This One's for the Parents
So your son or daughter is heading to America for the summer to work at camp and they haven't told you a thing about it?
No worries, we've got your back!
Our Camp Leaders experts have come together to produce this letter specifically for you. We want you to be as knowledgeable as us when it comes to summer camp.
Here's everything you need to know to be in the know.
Dear parents and supporters,
Working at summer camp is an incredible adventure filled with travel, new friendships and exciting opportunities. Your son or daughter will have their summer of a lifetime, that much is guaranteed. For the past 20 years we've sent over 50,000 people to work at summer camp in America. Each year as our young people prepare to go to camp, one thing remains the same; they forget to tell you guys the important details!
We've answered some of your frequently asked questions to make sure that you're kept in the loop.
How much money should they budget?
We recommend that they take around $300 in cash when they arrive in the States. As working at camp is a job, they will be paid by camp once they're in the States, but this may not be until camp has finished. We advise that they have access to additional funds.
We suggest that they take a travel money debit card like Monzo or Revolut. These cards don't charge an international transaction fee and adjust currencies automatically with the interbank exchange rate. Opting for a card like this is safer than carrying heaps of cash. Also, if you want to send them money, you can easily bank transfer it to them while they're away.
Do Camp Leaders provide medical insurance cover?
Yes! Camp Leaders provide up to 90 days basic medical insurance. If they are staying in the US for more than 90 days in total, your son/daughter will have to extend their medical insurance. Any extension will be charged at a daily rate. They must be covered for the whole time they are in the US.
The basic insurance covers most medical care within the USA. If preferred, they can opt for the extended cover for an additional cost. Please refer to the Insurance section in the guide book for full details of coverage.
On Route to Camp.
How do they get from the airport to camp?
We liaise with camp and provide each individual with specific step-by-step instructions on how to get to camp. They can find this onward travel information on the "Flights and Travel" section of their Camp Leaders profile once their flight has been booked.
Some camps may pick people up at the airport, but most of the time staff will have to transfer to a bus or train before being picked up nearer to camp.
What should they do if they're delayed on the way to camp?
If their flight from the UK is delayed or if there is any problem with the flight before they leave, they should call the UK office on 0151-708-6868. We will inform their camp and assist them with what to do next. This is a 24-hour emergency flight helpline, so we are always on hand to help.
If they have departed from the UK, they should call our free 24-hour USA support line on 1-866-803–7643.
If the delay results in them not being able to get camp that same day, we will help to book accommodation for that night and provide alternative onward travel arrangements.
While at Camp.
What should I do if I have not heard from them?
When they arrive at camp, we have a saying that ‘no news is good news’. They'll be thrown into the exhilarating summer camp culture, meeting new friends and getting accustom to camp life.
As you can expect, calling home can fall to the back of their mind. It can be difficult for new arrivals to access the internet on the first night so, with most staff arriving in the US evening-time, it may take a while for them to send you a text. So don't panic! Camp confirm with us when every individual arrives so you can call us to double check for you.
If you haven't heard from them after a day or so don't hesitate to contact the Camp Leaders UK office on 0151-708-6868.
If they have a problem at camp, who should they speak to?
If your son/daughter contacts you about problems at camp please ask them to talk to their camp supervisor or Director. These people have worked in the summer camp industry for years, so it'd likely that they'll have seen it all before and are in the best position to provide assistance.
If they have spoken to these people and still feel their issue hasn’t been resolved please ask them to immediately call our US support number on 1-866-803-7643. We are there 24/7 to provide help and suppport- they can come to us with anything!
What happens if they need medical treatment?
All camps have a medical centre with medical professionals who should be the first point of call if anyone is injured at camp. If the professional deems that they need further care, or if your son/daughter is not in camp at the time of the injury, they should head to urgent care. They should not go to the emergency room unless it is a very serious injury.
If heading to urgent care, they will need to take details of their printed insurance policy card, the address for billing and cash or a credit card. They may have to pay the insurance excess or for prescription medicine upfront at the pharmacy.
If they receive medical treatment the first thing they should do is call our US support line number on 1-866-803-7643.
They need to submit a claim to the insurance company within 30 days of the medical care. Our US support team will take them through this online process.
Should I send a ‘care package’ or letters from home to camp?
Yes! There is nothing quite as special as treats from home, especially a few weeks into camp. Cadburys chocolate, tea bags and percy pigs are sure to be winners! Remember to jot down the camp address before they go and clearly write their full name on the page before sending it in the post.
After Camp Travel and Returning from Camp.
Are they able to change their return flight date?
Yes! If they opted for the 'flights included' program, there will be an option to submit a flight change request under the flights section on their profile. The UK flights team will look at the options and provide a quote to change the ticket. There will be a charge to change their return date which is varies depending on the airline.
If they booked their flight independently of camp leaders, we recommend contacting the airline as soon as possible to change the return flight date. The airline will then be able to advise the best option going forward.
What happens if they leave camp before the end of their contract?
They should call our US support line immediately on 1-866-803-7643.
It is their responsibility to know and adhere to all camp rules. Breaking the rules may result in them being fired.
If they leave camp before the end of the summer it will be seen as breaking their contract. They should know that there may be financial implications for breaking their agreement. Please refer to the Leaving Camp Early section of the guidebook for more detail.
What should they do if they need to return home immediately for a family emergency ?
They should call our US support line immediately on 1-866-803-7643.
Our priority will be to get them back home as quickly and safely as possible. If they have booked their own flight, they will also need to contact the airline who may be able to assist with re-booking their flight.
Warmly, Camp Leaders.
For more information, FAQs and helpful blogs head to our Parents and Supporters page.