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Summer Camp Types

Types of summer camps


With 10 million campers heading off to their summer home from home, the variety of camps out there is huge and every camper's individual preferences can be catered for. Once you have started an online application you'll be able to show your interest in the kinds of summer camps in America that you wish to be involved with.

Use the quick links below to gain a detailed understanding of the different types of camps you could work at this summer:

Agency Summer Camp

Run by an agency such as the YMCA, 4-H clubs, Campfire Boys & Girls these camps follow the traditions of the agency with which they are affiliated and are operated by a board of directors rather than an individual owner. A variety of sports, arts, waterfront and outdoor living activities are offered to suit camper interests. Campers come from various socio-economic backgrounds.

Day Summer Camp

As the name suggests, this type of camp operates for daytime sessions only. Children arrive early in the morning and participate in a full day of activities before returning home to their families at the end of the day. Counselors lead the campers through a variety of activities each day. Counselors live either in on-site accommodation (dorm rooms, camp staff house) or with host families and have most evenings, and some weekends free, once the children have gone home. Day camps are often located closer to towns/cities than residential camps and campers may come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Most day camps are co-ed. (*Note- counselors working at day camps must complete an 11-week contract as opposed to a 9-week contract for residential camps).

Female campers at summer Camp Cody, NHFaith Based Summer Camp

Campers are offered an opportunity to attend traditional summer camps while celebrating their religious beliefs at the same time. The level of religious awareness as well as the level of religious involvement required from camp staff varies depending on the camp. Some camps focus more heavily on religion and religious studies, while others incorporate religious and moral beliefs into daily camp activities in a more subtle manner. Most religious summer camps in America are Christian or Jewish faith based (though camps based on other faiths exist as well). The campers at religious camps come from various socio-economic classes.

Christian Camp Leaders

There are many camps in America which are Christian and who are looking specifically for Christians to work at their camps. The majority of these would describe themselves as protestant evangelical. Christian Camp Leaders is a subsidiary of Camp Leaders, set up to provide additional background questions for those interested in working on a Christian camp to ensure we're taking all aspects of your background into account. In addition to the standard Camp Leaders application, we will require Christian Camp Leaders applicants to:

  • Answer a series of questions designed to give us an insight into the depth of your faith in Christ.
  • Provide your written personal testimony (if you have one).
  • Participate in a short telephone interview designed to help us gain a better understanding of your faith.
  • Provide a letter of reference from your Pastor/ Church Leader.

Working at a Christian camp will allow you the opportunity to experience an American summer camp with all its camaraderie and fun, whilst being able to grow and share your faith with others. Christian Camp Leaders is a member of the Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA) and the American Camp Association (ACA). Our camps will belong to these and other camp associations that accredit and support them.

Jewish Camp Leaders

The USA has a vast number of camps that categorize themselves as Jewish, ranging from those that follow more progressive Judaism, to others that follow and practice conservative Judaism. These camps hire international staff for various roles at camp, but are particularly interested in hiring Jewish staff from around the world...And this is where Jewish Camp Leaders comes in!

Jewish Camp Leaders is another subsidiary program offered by Camp Leaders, the application for which provides additional questions designed to give us information on your Jewish faith and practices. We will then do our best to match you with a Jewish camp that best matches your skills and level of faith.

Family Summer Camp 

Why should the parents miss out on all the fun!? Here camp can host the entire family during the summer. Some families have attended a particular family camp for generations. Counselors at family camps are often asked to teach or assist in activities with groups of adults or children, or both. Staff sleep in separate accommodations away from the families. During mealtimes entire families will dine together. Many families that attend family camp come from middle to upper-socio economic backgrounds.

Girl Scout Summer Camp

Similar to girl guides in the UK, the Girls Scout of America are an organization which operates year-round clubs to promote the growth of young women in society through activities, challenges and educational experiences. Girl Scout summer camps in America have female campers only and most have female-only staff, though a few may have some males on staff. The camp facilities are often rustic, using platform tents and camping (tents) for accommodation. The main activity focuses are arts & crafts, outdoor adventure/cooking, waterfront activities and ropes courses. Campers come from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds.

Counselors from summer Camp North Star, MEPrivate/Independent Summer Camp

This type of camp is a privately owned and operated business. Many private camps are all-boys or all-girls camps, though there are still some co-ed private camps remaining. Many families have been sending their children to the same private camp for generations, so traditions are strongly rooted in the camper and camp staff community. These camps offer a variety of activities including sports, arts, waterfront and horseback riding. Some may also focus on athletic competitions against other camps. The majority of campers at private camps come from higher socio-economic backgrounds and pay a larger tuition fee to attend camp.

Special Needs Summer Camp

This type of camp services people with various types of Special Needs including (but not limited to): Mental and/or Physical Disabilities, Blindness, Deafness, Learning Disabilities, ADHD/ADD. Campers may range in age from young children to adults or elderly campers and the camps themselves may accommodate children only, children and adults, or adults only. Funding is often through grants and donations and the camps are run by organizations or foundations, which operate year-round services for persons with special needs. Extensive training is provided for all staff. Facilities are usually highly specialized to accommodate to the needs of the campers. Many counselors will work with campers on 1:1 or 1:2 person ratios. Most Special Needs camps do not require counselors to have previous experience.

Camp Leaders will provide you with additional support both here in the UK and in the US via an online course with the University of Minnesota. This course will provide great supplementary information and will give you an excellent qualification, further enhancing your CV.

Underprivileged Summer Camp

This type of camp services children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Many campers may be attending camp on a scholarship, if their families cannot afford the camp tuition. Underprivileged camps are usually run by an organization or foundation which relies on charitable donations and grants to operate camp. Most underprivileged camps offer general camp activities such as water and land based sports, alongside arts & crafts, and have basic facilities. Campers mainly come from regional inner cities.

Now you have decided which summer camps you would best be suited to take a look at the different summer camp jobs in America that are available or start an online application.

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