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.
If you are under 18 and are interested in becoming a camp counsellor, please do get in touch, as we have other programs that would be suitable for you.
You do not need to be a student to take part in the Camp Counsellor program!
You do not need any specific qualifications to do AmeriCamp as all experience is valuable! Qualifications in certain areas are always desirable, such as lifeguarding, boat driving, climbing and archery, but they are not essential. We find that a great personality and positive ‘can do’ attitude can make for a great camp counsellor!
On top of this, you may be surprised by how qualified you really are - even having a hobby can be a great starting point for running activities at camp! When you complete your application, do your best to explain your skills and experiences to the best of your ability! You don’t necessarily need extensive teaching/coaching experience in order to help run an activity at camp!
If you do have lots of experience or a qualification in a certain skill, then camps will be really excited to hear from you - so show off all that knowledge! You can even upload a certificate if you want to!
Experience working with children is always valuable for AmeriCamp, as this will be at the centre of your role on camp - but you don’t necessarily need extensive experience teaching or working with children in order to apply!
In your application you must be able to show a desire to work with children and enthusiasm for making sure they have the best summer ever! Explaining time spent with children in your family or showing a positive attitude towards child wellbeing can be enough to demonstrate this!
The majority of camps will run for about 8 - 10 weeks, traditionally between early to mid-June through to mid-August, however some start as early as May!
At a minimum, applicants must be available before June 18th and up to August 15th - we cannot accept applications from those unavailable between these dates as this is the minimum period for the camps we work with.
The earlier you are available the better, as the longer your period of availability the more camps you will be eligible for!
You can apply for AmeriCamp 2024 by clicking the APPLY NOW button at the top of the page! You can express your interest and a member of our team will reach out to answer any questions you might have about the program, or pay straight away to get your AmeriCamp adventure started!
We will be taking applications up until April 2024 - but it is best to apply as early as possible to give yourself a good amount of time to get hired and ready for camp!
Yes, we interview all of our applicants before you speak to camps so we can assess your suitability for the program and get to know you better!
This will be a 30-40 minute video interview through Google Meets, with one of our Brand Ambassadors. It is just a casual conversation and you do not need to prepare anything! Just bring yourself and a positive attitude!
We require two references to be completed for the program! These should be from referees who know you within a professional or educational capacity and are not family members or friends. Examples include teachers, coaches, employers, supervisors or parents you have babysat for etc. They will complete a quick online form which we will send to them via email.
Application videos are optional but highly encouraged! A video will really bring your application to life and show camps the real you! It is the perfect way to show off your personality and 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 examples from our Alumni on YouTube for suggestions and don’t be afraid to be as creative as possible – this is your opportunity to shine!
The program fee covers your application fee, i.e. the cost of us working with you to make sure your application is submitted to and processed by the US office; and gives you full access to our pool of amazing camps so you can get placed at the perfect camp for you!
It also includes your: 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 for your J1 Visa) and SEVIS receipt; as well as medical insurance for the entire duration of your time in the USA.
For full details on the cost of program fees please refer to our Costs & Salaries page!
The only fee you need to pay for your Visa application is for the US embassy appointment itself, as your Visa documentation is covered by us within your program fees.
You will pay a fee of $185 directly to the US embassy when you book your appointment!
We allow all our applicants to book their flights independently so they can find the best time, price and airline that works for them! We recommend waiting until you have obtained your visa before booking your flights. Your camp will provide travel information, including which airport to fly into and the date to arrive.
We recommend using flight comparison sites such as Skyscanner to find the best deal or booking directly with your preferred airline to allow for flexible booking options.
Yes, all camp staff will be required to pay federal and sometimes state tax for the time they are working in the US.
This can be claimed back the January after your summer at camp, at the end of the American tax year. Your camp will send you a W2 form which is essential for this process, and the AmeriCamp team will send instructions via email when the time comes at the start of 2025!
Salaries will vary based on your specific camp and role, however we guarantee all of our applicants a minimum salary of $2000 (before tax).
How you are paid will also vary depending on your camp, so please ensure that you verify this procedure with your camp prior to departure. To give you an idea of what to expect, some camps will set staff up with an American bank account and others will pay in cheques or cash. The frequency of these payments also depends on your camp and could be weekly, fortnightly, monthly or as a lump sum at the end of the summer.
Once you are ready to go live on our online placement system, our amazing US team will take a look at your application and place you ‘on review’ with a Camp that matches your preferences. The Camp Director will then have the opportunity to take a look through your application and, if you match a role they are hiring for, they will reach out via email and offer you a video interview!
If all goes well, you will be offered a spot and your placement will be confirmed! But do not worry if they are not the right match, not all applicants get hired with their first camp and it may take a couple of tries to find the perfect camp for you!
There is no exact time frame for how long it takes to get placed - for some applicants it’s immediate and for others it takes a little longer, but it’s all worth it to find the best camp for you! Generally speaking, however, the earlier you apply, the earlier you will be placed!
It is also important to note that many placement opportunities are lost every year due to applicants not responding to emails from camps - so please make sure you are checking your inbox!
Please be aware that placements can occur anytime up to the end of May, so hold tight and keep faith! Remember: AmeriCamp has a 99% placement rate so you’re in the best hands!
We work with hundreds of camps across the USA in almost every state so you could get hired just about anywhere! Every Camp we work with offers its own amazing and unique experience and will be hiring for a completely different set of roles - so your placement depends on you, your skillset and what camps are specifically looking for!
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 - but trust in our team to match you with a camp that matches you perfectly!
In terms of choosing a location, we always recommend not getting too hung up on one particular city or state! Wherever you are, camp and the surrounding area will have something unique and special to offer! Ultimately camp is camp, the place where you’ll be having the summer of a lifetime - so don’t be too focused on location!
In summary, you could be placed anywhere in the USA – but this is what makes the AmeriCamp experience so worthwhile! Think of it as an adventure - you might get placed somewhere you never would have expected, which is so exciting! And if there is somewhere particular you want to visit, you can travel just about anywhere in the US during your 30 day after camp travel grace period!
Everyone who applies through AmeriCamp has their own profile so it is rare for two friends to end up at the same camp - you will be presented to camps on the online system as individuals after all!
However, if you are really keen to get placed with a friend, your only option will be to get hired together at one of our in-person Camp Fairs, which happen in November, January and March. At these events you can meet with camps face to face and enquire about being hired as a pair/group!
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 and they are often reluctant to do so!
Don’t let this put you off, though! We encourage our applicants to embrace the adventure of going to camp solo! After all, you will meet SO many new friends as soon as you get to camp and can always meet your friends after camp to go travelling!
You do not have to accept your first offer but most of our applicants do - we have a really thorough vetting process that ensures the camps we match you with are a really good fit!
If you really feel that the camp isn’t the best fit for you, we will do our best to place you elsewhere! However, keep in mind that you will have a fantastic experience wherever you end up - don’t get too hung up on small details and reach out to camp if you have any questions at all to help you feel excited to say YES!
Once you are placed at a camp we will reach out to let you know the steps you should take to be ready to apply for a Visa - this will include paying all of your fees and completing your DBS background check!
Once you are Visa Ready we will issue your DS-2019 form, the document that confirms your eligibility for a J-1 Visa, and send you detailed step-by-step instructions of how to apply for your visa! This will involve an online application on the US government website and an interview at your closest US embassy.
Please note, you should not attempt to apply for a Visa before we send you instructions as it is possible you could apply for the wrong Visa type.
All applicants must attend an in person interview at the US embassy in order to obtain a J-1 Visa! Do not worry, as this is a very straightforward process and there will most likely be many other applicants applying for the same Visa as you on the same date who you can chat to!
We have connections with both US embassies in the UK, which are in London and Belfast and can provide information on these locations.
The time frame for your Visa will depend on you and how quickly you are able to complete your application! Once you have applied and your embassy appointment is booked the process will be quite straightforward - for the London and Belfast US embassy’s, the turnaround time is usually between 5-10 working days. The embassy will take your passport at your interview and post it back to you within this time frame.
It is extremely rare for a J-1 visa to be denied, however in such a case all fees paid to AmeriCamp or the embassy are non-refundable. If your Visa is denied you should contact AmeriCamp as soon as possible to discuss your options. You will be given a chance to appeal/re-apply for a visa but you are not guaranteed that it will be granted.
Your J-1 Visa gives you the right to work in the US for up to 3 months at Camp! Included in your Visa you will also have a 30 day grace period after camp that you can use to travel anywhere in the US!
When you receive your Visa, the dates listed will be the dates you are permitted to work - all you have to do is add 30 days to the end date listed on your Visa and this is how long you can travel for!
We are only able to accept a DBS that has been applied for through our system and countersigned by ourselves. We have all of our applicants go through the exact same process to ensure they have the correct Enhanced DBS required for the J-1 Visa program, and to avoid falsified records and ensure standardisation across the board.
When a DBS is processed through ourselves, we get a digital copy of the DBS as well as the physical certificate that is sent out to applicants so we have assurance that everyone has been vetted in the same way, to ensure the safety of the children who attend our camps!
To apply for the Enhanced DBS required for our program all you need to do is pay a £65 fee on your application portal. Following this you will be sent a link to join our DBS service website where you will complete a quick and easy application! When it is accepted you will be sent a physical certificate in about 2 - 4 weeks.
We encourage all applicants to apply for this early enough to allow for delays as we have seen the DBS process take up 10 weeks!
AmeriCamp provides medical insurance as part of your program fees that will cover you for your entire period in the US including at camp, on days off and when travelling after camp!
Please note that this insurance policy does not cover for any pre-existing condition!
The medical insurance we provide as part of our program fees does not cover for pre-existing conditions! This means that, if you were to need medical attention at any point during your time in the US, the insurance we provide may not be accepted to cover these costs, even if the claim isn't related to your pre-existing condition.
For this reason, you will need to seek out additional insurance for your time in the US to ensure you will be covered in any eventuality if you do have a pre-existing condition!
Yes, the medical insurance covers you from the day you enter the US to the day you leave!
You will need to complete the AmeriCamp Health History Form in order for us to process your medical insurance, however this does not require a medical examination. The form can be completed based on medical records that your GP should have access too!
Although AmeriCamp provides comprehensive medical insurance to cover you throughout the summer, we do not provide travel insurance! For this reason, we would recommend seeking travel insurance prior to your departure to cover for any flight cancellations or baggage loss/theft/damage!
It is the responsibility of your camp to organise your transport from the airport to camp and they should communicate this to you ahead of your flight!
The majority of camps will organise a bus/taxi service to collect you at the airport! You will most likely be travelling with a group of staff from your camp, often from around the world, who have arrived at the airport on the same date as yourself! If you are asked to travel to camp by public transport, they will provide detailed instructions on how to do this.
There are a variety of roles on camp that you might be hired for through AmeriCamp! We categorise these under 2 umbrellas - General Counsellor and Activity Leader!
As a general counsellor you will usually be living in cabins with the children, looking after them at meals and downtime and taking them from activity to activity! You might also get to take part in the activities yourself, plan camp events or try your hand at teaching/coaching a skill! Think of this role as being an older sibling for the children on camp!
As an activity leader, you will be responsible for running activities on camp in a skill you enjoy such as a sport, performing art, or watersport! You will plan activities and run sessions with the children to teach them your skill! You may also be in cabins with children and will probably get the chance to get stuck in with new activities you’ve not tried before!
You could also be hired as a Lifeguard or within a camps leadership team which will bring with it its own roles and responsibilities!
These are not the only option though, as every camp runs completely differently and your role may involve an overlap of these roles! What’s guaranteed is you will be having fun with the children on camp and creating the camp magic that makes their summer so special!
The best thing to do is to be open minded - camps know who suits which roles best and you might be surprised by the offers that come your way! Whichever role you are hired for, you will be able to take part in all the camp fun and have the summer of a lifetime!
Knowing what to pack can be tough but we have resources that can help you with this! If you want a run down of some of the items we recommend taking with you to camp check out our packing list document AT THIS LINK!
As a rule of thumb we always suggest taking enough clothes to last a couple weeks - remember, you will have access to laundry facilities on camp and can use these on your time off! You will also usually have access to places you can purchase toiletries or other cabin essentials, such as Walmart so do not overpack! You’ll probably be heading home with lots of camp merch so leave some room for your new wardrobe!
The majority of camps will have designated areas with access to phone and internet service. If you are unable to access this on your own device and need to contact home, camp will have phone and computer access, usually in the main office, that can be accessed on your time off.
It is important to note that some camps will have rules and regulations on phone use, for the safety of the children on camp! But don’t worry too much, you will be having too much fun on camp to have time to scroll - use camp as a time to get away from screens and live in the moment!
Every camp will have a slightly different daily schedule but what you can expect is for everyday to be completely jam packed with fun!
We have several resources where you can learn a little more about what to expect from the daily routine at camp!
You can check out our Day in the Life of camp page for an example of the daily schedule!
You can also watch our podcast episode to learn more about what our Day in the life at camp looked like!
Your first point of contact when experiencing an emergency on camp should be your Camp Director; they have years of experience in dealing with any sort of problem and will be able to provide in person support.
In the event of an emergency, classified as hospitalisation, accidents, arrest, job termination or legal issues, you can call the 24/7 US emergency number at 1-888-224-0450.
You can also contact the AmeriCamp UK team in office on +44 161 312 3640 or email info@AmeriCamp.co.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
In the event that you are terminated or must leave camp early you should contact the US office on their emergency phone line at 1-888-224-0450. They will be able to provide you support in organising travel home.
If this occurs, you will forfeit the remaining amount of your pay and the US Government will be notified that your J-1 visa should be cancelled. You must then return home with immediate urgency.
After your AmeriCamp placement finishes you will have a 30 day grace period that you can use to travel anywhere in the US! This is your opportunity to see all the sights you have always wanted to - whether that be the New York skyline, the natural beauty of Yosemite or famous beaches of California!
It is important to note that you don’t have to use all 30 days of your grace period and can return home whenever you’re ready!
You do not need to book a return flight before you leave - many of our applicants book this while at camp so they can finalise their after camp travel plans with the friends they make at camp! Just make sure you are booking it within your 30 day grace period - you must not stay in the US beyond these 30 days.
Current rules and restrictions outline that travellers from the UK do not need to be fully vaccinated to enter the US. However many of the camps we work with will still state this as a requirement to work on their premises.
In addition to this, travel regulations are changeable and have been updated by the US government multiple times, so it is possible the requirement for vaccinations could be reinstated at any time. In this event, we would not be able to provide refunds for those who are unvaccinated and unable to travel.