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What is Camp?

Summer Camps are an American Tradition that stand the test of time

  • 9 week summer employment at one of America’s premier summer camps

  • Camps all over the USA, particularly New York, Maine and New Hampshire

  • Hundreds of fun activities all in the same facility

  • Jobs available for sports coaches, lifeguards, arts & crafts enthusiasts, digital media guru’s, outdoor adventure enthusiasts and many more!

  • Work at a traditional overnight camp, special needs camp, single gender camp, or YMCA camp

  • Staffed by people from all over the World including America, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Poland and more

  • What is Camp?
    Summer camps in America are unlike any other place in the world! Camps are an American tradition, and over 10 million children go to camp each year, with many camps operating for over 100 years! Camp is a place for families from all over America and the world to send their children for a period of time over the summer. It is a cultural thing in America, and we are sure you have seen American camps in the movies or on TV! We know what you are thinking, ‘camp’ sounds like camping in a tent in the wilderness. Some camps are like that, but a lot of camps have excellent facilities where campers and staff will live in cabins with hot running water and electricity. Camps will also offer campers the chance to participate in a huge variety of different activites such as sports, arts and crafts, adventure sports, digital media, theatre and performing arts, swimming and water sports, horseback riding, circus and many many more, all in the same facility! Camps will also have their own special events such as Color War that make their camp unique. Every camp is different. They all have their own histories, traditions and facilities. There are some camps that are high end facilities which costs parents a lot of money to send their children to, and there are also camps for children from underpriveledged backgrounds. Regardless of what camp you get placed at, the overall goal will be the same. To give the campers an amazing summer experience where each individual can thrive in a supportive and enjoyable place. Camp can’t be fully described by words. It’s an environement where the focus is on developing the skills and character of every person that attends, whilst having a ton of fun in the process! Camp is a place that allows everyone to be themselves, and accepts everyone regardless of their race, religion or beliefs. As an international person working at a summer camp in America it is something you have to do for yourself to fully appreciate how amazing summer camps are. Camps are a family!
  • Types of Camps
    Work Play USA work with a number of different camps across the country. Every camp is unique and each have their own program, facilities and traditions. Most camps are sleepaway , meaning campers and staff will live onsite for the duration of the summer. All camps that Work Play USA partner with are approved by the American Camping Association and many have been operating for decades! Traditional camps – Beautiful lakes, sports fields, camp fires, S’mores, wood cabins and tons of activities! All are part of the most common type of camp in the USA, privately owned traditional camps. These camps tend to be sleepaway, and offer their campers a wide variety of different activities to take part in. Some camps are full summer meaning that campers stay the entire program (7 weeks on average) and some are session camps, where campers stay for a shorter period of time. Many of the other types of camps below are also traditional style camps. Day camps have all the fun and enjoyment of a traditional camp, but the campers will go home at the end of the day. Special Needs Camps- serve children and adults who require additional support, with all the same amount of fun and camerardarie! These camps are well equipped to provide a wonderful experience for people who have severe physical disabilities, mental and emotional issues and behavioural disorders. Providing a great experience for these campers can be a very rewarding job! Jewish or Christian Camps- These faith based camps include some religious practices for the campers, as well as all the other traditional camp activities. All boys and all girls camps- These styles of camp are also very common. There are a lot of all girls camps and all boys camps that are traditional camps, meaning they still offer the same opportunitis to their campers. Campers can thrive in a single gender environment and can quite often be led by groups such as Girl Scouts of America and the YMCA. Some single sex camps will also hire staff of the opposite sex to work, so everyone can be included!
  • Locations
    The concept of summer camp originated in East Coast States, but now camps are spread out across the USA! The majority of camps that Work Play USA work with are located on the East Coast, in States such as New York, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey and North Carolina. There are some camps we work with on the west coast, as well as camps in the Midwestern states such as Michigan. Camps are usually located in more rural areas, with most being accessible to major cities for days off! No matter what camp you end up at, in any location, you are sure to explore somewhere new in the American woodlands.
  • Dates
    Camps run during the summer months in America, mainly June through to August. Each camp has their own dates for both staff arrivals and campers. Some camps want their staff to arrive early in May, some early in June and some maybe later in June. Most camps will run through until around the middle of August. The longer you are available to work in America the more camps can become available to you. Some camps might be full summer, meaning that the campers wll stay there for the full season (possibly 7 weeks or so), and some camps have sessions meaning that they might offer 2, 3 or 4 week sessions and then the campers go home. In order to be available for this program you will need to be available from no later than June 15th through to August 15th, but as previously noted the longer you are available the easier it may be to find you the perfect camp placement!
  • Typical Day at Camp
    7.30am Wake up – rise and shine! Wake up to the sun shining in your face and the Reveille music playing, it’s time for another adventure filled day! 8am Breakfast - gotta fill up for the day ahead! All meals will be provided by camp, and you’ll be sure to taste some American classics. Pancakes for breakfast anyone? 8.30am Bunk Clean up - a chore, but a necessary one! At camp the philosophy is to encourage the campers to become independent, so urging them to make their own beds and put away their dirty laundry is a good start. 9am – 12.30pm Activity Periods - time for the fun. As an activity specialist you would be teaching your sessions to various groups of campers throughout the morning. Each activity can tend to last up to 1 hour. 12.30pm- 1.30pm Lunch - lunch isn't just re-fuelling, it can be full of fun! Short sketches, dancing on the chairs and various chanting can all be seen and heard in the dining hall at lunch time. 1.30pm- 5pm- Activity Periods - back to doing what you do best, passing on your knowledge to the campers in your chosen activity. 5pm-6pm Shower Hour- as it says on the tin! 6pm- 7pm Dinner - pizza Bagels, mac and cheese, tacos, chicken nuggests…. The list goes on! Don’t worry, camps will also cater for vegetarians and those with food allergies. 7.30pm Evening Activity - time to bring the camp together and enjoy the evening in style. You would take part in the evening activities with your campers. Whether it's talent show night , a theatre performance from the performing arts department, shampoo wrestling or a relaxing movie night the evening activities are highlights of the day. 9pm Canteen - time to show off your dance moves! Finish the day with a snack and a soda with all your favourite camp anthems. 10pm Camper bed time - Day is done, gone the sun.
  • Staff Orientation
    Before you head out to the States, Work Play USA will provide our applicants with a pre departure orientation. This orientation will prepare you to take on the role of a camp counselor whilst also giving tips on travel, packing and what to expect when at camp. The aim is to both get you excited for your summer adventure and also give you the knowledge required to be successful at camp. When you arrive at camp you will be provided with staff training. You will likely arrive at camp at least 1 week prior to the campers arrival to undergo this training. Some staff that are being provided with qualifications by the camp (such as lifeguards and ropes staff) might travel out to camp a bit earlier. During staff training the camp will spend some time making you familiar with your surroundings and you will have some time to get to know the other staff you will be working with. Camp will also run a number of workshops to educate you on how their schedule works, how to interact and work with the campers, and health and safety protocols amongst other things. You will also have a chance to set up your activity area ready for when the campers arrive! Staff orientation will set you up for a great summer.

WHY work at Camp?
So many reasons!

Working at an American summer camp has many advantages.


  • The most fun job you will ever have! Every day at camp is an adventure! 


  • Meet like minded people from all over the World. 


  • Teach, coach or instruct an activity that you are passionate about. 


  • Experience the camp culture, and get to spend a significant amount of time in America!


  • Enhance your own CV! Gain experience working with children and experience in your chosen activity. 


  • Travel the States for up to 30 days and tick off your bucket list.

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