FAQ

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions!

 

Here we’ve put together answers to the questions that most baffle our prospective and outgoing AmeriCampers! If your question isn’t answered here, then please feel free to drop by our office or get in touch with us by phone, email or on our Twitter (@AmeriCamp) Instagram and Facebook.

Program Requirements

You must be 18 by June 1st, 2019 in order to apply for AmeriCamp 2019. 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, 2019.

If you are under 18 and are interested in heading to camp please do get in touch, as we have other programmes that would be suitable for you.

To apply for the role of General Camp Counsellor or Instructor you do not need to be a student!

If you wish to apply for a Support Staff role, however, you do need to be in full-time education at the time of applying or have a confirmed place in full-time education in September 2019 in order to be eligible.

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 2019, if you can’t start until after this date please contact the office on 0161 312 3640 to discuss your options.

The earlier you are available the better; camps start hiring for some positions from May 1st, so if you do work longer than 9 weeks (11 weeks for a day camp) you will get paid a daily rate on top of your initial salary.

 

Application FAQs

You can apply for AmeriCamp 2019 right now! 

Click here to start the application process, make yourself a cuppa and  set aside roughly 60 minutes to fill out the form. Don’t worry if you can’t fill everything out in one go you can come back to it later. 

We will be taking applications up to mid-March 2019. If you wish to apply after this date please contact the office to discuss your options. Please be aware that applying after the deadline may reduce your chances of placement.

Interviews can be conducted in our Manchester HQ or (more commonly) face-to-face in your hometown or university campus, carried out by our campus managers; in exceptional circumstances, we can conduct your interview via Skype.

Interviews will usually be carried out in your local area and in person, with one of our lovely AmeriCamp campus managers.

All of our campus managers have completed at least one summer at camp and are the perfect person to chat to about what you’ll get up to at camp! Interviews are quite casual so you don’t have to turn up suited and booted; think of it more as a chat to get to know you and talk about what skills you can bring to camp!

Your interviewer will then complete an interview report and we can move you onto the next stage if you are successful.

Personal references should be completed by anyone who has known you for over 6 months in a professional capacity. Examples include teachers, coaches, employers, parents you have babysat for etc. We will also accept one reference from a co-worker.

Let’s face it, your video is what really brings your application to life! As a tool, it is the perfect opportunity to show off your personality, skills, and to convince a camp director to hire you. Keep it short and sweet (we recommend no more than 2 minutes), and be yourself!

Take a look at our ‘How to make your video’ for suggestions; don’t be afraid to be as creative as possible – this is your opportunity to shine!

We can easily defer your application to next year, and you can simply pick up where you left off!  If you wish to cancel altogether your fees will be non-refundable. Please refer to your programme agreement for Terms and Conditions.

Fees and Figures

The programme 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 US, covers the cost of us producing your DS2019 (certificate of eligibility) and SEVIS receipt. It also includes your 90 days of medical insurance.

This can vary greatly depending on the policies in place at the GP surgery where you are registered. Ordinarily, costs should not exceed £60, though some practices do charge higher fees. If costs at your GP seem excessive, please call out office on 0161 312 3640; we’ll be more than happy to provide recommendations as to how you can bring the cost down.

You will be given full instructions on how to apply for your J-1 cultural exchange visa once you are #plAced. Your visa fees ($160) are paid directly to the embassy.

£34 Visa Documentation fee – printing, handling and shipping of an official visa document.

 

You will be required to visit a US Embassy to obtain your visa. In the UK, these are located in London and Belfast. 

We have an incredible in house team that will provide you with quotes and help you to book your flights, all whilst giving you peace of mind that there is a 24 hour support line in case you need to change your flights. Return flights typically cost between £350 and £700.

If you are 18 years old, your salary will be minimum of $1500.

If you are 19 years old or over, your salary will be a minimum of $1600. If you are over 21 your salary will be $1750.

Participants with advanced skills or working with special needs can expect an extra $100 bonus.

Getting #plACed

We work with awesome 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 Skype interview.

If all goes well, your placement will be confirmed in your footprints 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.

We also run our Camp Fairs in November and  January where you have the opportunity to meet with Camp Directors face-to-face to secure your dream placement on the spot.

There are multiple camp fairs a year, namely in Manchester, London, Leeds, Dublin and Glasgow.

Camp Fairs are a unique opportunity for applicants to approach and meet Camp Directors in person, which in some cases can prove invaluable! At some of our bigger fairs (such as Leeds and London) up to 40-50 Camp Directors can be in attendance, meaning you can really take your application into your own hands! Meeting Camp Directors is a great way to make yourself stand out, and boost your chance of being #plACed at your dream camp location. As if this wasn’t enough, you’ll also have the chance to meet the lovely AmeriCamp office team – aren’t you lucky!

We will announce the dates, times and exact locations of all Camp Fairs in October.  Please note that attendance is compulsory to guarantee your chance of placement.

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.

It is definitely worth making a note of the dates of our AmeriCamp camp fairs held in November and January, as here you have an excellent chance to secure your placement on the spot! Don’t worry if you can’t attend, though, as our placement coordinator will be working through the year to match you with your perfect camp.

Please also be aware that placements can occur anytime up to the 30th June, so hold tight and keep the faith! Remember: AmeriCamp has had a 100% placement rate for the past few years – you’re in the best hands!

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 US, 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 US – but this is what makes the AmeriCamp experience so worthwhile.  Think of it as an adventure!

The best way to have a say in which state you are #plACed in is to attend one of the AmeriCamp camp fairs. We hold these in November and January all across the country and they are the best way to go about meeting camp directors face-to-face and securing that dream job!

However, 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.

The only way to get #plACed with a friend, relative or partner is to attend one of the AmeriCamp Camp Fairs.

However, 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 we work with are truly amazing and you will have the summer of a lifetime – wherever you may end up!

AmeriCamp are extremely proud to announce that we have successfully #plACed 100% of all applicants for a third year running! 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been incredible years for AmeriCamp and we hope to replicate this success for 2019!

We work extremely hard to ensure that all of our AmeriCampers have the very best chance of placement, however if we are unable to place you we can defer your application over to next year and you will have no fees to pay to AmeriCamp.

Alternatively, we will give you a full refund of your stage two fee.

Visas and Insurance

For the London and Belfast embassy, the turnaround time is usually between 5-10 working days. Please check the website for up-to-date processing time, you must attend the embassy on a designated J-1 day. If you book onto a non-J day you will be asked to re-book, as this increases the chances of your visa being rejected.

You can turn up to the embassy any time before 12.30pm on a designated J1 day and will still be able to attend your appointment. If you miss your appointment, you must contact us for advice to re-arrange however we can’t guarantee there will be another appointment time available.

You are responsible for securing your visa. It is extremely rare that anyone is denied a visa, however in such a case all fees are non-refundable. If you have any concerns please call us before your appointment. If you are denied on the day you will be given a chance to appeal/re-apply for a visa.

Yes! As part of your programme fees you will get 90 days of medical insurance to cover both accident and illness. This will cover you at camp and on your days off, and for most standard 9 weeks contracts this will also cover your 30 day grace period.

Insurance can be extended both before and after your contracted dates and can also be upgraded to premium coverage. Again, for advice on this please contact us at the AmeriCamp office.

To extend or upgrade your medical insurance you must get in direct contact with an AmeriCamp team member, who will then obtain the necessary details from you and update your policy.

AmeriCamp provide you with 90 days of medical insurance to cover you over your summer, however we would definitely recommend that you take out extra travel insurance to cover you for flight cancellations, baggage loss/theft/damage and for other personal items.

 

Before, At and After Camp

This really depends on the role you are hired for, though from General Camp Counsellors to Support Staff roles, we can guarantee you’ll be getting stuck in with all kinds of work, along with free time to do whatever you please!

For details about specific roles, check out our ‘Positions’ page! No single day at camp is ever the same, but for an idea of what your typical day at camp might look like, check out our Daily Life page.

What should I pack?

Knowing what to pack vs what not to pack can be tough, so we’ve done the legwork for you! For an overview of what we’d recommend taking to camp, click the button below!

https://americamp.co.uk/blog/americamp-101-packing/

Yes they do. Many have Wi-Fi throughout their campus 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 will have years of experience in dealing with all sorts of issues.

Alternatively you can contact us by calling +44 161 312 3640 or email [email protected] and we will get straight back to you.

Our number one priority in this situation will be to get you home as quickly as possible, our US team are on call 24/7.

Please be aware you will incur extra fees for leaving camp early, please refer to your programme agreement.

Yes! After your camp contract 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! If you’re anything like us, though, you’ll want to see as much of the States as you possibly can once your hard-earned camp wages are burning a hole in your pocket! We could probably spend all day listing America’s ‘must see’ sites, so instead we’ve compiled our top 10 post-camp destinations in an exclusive blogpost!

If you’re STILL stuck for inspiration, be sure to check out a selection of post-camp packages from our partners at TopDeck, as well as our amazing AmeriCamp After Party in New York!

General/Miscellaneous

Each year AmeriCamp sponsor multiple societies, from providing free kits, sponsoring competitions and tournaments, through to givings societies cash incentives for promoting AmeriCamp. For more information please email [email protected], and we’ll be in touch.

We tried long and hard, but we just couldn’t pick one favourite biscuit, we love them all!

Did you know? We're ran by "Britain's Best Boss" Lee McAteer!


250,000 balls in the AmeriCamp offices... What could go wrong? 😂

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