J-1 Camp Counselor
Application Now Open For 2023
The Ultimate American Summer Camp Experience
Enjoy the outdoors, meet new people, teach activities you love to do, and learn all about a new culture? Working at a camp in America might be the most fun and exciting summer job you’ll ever have!
As a counselor, you will have a variety of responsibilities. You’ll be assigned a group of campers that you’ll share a cabin with. You may also be assigned to teach an activity such as swimming, art, tennis, water-skiing and other sports and skills
What is an American summer camp?
Summer camp is a unique American tradition that provides American children with the opportunity to participate in supervised activities away from home in a safe and nurturing environment. Children and adolescents who attend summer camp are known as campers. The primary purpose of many camps is educational, athletic, or cultural development.
Program Fee Only €149
Program fee includes:
- Camp placement
- Free housing and meals
- Accident and sickness insurance
- SEVIS fee
Additional Costs Third Party Costs:
- Embassy application fee ($160USD)
- Medical check
- Postage of visa paperwork
You must be 18 by June 1st, 2023 in order to apply for AmeriCamp 2023. Unfortunately, this is non-negotiable. So, if you are 17 years of age, you can apply for AmeriCamp provided you turn 18 before June 1st, 2022.
To apply for the role of Camp Counsellor you do not need to be a student!
Qualifications in certain areas are always desirable (for instance, lifeguarding for example), but they are not essential. We find that personal experience is really valuable, and when combined with a positive ‘can do’ attitude produces the best kind of results!
Do your best to add as many skills to your application as possible. Even if you don’t have the ability to teach it, the more skills and experience you have in different areas the better – as it shows you are a good, well-rounded candidate.
You don’t necessarily need extensive experience teaching or working with children in order to apply, but you must be able to demonstrate a desire to work with children and make sure that they too have the Summer of a Lifetime!
Most Camps have a 9 week contract between the first and second week of June through to mid-August.
We can only accept applications with availability up to the 18th of June 2022.
The earlier you are available the better. If you do work longer than 9 weeks you will get paid a daily rate on top of your initial salary.
Fees and Figures
This varies depending on your camp so please ensure that you are clear on this prior to departure. Some camps will set staff up with American bank accounts, others will pay in cash. The frequency of this also depends on your camp and could be weekly, fortnightly, monthly or at the end of the summer.
In short yes, staff will be required to pay federal and potentially state tax for the time they are working in the US. This can be claimed back the following January after the end of the American tax year. Your camp will send a W2 form and the AmeriCamp team will send further instructions via email when the time comes.
The program fee covers your application fee, i.e. the cost of us working with you to make sure that your application is submitted to and processed by the US office, to get you placed at your perfect Camp!
It also includes your visa sponsorship, which allows you to work and earn money legally in the USA, covers the cost of us producing your DS2019 (certificate of eligibility) and SEVIS receipt. It also includes medical insurance for the duration of your time at camp in the USA.
Yes, you must complete a medical form and have this signed by a GP prior to your departure to the USA.
You will be given full instructions on how to apply for your J-1 camp counselor visa once you are placed and your visa documents have been processed. Your visa fees ($160) are paid directly to the embassy.
You will be required to visit a US Embassy to obtain your visa.
We would recommend waiting until you have attained your visa before booking your flights. Your camp will provide travel information with which airport to fly into and the dates to do so.
If you are 18 years old or over, your minimum salary will be $2000 USD.
We work with placement coordinators who look at your application and place you ‘on review’ with a Camp. The Camp Directors then have the opportunity to take a look through your application and offer you a interview.
If all goes well, your placement will be confirmed in your account. It is also not unusual to be placed straightaway without an interview – if this happens, congratulations! This would suggest that the Camp Director must have really liked your application.
There is no exact science to the amount of time it takes to get placed, although generally speaking the earlier you apply, the earlier you will be placed.
Whilst each and every Camp that we work with offers an amazing and unique experience, your placement actually depends primarily on you, the applicant! All Camps will require individuals with certain skills, and so you will more than likely be placed according to the skills listed on your AmeriCamp application.
For example, if your AmeriCamp application outlines that you are an accomplished rock climber, then you will naturally be considered by Camps who are hiring for a Climbing Instructor role. Because of this, it may not always be possible to place you at a specific Camp of your choosing.
However, we work with hundreds of Camps all across the USA, and while most of them are located on the East coast we guarantee that wherever you may be placed, your Camp will be just as special as any other! Ultimately Camp is Camp: the place you’ll make lifelong friends, the place you’ll long for once you’re back home and most importantly where you’ll be having your Summer of a Lifetime along with your fellow Campers!
In summary, you could well be placed anywhere in the USA – but this is what makes the AmeriCamp experience so worthwhile. Think of it as an adventure!
We would recommend not getting too hung up on the location of the Camp, as Camp is an incredible experience wherever you are placed! Instead, engage your sense of adventure and don’t get bogged down with only considering Camps in New York or California, for example! If there’s somewhere that you are desperate to see, don’t forget that you can use your 30 day grace period to travel after you’re finished at Camp.
Please be aware that this is not guaranteed, as it is the Camp Director’s decision to hire more than one person at a time. It is more than possible that the Camp only have a position for one of your party, or that you don’t all have the skills the Camp is looking for etc.
We would advise that you always keep your options open, as we have found that some Camp Directors are put off from hiring friends as they believe that this prevents applicants from fully embracing the spirit of Camp.
Don’t let this put you off, though, we can assure you that you’ll have an incredible experience wherever you are placed and you can always meet your friends/brother/sister/cousin/partner/grandma/dog at the end of Camp for your 30 day grace period, plus you’ll have more way more crazy Camp stories to share!
Most Camps will reach out to you via email, so it is important you check your mail daily. It is especially important to check your junk/spam folders as well, as the email will be coming from an American address and so may have been filtered incorrectly by your mailbox.
Each year placements are lost because people don’t respond to emails quickly enough, or they are lost in spam, so please don’t be one of them! Make sure you are on the ball and are replying to a Camp/Camp Director promptly; we wouldn’t want you to miss out!
In most cases you will hear from your Camp directly after interview, however in some cases you will get placed directly so ensure you are checking your online account 3-5 times a week.
We wouldn’t advise you to turn down your first placement without speaking to us first; we will take a look at the reasons why the Camp might not suit you, and can make changes to your application.
If you really feel that the Camp isn’t the best fit we will do our best to place you elsewhere, however we can’t guarantee you would be offered a second placement. All of the Camps that we work with are truly amazing and you will have the Summer of a Lifetime – wherever you may end up!
Yes! As part of your program fees you will get up to 90 days of medical insurance to cover both accident and illness. This will cover you at Camp and on your days off.
Insurance can be extended both before and after your contracted dates. Again, for advice on this please contact us at the AmeriCamp office. You will need a to source your own insurance policy in the event you have any pre-existing medical conditions as this will not be covered by ours.
AmeriCamp provide you with 90 days of comprehensive medical insurance to cover you throughout Summer, however we definitely recommend that you take out extra travel insurance to cover you for flight cancellations, baggage loss/theft/damage and for other personal items. You will also need medical insurance in the event you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Before, At and After Camp
You will be met by your camp or given instructions on how to travel to camp after your arrival. Once you have been hired you will receive your placement agreement which details all of your travel instructions under the ‘Travel to Camp’ section, including which airport t fly into.
We have a variety of different roles and activities available at camp from Specialist positions such as sports coaching and lifeguarding to a general counsellor. Your job is to ensure the kids are motivated and having an amazing summer!
Yes they do. Many have Wi-Fi throughout Camp as well, however, please be aware you will not have access to this during working hours especially in ‘unplugged’ Camps. Remember, you are at Camp for the kids!
Your first point of contact should be your Camp Director; they have years of experience in dealing with all sorts of issues.
Alternatively you can contact the sponsor who is responsible for issuing your visa paperwork and supervising your program while you are in the US.
Yes! After your AmeriCamp placement finishes you will get a 30 day grace period to go and see the sights – whether that’s a road trip with your new Camp friends, a trip to Chicago or even Los Angeles!
Of course, you don’t have to use ALL 30 days of your grace period, and you can return home whenever you’re ready!