The Camp Leaders Experience
If you're looking for the ultimate work and travel experience, you've just found it. Summer camp in America might just be the best way to work and travel for a season, and Camp Leaders is the ultimate summer camp experience. Here's everything you need to know if you're thinking about taking a mini gap year (summer) in America.
Work at Summer Camp in America
American summer camps are an annual tradition for excited kids and counselors - and for good reason. Heading to camp is like being transported into a completely different world for 8 weeks. In America's work and travel industry, summer camps lead the charge. They're always looking for international staff who can bring fun, fresh perspectives, providing campers and staff with incredible cultural exchange experiences.
You’ll spend your summer helping out American campers, developing new skills, and making awesome new friends to travel with. There are lots of different positions available at camp, so there's a good chance you'll find a great fit. The typical camp will run for 8-10 weeks, so it fits in perfectly with a university schedule.
You’ll get lost in the summer heat, spend your days hanging out with kids, and lead lots of fun games and activities. With your help, they can explore new interests and hobbies. You’ll discover some things about yourself, too, and have an absolutely unforgettable summer.
If you’re looking for the ultimate summer job, look no further. Camp Leaders is the classic summer camp USA experience, and you’ll have an unforgettable time exploring the land of the free. Camp might just be the best way to work and travel in America. Whether you want to see the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, or anything in between, camp is simply the best way to work and travel in the USA.
In a country known for it’s great variety, there’s something for everyone. You’ll be a short trip away from some of the most incredible sights in the world, and be free to travel wherever you like after camp. Smaller Earth also provides you access to some key discounts for hostels, treks, tours, and car rentals, to help you make the most of your after-camp travel.
You’ll wake up each day to something new, and you’ll be able to challenge yourself in completely new ways. There’s no travel experience like America, and you’ll be able to finance your adventures with your pay from camp. One thing is for certain - you’ll definitely want to return for year 2.
We are monitoring travel advice from local and international authorities. Please read our Smaller Earth statement on the current situation.
Food & accommodation at camp
Return flights (No Flight option also available)
10 week comprehensive health insurance
24/7 in-country support from an award-winning team of camp experts
Visa assistance and sponsorship
A great summer camp USA experience depends on the camp’s staff. As a camp counselor, you’ll play a key part in making sure the summer runs smoothly. Your job is to just let kids be kids, and make sure everyone is looked after.
You can make a big difference in helping your campers develop their skills and confidence , and you’re sure to grow from the experience, too. No matter what role you end up in at summer camp USA, you can bring your unique traits, and develop them at camp.
These camp types provide lots of different opportunities to work in the USA for foreigners. Choose your adventure, and lock down one of the best summer camp America jobs.
These camps are privately owned and operated, and some of them span back through several generations the same family. With activities ranging from performing arts to competitive sports, there’s something for everyone at these camps.
Associated with non-profit organizations, these camps provide have low-cost or free program fees for campers from underprivileged backgrounds. With the aim to send children to camp who otherwise would not have the means to go, the daily activities at these camps are very similar to traditional camps.
Special needs camps make summer accessible for everyone. They operate under the philosophy that every child should have the opportunity to grow, develop, and try new activities. A positive attitude, and the motivation to make a difference to campers with physical, behavioural and/or developmental limitations, are ideal attributes for a special needs counselor.
Although these camps are typically Jewish or Christian, you don’t need to practice a religion to work at these camps - it’s all about teaching good values. The level of practiced faith varies from camp to camp, so some of these camps are indistinguishable from traditional ones. With shared values, fun traditions, and a wide range of activities, faith-based camps provide a strong sense of community. You’ll be sad to leave the close relationships you’ve built behind once the summer is over.
Girl Scouts of America
Girl scout camps are the most rustic camps out there. If you have a love for the great outdoors, these camps are for you. From wilderness expeditions to sleeping under the stars, orienteering hiking trails to roasting s’mores on campfires, these camps allow you to get in touch with nature. You'll enable children to explore and develop a love for being outside.
These camps are meant for campers who want to train at a high level in one specific activity. Whether it be sports, performing arts, horse-riding, or any other activity, specialist camps offer personalised coaching to campers. Many of these camps are also equipped with advanced, modern facilities. If you are highly qualified in an activity, these camps are a great way to make an impact on the next generation of athletes, artists, or other professionals.
Day camps cover a wide range of activities, but they're only open in the daytime. They function in a similar fashion to a daycare, but provide a more fun and interactive environment. Campers typically live close to the camp location, so they'll arrive in the morning, and head home in the evening. You and the other counselors will have some time to hang out together by the campfire at night.
Weight loss camps
If you want to make a big impact on campers this summer, a weight loss camp is the right place for you. With a specific focus on health and nutrition, the activities at these camps are similar to the other camps listed, but with added sessions around fitness, lifestyle and self-esteem. Depending on your skills and experience, you may even have a chance to train or coach for adult programs during the summer.
Camp Leaders is a story of passion and perseverance. It all started in a back bedroom in Liverpool, UK in 1999.
That was the year when Chris Arnold, the founder of Camp Leaders, returned from summer camp in America. Inspired and enriched by his cultural exchange experience, he knew he'd found something incredible. He wanted to help others experience the life-changing impact of summer camp, so he decided to share his experience far and wide, and find a way to help them do it, too.
Chris knew he could make a huge difference by spreading his message. He decided to create a straightforward program, with the aim to open the possibility of summer camp to as many people as possible - and so Camp Leaders was born.
Since it's inception, Camp Leaders has grown and grown, driven by the same camp-inspired spirit.
Over the past 20 years, Camp Leaders has emerged as a worldwide leader for cultural exchange. The Camp Leaders program is now one of the world’s most well-known camp travel experiences. The Camp Leaders team is made up of world travellers and summer camp experts, who understand the unique value of working at summer camp in the USA.
From top to bottom, Camp Leaders is driven by people who are passionate about providing an incredible customer experience. They know it's possible to make your mark on the world, at the same time as having an incredible, life-changing experience - because they do it every day.
Camp Leaders work with 500 different summer camps across the whole of America (including at least one in every state bar Hawaii), so there’s an incredible amount of variety and scope in where you could be placed.
We offer the opportunity to decide which package you wish to go for; flights included, or no flights included. This then informs how much you’ll receive in America, which is broken down below:
* Under 21 Flight Included: $850
* Under 21 No Flight: $1450
* *Over 21 Flight Included: *$950 (+$100 for Special Needs)
* *Over 21 No Flight: $1550 *(+$100 for Special Needs)
* Under 21 Flight Included: $1250
* Under 21 No Flight: *$1600
* *Over 21 Flight Included: $1250
* Over 21 No Flight: $1600
Our guaranteed minimum is still over $200 more than Camp America, so you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be getting the best deal by going with the Leaders.
Summer camps in America will get to see your profile and background and be able to make an offer to you if they believe you’ll be a great fit for their camp. Once you have interviewed with them, they’ll make a decision on everything combined, so just focus on making the best impression possible and then you could have a new home for the summer!
This means that you may have the opportunity to work anywhere in the United States, so keep your mind open to new places.
Qualifications will strengthen your application for summer camp but are not necessary.
If you have a background and passion for a certain activity, you could be the perfect fit for a particular camp. This is one of the reasons for interviews, as they’ll be able to gauge your personality and how you would fit into their team. Camps provide full training on the job when you arrive, so they would much rather get the right person!
Absolutely any experience is beneficial, but not essential.
If you’re used to looking after younger family members, it can all make the difference. If you’ve ever helped out at an after-school club, write it down. One thing you find insignificant could be the decider for a camp.
You can find full inclusions and cost a little further up on this page.
Throughout the summer, you’ll be working hard on ensuring the campers have the best possible summer camp experience. You’ll get at least a day off and this tends to be used to chill or explore the local area for cool things to do.
When you get to the end of camp, you’ll band together with your new best buds and explore some of the most incredible places America has to offer, or look at joining something like Trek America, so you get the full American experience.
Yes, both before flying and whilst you get there.
The team will organise thorough Prep Days, where you’ll go through absolutely everything you need to be prepared for your trip of a lifetime.
On arrival, staff members will all be at different levels of skill, so camps ensure that you go through an induction and training schedule, to make sure you get the essential skills you need to be a superstar leader.
Our team is full of staff members who have “been there and got the camp T-shirt”. From your very first call, you’ll have people that you can rely on to help on your journey, whether that’s answering your questions or preparing you for your interview with camp.
On top of that, we have loads of documents for you to read over and feel super prepared, whilst our Prep days will allow you to get a real feel for your American summer, but in a location close to you. Here, you’ll get trained up, meet other Leaders and go through exactly what’s expected when you get in America.
Definitely not! Applications are now open and camps are actively looking for next summer’s superstars. Click on "Get Started" to apply.