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American Summer Camp Jobs for UK Students 2017

About US Summer Camp Agencies
There are many students, gap year students and graduates throughout the UK who've had that same dream; the thought of the ideal seasonal job. Wouldn't it be just fantastic to go to the United States of America and spend a few weeks working in one of their famous summer camps? There are thousands of these camps all over the US and each summer, millions of children attend them, meaning thousands of extra seasonal staff are recruited annually for summer camp jobs in America.

Students and graduates in the UK have the opportunity to take up a position in one of these camps, and most do so via a number of companies, each promising a variety of benefits. So which company do you choose to go with when there are so many trying to tempt you to work in a summer camp through them? All have different fees you need to pay, but all offer different benefits in return. It's a lot of research...but hopefully this article will help you make the right decisions.

Let's take a look!
Working In American Summer Camps: What Do You Pay...What Do You Get?
For most students and graduates, money is tight, so one of your main considerations is going to be finances. To make life a little easier for you, and to help you decide which provider is best for you at this time, we've taken a selection of the top companies who place students in United States summer camps and we've researched what you pay and what you get in return.

**This is not a comparison to demonstrate which we think is the best American summer camp employment provider. If you want to do seasonal work on a summer camp in the US, you need to study the packages and choose the one that best fits for you. So, before we get started, let's get a few things clear and fill you in on a few of the things you need to bear in mind:

Companies providing your placement in American summer camps are agencies
All the companies we mention below are agencies; middlemen who help you to get a placement in an American summer camp, so part of your fees go towards paying for their services. Along with helping to secure a placement for you, these agencies also support you with visa applications and other necessary preparations before you set off for the States.

Of course, the fact that these are agencies means you could end up working in the same summer camp with other students or graduates who have gone through a different agency. Your 'pocket money' might be more or less than theirs for doing exactly the same job, but you might have paid for your own flight whilst another person opted to go through an agency where the flight fees were included. Like we said, you need to choose the best options for you.

All summer camps in the United States of America provide your food, accommodation and linens for your 9 week stay.
Food, accommodation, linens, laundry and internet access (depending on location) are not benefits provided by your chosen agency but by the summer camp you are placed at. When choosing an agency to go through, know that you will get this as part of your American summer camp package, whichever agency you decide to go through.

Depending on the type of American summer camp you work at, your accommodation could be anything from a separate staff quarters building to wooden chalets to fully equipped tents, for those working on an outward bound camp. Your agency should try to place you in a summer camp that matches your skills and personality.

What does your insurance cover?
As part of the package you pay for, all agencies will arrange your insurance. As with all insurance policies, make sure you carry out your own due diligence and know exactly what you are covered for by the insurance company your agency uses. (Summer camp agencies offer support and should be able to help you with any questions you have about this).

For example, if you want to stay on and do some travelling in the United States after your time at summer camp is up, is your baggage covered? Also, you may not be covered for particular activities you wish to take part in. If you do need to top up your insurance cover, you will have to factor this into your costs for working in a summer camp.

Wages are 'pocket money'
American summer camp jobs are all about the unique experience, how you develop as a person, making friends, travel - and not forgetting CV enhancement. It's not about making money. So the wages you receive are often described as 'pocket money'. You don't go to work in an American summer camp to get financially rich!

Some camps will pay your pocket money to you in installments while others will give you a lump sum at the end. Pocket money figures mentioned below are based on a 9 week working stay on an American summer camp.

And finally...
All the comparisons below are based on fees and pocket money for 'first-timers' going to work in an American summer camp as a 'camp counsellor'. If you are returning to summer camp for the second or even 20th time (some people do love it that much), the agencies offer separate 'returner' programmes for you. Earnings vary based on age, relevant experience or qualifications which is why there is a salary range shown.
The Agencies - fees & benefits 2017

Americamp BUNAC Camp America Camp Leaders CCUSA Wildpacks
Food & Lodging yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Insurance yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Flights yes yes yes yes
Agency Fees £309 £499 £269 £599 £299 £549 £525 £299 £395
3rd Party Fees £198 £179 £179 £153 £179 £179 £175 £175 £220
Total Costs £507 £678 £448 £752 £478 £728 £700 £474 £615
Pocket Money $1,285 - $1,745 Up to $1,100 Up to $1,600 $600 - $1,200 $600 - $1,500 $600 - $1,150 $700 - $1,100 $1,285 - $1,745 $1,500 - $2,500

NB: All agencies require you to have a medical check by your doctor and this fee needs to be factored into the figures above and below. According to the agency websites, this fee can be anything from £0-£70, depending on your GP's surgery policy.

Summer Camp Agencies In Detail

What you get:

- Comprehensive medical insurance
- 9 weeks food and accommodation (provided by your summer camp)
- Counsellor pocket money of between $1,500 and $2,500 depending on experience, skills and the particular camp you are placed in

What you pay with Wildpacks:

- Wildpacks fees of £395
- Third party fees: Police check - £60 US Embassy fees - £160
- TOTAL: £615

(This fee excludes your flight fare and any regional airport supplements. It also excludes GP's examination fees and your travel to and from the US Embassy. You may also want baggage / travel insurance. check with the agency to see what you are covered for.)

Extra benefits:

- 24 hour support
- Assistance with flight bookings: choosing the best airport to land in the United States to get to your particular camp
- Dedicated staff member at The Flight Centre for helping Wild Packs participants with flights and itineraries for after camp travel and tours for exploring the United States. Travel insurance can be arranged through The flight Centre, too.

What you get:

- Return transatlantic flights from the UK to New York and travel to your camp from New York. (Return travel from camp, back to New York is not included)
- Medical insurance
- 9 weeks food and accommodation (provided by your summer camp)
- Counsellor 'pocket money' of $600-$1,200, based on your skills, activities and experience

What you pay with Camp America:

- Camp America fees of £599, payable in 5 installments. This includes your medical insurance and airport taxes. (The flight is from London to New York. If you fly from Glasgow, Edinburgh or Belfast, there may be a surcharge if you don't apply early)
- Third party fees: Police check - £44, US Embassy fees - £100
- TOTAL: £699

(This fee excludes the optional baggage insurance, excludes your GP's examination fees and also your travel to and from the US Embassy)

Extra benefits:

- Travel time after your 9 weeks in camp
- Ongoing support - Travel, insurance and insurance advice. Support when in camp
- Online application and matching process as well as placements in suitable camps via recruitment fairs
- Camp America forum so you can swap stories with others who have worked or are going to work in US summer camps

What you get:

- Comprehensive medical insurance
- 9 weeks food and accommodation (provided by your summer camp)
- Counsellor pocket money of up to $1,745

What you pay with Americamp:

- Americamp fees of £309
- Third party fees: Police check - £45.86, US Embassy fees - $160 + £34.
- TOTAL: £507

(This fee excludes your flight fare and any regional airport supplements. It also excludes GP's examination fees and your travel to and from the US Embassy. You may also want baggage / travel insurance. Check with the agency to see what you are covered for.)

Extra benefits:

- Skype interviews if necessary
- Visited in camp by experienced Americamp team members
- 24 hour emergency hotline in the US, plus Facebook and Twitter support
- 30 days travel after camp with itinerary assistance
- UK-based preparation and orientation days before going to your American summer camp placement
- Flight deals through The Flight Centre

What you get:

Camp Leaders have 2 options: one that includes flights and another which does not.

- Transatlantic return flights to your summer camp's preferred airport in the US and travel to camp from the airport, if you opt for the flight inclusive option.
- 90 days medical insurance
- 9 weeks food and accommodation (provided by your summer camp)
- Counsellor pocket money without the flight option included: up to $1,500
- Counsellor pocket money with the flight option included: up to $1,150

What you pay with Camp Leaders:

- Camp Leaders fees without flight option of £299
- Camp Leaders fees with flight option of £549
- Third party fees: Police check - £60 US Embassy fees - $160
- TOTAL (without flights): £478 - TOTAL (with flights): £728

Extra benefits:

- Assistance with the application process
- 24 hour support while you are in the USA
- After camp travel time so you can explore a bit of the United States
- If you are a gap year student or graduate and want to do a Round The World trip with a 9 week stint in a summer camp in the United States, Camp Leaders can arrange this for you

What you get:

You have probably worked out by now that American summer camp agencies offer either a package including flights or excluding flights. CCUSA offer you the choice of two programmes: with flight and without flight. Let's take a look:

- Transatlantic return flights from London Heathrow if you opt for the flight inclusive option.
- Counsellor pocket money with the flight option included: If you are 18 years old: $700. If you are 19-20 years old: $850. If you are 21+ years old: $1,000
- Counsellor pocket money without the flight option included: If you are 18 years old: $1285. If you are 19-20 years old: $1550. If you are 21+ years old: $1645
- Phone card and T-shirt
- 9 weeks food and accommodation (provided by your summer camp)

What you pay with CCUSA:

- Third party fees: Police check - £45. US Embassy fees - £130
- CCUSA fees with flight option included: £525
- CCUSA fees without flight option included: £299
- TOTAL WITH FLIGHT: £700 TOTAL WITHOUT FLIGHT: £474

(This fee excludes your GP's fees for your medical check and any additional insurance you might need).

Extra benefits:

- Up to 30 days travel time after your time at camp is complete
- Online application process
- 24 hour support in the United States
- UK pre-trip orientation day

Other Factors To Consider When Choosing your US Summer Camp Agency
As you can see, students looking to do seasonal work in American summer camps have a range of agencies to choose from and each agency has different fees and benefits for you. Some of the agencies offer medical insurance while others offer travel insurance. Check what you are covered for as this could affect your costs.

Some agencies offer considerable discounts for 'early bird' bookings or if you pay upfront rather than installments. Others offer financial incentives if you recommend a friend and get them to sign up. So get proactive, do your research and you could save yourself some valuable post camp, US travel money.

Whichever agency you choose to go with, working in an American summer camp is a highly rewarding experience for both students and graduates that you are sure to enjoy.

If these costs are too high, then there are plenty of summer camp jobs in the UK to consider as well.

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