Mary Mccarthy!  The 2019 Shortlist   We want to say thank you to everyone who took part and entered their photos. Each image was amazing and reminded us how fun, impactful and important Summer Camp is. That’s why we do what we do. USA Summer Camp can’t wait to send even more people to camp in the upcoming years! Interested in heading out to camp yourself next summer?Apply here now!

» Full Story

How to Save Up For The Trip of a Lifetime

17th April 2019  |  Before Camp,Blog

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 an amazing Contiki trip, 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 Contiki 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!

» Full Story

How to Get Rid of Your Nerves Before Camp

23rd May 2019  |  Before Camp,Blog

Nerves Starting to Kick In? It’s time to get rid of your nerves before camp. You’re starting to plan and pack for the summer of a lifetime, but then it hits you… NERVES! You all of a sudden become very nervous about jetting off to America and are unsure what to do. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal to feel like this. Almost every first-timer feels like this and even returners. As we’ve all been in the same boat, the USA Summer Camp team have come up with some tips and tricks on how to battle them pre-camp nerves. You’re about to go on one of the best adventures of your life, you’ve got this! Join our Facebook Group If you’re worried about not knowing anybody when you get to camp or worried about being on the plane on your own, join our Facebook group! Here’s where you can find other Camp Counselors, find out important information, and make some travel buddies before you jet out to camp. Post in the group to see if there’s anybody else going to your camp or if there’s anybody on your flight so you can travel to the states together. Make sure to ask camp to see if they have their own group too so you can meet your fellow Camp Counselors and get the inside goss! Talk to Someone! If you’re feeling really nervous, give the office a call! We have all been in your shoes so we can try and help you as much as we can with our very own tips. We also recommend talking to camp and getting them to answer any questions you have. It’s the place you’re going to be spending your summer so try and find out as much you can so you can get rid of your nerves before camp. Friends and family members might be able to help and give you a boost of confidence! Read our Blogs Read through our blogs to get to grips with as much as you can. We write blogs on what to expect when you arrive at camp, camp orientation, days off, travel, homesickness and so much more! These will prepare you for camp so your nerves calm down and you’re ready when you step off that plane. Ask Returners Questions Ask your camp returners questions to find out what to expect and if there’s anything they would recommend. This could be clothing, day to day at camp or travel. They’ve been to camp before so they know the low downs and what’s going to happen in the summer. Returners are lovely and will be happy to answer any queries you have so make sure to do this so you can get rid of your nerves before camp. Look at our Social Media Our Social Media are packed full of tips, blogs and inspiration for you to sink your teeth into. Follow this a couple of weeks before you jet off so you can get the excitement building and realise you’re about to step into the best summer of your life! If you have any questions, send them to us on our Social Media and we will reply as soon as we can. Our Social Media Handles are: Instagram – @usasummercamp Facebook – USASummerCamp Twitter – @usasummercamp Take a Deep Breath Sit back, relax and remember why you signed up to the program. You’re about to work and travel in the states, make new best friends, experience new things and tick off your bucket list. It really is going to be the best summer ever and you’ll remember it forever. You’ve got this!

» Full Story

USA Summer Camp Spotlight – Meet Roisin

16th December 2018  |  Before Camp,Blog

Staff Spotlight – Meet Roisin Have you met Roisin? She’s a part of the Irish USA Summer Camp team and is there with you every step of the way through your summer journey! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be shining a spotlight on the staff at USA Summer Camp. We have a wonderful team who work hard to help make the best summer of your life a reality. Meet Roisin Hey! I’m Roisin. My job is to make sure our applicants have the best experience when they plan their exciting journey to camp and help them along the way! Getting to help everyone with their profiles reminds me that I’m also going to camp for the first time this summer. I can relate to the applicants and it gets me very excited! My Favourite Work Memory My favourite memory has to be the office Olympics – even though I finished last. Laura arranged an office Olympics day at the end of September which involved a lot of different activities and a huge sense of competitiveness. Javelin, with pencils and rubbish bins, was my forte and my only strong point. Archery with elastic bands aimed at Micheal Scott’s face… not so much. My Day in Three Words Coffee, dog, and memes. My Favourite Place I’ve Travelled to Disneyland, the most magical place on earth! I’ve been to Disneyland Paris twice and would go back again in a heartbeat. Now, I’ve made it my mission to go to Disneyland Park in Californa for my travels after Summer Camp! First Time Going to Summer Camp I’ve never been to camp or to America before, so I’ll be going to both for my first time this summer, finally! I was hired at the Dublin Job Fair in January and will be spending my first summer at Camp Chi as a General Camp Counselor. I can’t WAIT to spend my summer in America. My Favourite Place in America I have never been to America before, but for my 30 days of travel after camp, I am eager to explore Seattle.

» Full Story

Don’t Give Up on Your Dream Summer Job Abroad

25th January 2019  |  Before Camp,Blog

Don’t Give Up on Your Dream Summer Job Abroad If you didn’t get placed at one of our Job Fairs or still waiting for a camp to hire you, don’t give up as your dream Job Abroad is just around the corner. Remember, it is still early days in the season. Hundreds of camps are still looking for Camp Counselors who will be perfect for their camp. Trust us, your camp is out there and they’re going to find you very soon! Job Fairs Didn’t get hired at one of our Job Fairs? Don’t worry as we still have hundreds of camps online looking for staff. The fact you put the time aside to visit and try has given you a confidence boost already! It’s completely normal to have the post Job Fair blues, but it means the camp that you’re meant to spend your summer was not at the Job Fair. The interviews you had at the Job Fairs are a great experience for future interviews. You now know what to expect so you can smash your next interview with camp! What to Do Next All you need to do in the meantime is make sure every section is complete. Go above and beyond on your profile and go into detail about yourself and your skills. Don’t be scared to brag about yourself! Tell camps how great you really are. If you need any help on this, check out our blog on How to Ace Your Summer Camp Profile. Also, make a start on your Police Check and Medical History Form. This is so you can be on the top of your game and not have to worry about it closer to the time of you flying out to camp. You Will Get Placed Whilst it may have been comforting to have a place at a camp already, it’s completely normal to not have your job at this stage. Didn’t get placed at a Job Fair? The chances of getting placed on the day are uncertain when you realise the number of camps we are associated with. We work with over 600 camps in America and there is a camp out there for you. Don’t lose faith yet. Finding the perfect camp for you is like finding the perfect Ben and Jerry’s ice cream: you may have to go through new flavours before you find your best friend for life.

» Full Story

5 Questions We Get About Working at a Special Needs Camp

1st February 2019  |  Before Camp,Blog

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.

» Full Story

9 Perks of Choosing USA Summer Camp

27th February 2019  |  Before Camp,Blog

Ready to Start Planning your Next Summer Adventure? Planning your next summer adventure can be quite tricky and we completely understand! This is why we, USA Summer Camp, are here to save the day. From getting you on to the program, helping you bag your summer job, and sending you to America, we are here every step of the way. Unsure why we’re the best? Here are nine perks to choosing USA Summer Camp for the summer of your life. We’ve Placed 100% of Applicants Over the last five years with our America team, we’ve found 100% of our applicants their perfect summer job. (Woo, go us!) We’re on track to do the same this year. If you want to go to Summer Camp, we can get you there! 600 Summer Camps are Waiting for You We work with over 600 Summer Camps in America and all of these amazing (like, seriously amazing) camps are looking for staff like you. Our camps are based in almost every state so you could literally end up anywhere! Summer in LA? Yes, please! 9-5? We’re 9-7 We know that you’re busy at work and uni, we totally get it. This is why our office hours are 9 am – 7 pm Monday to Thursday and 9 am – 3:30 pm on Friday so you can ring us after you finish work or uni! Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We’re the Summer Camp Experts We do really know our stuff. We’ve been around since 2007 and everybody in the office has either been or is going to camp this summer. We’ve been in your shoes, we understand what you’re going through! Going to camp can be an exciting and a scary decision, but with choosing USA Summer Camp, it’ll be a breeze. With over 40 combined summer experiences, we really are the Summer Camp experts, trust us! Flights or No Flights? You Choose! Whether you want to sort out your own travels or let us do all the hard work for you, it’s completely up to you. Many of our applicants choose flights included if they’ve never arranged international flights before and would prefer it to be a bit more hassle-free. Where else can you get a flight to America sorted for you for just £250 extra? We offer two different flight options to suit your travel plans so travelling with us is simple! We Take Care of the Tricky Bits We know that the J1 visa and insurance can very confusing, especially if it’s your first time going to camp. We arrange and send you your visa paperwork so you don’t need to worry! We also offer loads of Visa support so if you’re ever stuck, we’ve got you. Even when you’re away in America, we have a 24/7 US team who are there to help you. We’re there with you every step of the way. Get the Highest Salary One of the most important parts, salary (oh, yea!). How much you get paid depends on your experience, age, camp, flights and job role,  but with choosing USA Summer Camp, you’ll get paid the best salary for your hard work at camp. We Come to You! We have an incredible team of interviewers across the country. They’re there to help you make your profile perfect and get you ready to be put out in front of camps. They’re honestly lifesavers. Flexible Payments We’re flexible when it comes to paying for your trip to the US! You won’t need to pay in a big lump sum and you can pay in a way that’s best for you. You can thank us later. Sounds good, right? We have hundreds of Summer Camps hiring right now. Let’s get you to America this summer. If you would like to get your summer adventure started with us, apply here!

» Full Story

USA Summer Camp Staff Spotlight – Meet Becky

30th January 2019  |  Before Camp,Blog

Staff Spotlight- Meet Becky It’s time to meet the one and only Becky. She’s apart of the USA Summer Camp team and helps to makes sure everybody is ready to fly out to America. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be shining a spotlight on the staff at USA Summer Camp. We have a wonderful team who work hard to help make the best summer of your life a reality. Meet Becky Hey! I’m Becky. This is my first year at the USA Summer Camp office and I am in charge of making sure everybody has a smooth journey to America. I chat to participants every day and make sure they have the best summer of their lives. I’m always up for a chat about camp! My Favourite Work Memory One of my favourite memories is when the whole office gets together for weekly team building. We had to do a scavenger hunt around Birmingham City Centre and it was so fun. I also love seeing my participants finally get placed and hearing the excitement in the voice when I give them a call. I just know they are going to have the best summer. My Day In Three Words Summer, sing-a-longs, and tea. My Favourite Place I’ve Travelled My absolute favourite place I have been to is Bali. Me and my best friend from Summer Camp spent 1 month travelling around Bali and the Gili Islands. It was the most beautiful place I have ever visited and the people are amazing! I would recommend visiting there once in your life. My Summer Camp Experience I worked at a Summer Camp last year as a member of the Support Staff team! I worked at a Special Needs Camp called Southampton Fresh Air Home and had the best summer of my life. Over the summer, I worked with children and adults of all different ages and really made an impact that summer. If I had the chance to work at a Special Needs Camp again, I would do it again in a heartbeat. The Best Thing About Camp Chilling out under the stars with friends and food fights was the best way to spend days off. One of my favourite memories from camp was heading down to the beach after we had finished work, taking a bunch of blankets and food to look up at the stars and have a swim in the ocean. The memories I made that summer will stay with me forever. My Favourite Place in America New York – I’ll take a New York bagel any day. I stayed in Times Square for a few nights and it is true that New York is the “City That Never Sleeps”. Where else can you go shopping at 1 am and it is considered normal? If you do visit New York, you HAVE to go and see a show on Broadway. I saw Phantom of the Opera and cried all the way through because it was just incredible.

» Full Story

Business Support Directory

Search the directory for business funding and advice

Twitter Feed

    » Follow us on Twitter