As you may have read in my “I’m off to Camp!” blog post here, I’m going to be spending the summer with a company called Camp America and will be working at a summer camp in Pennsylvania.
After I published that post, I had a few questions on Instagram and Twitter about it so thought I’d work on a little post about my tips for applying for Camp America. I’m by no means an expert and this is my first summer with them, but I wanted to share what I have learnt and hopefully, it might be helpful for future applicants.
I applied on a bit of a whim as I had returned from my ski season in Andorra and wasn’t sure what was next for me, especially for the summer months. I went to a recruitment day, which is where all the camps go to meet the applicants, it was so busy but really fun. Some camps had huge long lines with people waiting to chat with them and some were a bit quieter. I had done some research beforehand and knew of around 8 camps that I wanted to chat to. Heading to each camps table was like a mini interview and when I spoke to one, I just got a really good feeling and they offered me a job with them.
There is SO much paperwork and different forms that need to be done before you go. Going to a recruitment day means you’re in there early, you can get the paperwork done early, and hopefully get your embassy appointment early. It also gives you time to save up for any payments that need to be done, as Camp America does charge you. Another good thing about applying early is the camp will start to chat with you, introduce you to facebook groups, send you handbooks. It’s all useful stuff that helps to make you feel prepared before going away. I applied in January which I think was a good enough time but I’m still waiting to head to my embassy appointment. I think an application in November / December and then you can start getting things in place for your application before heading to a recruitment day.
After sending off certain paperwork or making payments, you do have to wait to hear back. This can be a little tense as you just want everything sorted asap! But, there are a lot of applicants so I can understand that Camp America must be super busy with everything. I can’t imagine how many emails they get every day with people stuck on certain parts of their application, but I’ve always found that they’ve responded to my emails and been really helpful.
You may know that you want to go to a summer camp, a year in advance. If you do, great, you can start getting ahead and buying little things for your summer away or even start to save money for it. If you’re prepared for what is to come, it just makes life a little easier. Having savings ready for America will make a big difference, especially because you can’t live off the Camp pocket money when it comes to the month of travel at the end. With money behind you, it will just mean you feel secure when spending. Having extra time to read more camp handbooks or chat to other campers, or attend an orientation will mean you have all these things to help you for when you’re at camp.
This is important especially for the appointment at the American embassy. You have to have your paperwork ready, and signed, and everything printed off so you can get your visa in time without any complications. I was so paranoid about this going wrong I turned up an hour early but I would still say this is such an important day in getting ready, so I would prepare as much as possible. Camp America get in touch with you and tell you everything you need to take with you so you don’t have to worry.
Having lived abroad before, I love the feeling of going somewhere completely new and having a chance to live and experience a different culture. I’ve been working a lot since I’ve been home, with short trips to keep me going but I can’t wait until I leave for camp. It’s less than a month now so I’m sure time will fly by!
If you have any more questions about the Camp America program, feel free to comment or ask me on social media!
I post once a week covering topics such as solo travel, working and living abroad and also creating Gabriella’s Guides to places I have been. I cover topics under the following categories such as Planning and Packing, The Travel Diary, Travel Inspiration, Photo Diaries, Gabriella’s Guides and Working Abroad.