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American camps

How the camp is set up

As a rule, camps are located outside the city, in the forest, on a river or lake, or maybe by the ocean. People come to the camp to relax and have fun, so you can always find a bunch of different games there, everything for creativity, needlework, sports, water activities, etc. Of course, the opportunities vary from camp to camp, depending on its type, but the general message is : leisure can be spent actively and usefully (biking, kayaking, archery, etc.). Vacationers live (they are called campers), as a rule, in wooden houses (they wanted to be closer to nature!): A detachment of 5–15 people, along with counselors (from 2 to 5 people), usually sleep in the same room. For Support Staff there is a separate house, and it happens that they live with the kids. In any case, each cabin (cabin) has a shower and toilet, liquid soap and paper towels — the invariable attributes of American WCs. The toilets are clean, not made of wood and, of course, not on the street, well, at least in a separate room (after all, the Americans have not quite come close to nature yet ... or have already moved too far away from it). Program participants are given days off (1-2 days a week, depending on the camp). As a rule, those who have the same days off unite for joint forays into “civilization”.

Camps are different.

Girl/Boy Scout Camps (guides) — camps for girls / boys. Usually in such camps there is a very tight schedule, children are constantly taught something, entertained and trained (there are camps only for girls, or only for boys, or mixed).

Religious camps — religious camps. The usual program, only with the addition of conversations on religious topics and some elements of rituals. There are many Christian and Jewish camps.

Special needs camps — camps for children and adults with mental and (or) physical disabilities. As you know, Americans pay great attention to the disabled, so there are a lot of such camps, and if you mark in the questionnaire that you would like to go to such a camp, then you will be placed at 99%. Moreover, the pocket money of a counselor in a Special needs camp is different from a stipend for a simple counselor. What can be found in such a camp? The usual motto of camps for handicapped people is “We welcome everyone, from 8 to 80.” This means that in addition to children, adults always have a rest in such camps. The degree of inferiority can be completely different — from just the restlessness of a choleric person to paralysis. Counselors are always trained in caring for campers. They do not need to be treated, there is a nurse who is in the camp around the clock for this. The main task of the leader is to ensure that the camper participates in all camp activities and does not get bored. As a rule, the schedule in such camps is very loose and flexible.

Private / independent camps, agency, family owned camps — depending on the form of ownership, camps can be private or owned by associations (YMCA, for example).

Day camps — in the morning the kids come to such a camp, and in the evening they go home.

Disadvantaged camps — camps for children from disadvantaged or low-income families.

Each participant of the program can indicate in the questionnaire the type of camp where he would like to go. It should be noted that the less picky you are and the more you put “crosses”, the more chances that you will find a camp and send placement. Pay attention to the fact that it is extremely rare to place in “day” and “unfavorable” camps.


The functions of counselors in American camps are almost the same as in ours: they look after the children, teach them various sports, and generally make every day fun and eventful. To work as counselors, you need to know English well, it is desirable to have experience working with children, and, as it is not trivial, love them, because such work means that you will have to spend at least 2 months with them almost around the clock! No special skills are needed, but if there are any (for example, the ability to play the guitar, ride a horse, archery, sports discharge, etc.), then they will be considered as your undoubted pluses.

Support Staff helps to organize the everyday side of the camp. As a rule, these are positions in the kitchen (washing dishes, helping in the kitchen, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner) or maintenance (minor household repairs, maintenance of the territory, electricians, etc.). Work experience is not required, but certainly welcome, especially if you are applying for a techie position.

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