150 years of tradition, thousands of camps and millions of campers.
Summer camp started as America settled away from the open frontiers, as a place for children to experience the great outdoors and to develop character. Today summer camp is a thriving industry with camps all over the US.
There are governing bodies that ensures camps have the highest standards for campers and staff, keeping people safe.
With so many different types of camps out there, from sports specific, traditional, underprivileged, and more, there are key traits that the camps we work with share.
They are more than an experience, they teach their campers their way of seeing the world, instilling virtues that help campers and staff alike navigate the world away from camp.
Set in beautiful places, from Upstate New York to the great northwoods in Minnesota the camp settings are unbelievable. Lakes, mountains, woods and wildlife.
From sports to outdoor ed, arts and crafts and performing arts, all kinds of fun activities happen all day every day at camp. Before the campers arrive everyone is trained up to be ready to deliver all of this in a fun and safe way.
Each camp specialises in something different. It might be on high end kit, on having a wide range of activities, on their horse riding program or the adventure trips that they send people on. Examples include camps with huge outdoor artificial climbing walls, extensive ropes courses, 20+ sailing boats or places that keep it simple, because everyone is nearly always out in the wilderness on a trip.
There are five main groups of staff at camp.
International staff. People like you. From the UK, Australia, NZ, Hungary, South Africa, Colombia and much more. Camps seek international staff to create a global community and to bring in skilled staff
Last years staff who come back are known as 'returners'. They are there to help new staff find their feet, get camp up and running support however they can.
Ex-campers will be on the team too, with a real love for camp they'll know the kids and have a different perspective.
American and college students head to camp too, many of them drive from across the US and are happy to have other staff join them on evening and days off. This group is a real opportunity to help international staff get to learn about America.
A team of seasonal local staff and a year round leadership team under pins the running of camp. Offering seasoned advice and support they are the professionals who run the kitchen, liaise with parents, run staff training and run all of the business functions of camp.
Summer camp is about community, about people coming together and supporting the development of children. Camp is full of tradition and at the same time different ideas and approaches are welcome. Many different people from different places head to camp.
Although this is changing, many summer camps don't yet fully reflect the diversity of society, especially when it comes to international camp counselors.
We're changing that.
From working with community groups to our new podcast, we are shining a light on the under representation of people of colour heading to camp. If you are from any under represented group join us, a world of opportunity awaits.
Have a listen here for the lived experience of summer camp as super star counselors chat about race and camp.
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