How to apply to work at an American/Canadian summer camp

One of my absolute favourite travelling experiences so far has got to be the time I spent working at an American summer camp back in 2014. It was a truly unique experience, and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who’s thinking about giving it a go. (Here’s a blog post I wrote with some of the reasons you should try it!) In fact, I loved it so much that I decided to apply again and have just secured a place at a Canadian camp for this summer. SO EXCITED! If you’ve decided to give it a go too, here’s my guide on how to apply to work at an American/Canadian summer camp:

1) Check your diary

Before you do anything else, check your diary and make sure you’re actually free to work a whole summer away from home. Very important. You don’t want to be on the plane and realise you’re going to miss graduation or your last exam or a festival you booked tickets for months ago and completely forgot about. (All 100% the sort of things I would probably be capable of doing, to be honest).

2) Do some research

Next, I’d recommend doing a bit of research on how to apply. When I first looked into working at a summer camp, I found a few blog posts that suggested applying directly with camps themselves, but I didn’t feel confident enough to do that and preferred to go through a company. There are loads of companies out there that you can apply with, and I spent a lot of time comparing all of them. In the end I went with CCUSA, so the rest of this post is going to be about my experience applying through them. (Gonna have to write NOT SPONSORED about 28 times in this post now, bloody hell).

3) Start your application

Now it’s time to apply. Most of the application process with CCUSA involves filling in a big online form with your basic information, which is easy enough, but you’ll also need to upload a short video about yourself for camp directors to see, which takes me on to my next step:

4) Make a short video about yourself

This sounds like it could be quite time consuming, but it’s really simple and can just be done on your phone. It only has to be about 30 seconds long, and you can use editing software to neatly chop out any bits where you might have stumbled over your words or gone off on a tangent or forgotten what you were saying halfway through a sentence. (Or all three, like me. I am many things but a YouTube prodigy is not yet one of them). If you need any inspiration, have a look on YouTube where loads of people have uploaded theirs for the world to see. (I have not, for the reasons I just wrote above).

5) Submit your application

Once you’ve checked everything over you can submit your application and wait to be contacted! Happy days.

6) Go to a camp fair where you can get hired on the spot!

I think some people do this bit before finishing the application form, but I went to a camp fair afterwards. Different companies hold camp fairs in different cities, but they’re quite spread out so it’s easy for everyone to access one. I got my current placement offer by going to the Leeds camp fair, so it’s definitely worth trying to see if you can get placed on the day!

I’m currently onto the next stage with my camp application as I’ve completed the above steps and been offered a place. I’ll add more information to this post after I’ve gone through the next bit of the process!

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