FAQ

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions!

 

Here we’ve put together answers to the questions that most baffle our perspective and outgoing AmeriCampers! If your question isn’t answered here, then please feel free to drop us a call or email or message us on our Twitter (@AmeriCampAU) and Facebook.

Program Requirements

You must be 18 by June 1st, 2019 in order to apply for AmeriCamp 2019. Unfortunately, this is non-negotiable. So, if you are 17 years of age, you can apply for AmeriCamp provided you turn 18 before June 1st, 2019.

If you are under 18 and are interested in heading to camp please do get in touch, as we have other programmes that would be suitable for you.

To apply for the role of General Camp Counsellor or Instructor you do not need to be a student!

If you wish to apply for a Support Staff role, however, you do need to be in full-time education at the time of applying or have a confirmed place in full-time education in September 2019 in order to be eligible.

Qualifications in certain areas are always desirable (for instance, lifeguarding for example), but they are not essential. We find that personal experience is really valuable, and when combined with a positive ‘can do’ attitude produces the best kind of results!

Do your best to add as many skills to your application as possible. Even if you don’t have the ability to teach it, the more skills and experience you have in different areas the better – as it shows you are a good, well-rounded candidate.

You don’t necessarily need extensive experience teaching or working with children in order to apply, but you must be able to demonstrate a desire to work with children and make sure that they too have the summer of a lifetime!

Most camps have a 9 week contract between the first and second week of June through to mid-August.

We can only accept applications with availability up to the 18th of June 2019, if you can’t start until after this date please contact the office to discuss your options.

The earlier you are available the better; camps start hiring for some positions from May 1st, so if you do work longer than 9 weeks (11 weeks for a day camp) you will get paid a daily rate on top of your initial salary.

Application FAQs

You can apply for AmeriCamp 2019 right now!

Click here to start the application process, make yourself a cuppa and  set aside roughly 60 minutes to fill out the form. Don’t worry if you can’t fill everything out in one go you can come back to it later.

We will be taking applications up to mid-March 2019. If you wish to apply after this date please contact the office to discuss your options. Please be aware that applying after the deadline may reduce your chances of placement.

Interviews can be conducted by a member of our AmeriCamp team in Australia via Skype or face-to-face in your local coffee shop, provided you are based in the Melbourne area.

Interviews will usually be carried out in your local area and in person, with one of our lovely AmeriCamp campus managers.

All of our campus managers have completed at least one summer at camp and are the perfect person to chat to about what you’ll get up to at camp! Interviews are quite casual so you don’t have to turn up suited and booted; think of it more as a chat to get to know you and talk about what skills you can bring to camp!

Your interviewer will then complete an interview report and we can move you onto the next stage if you are successful.

Personal references should be completed by anyone who has known you for over 6 months in a professional capacity. Examples include teachers, coaches, employers, parents you have babysat for etc. We will also accept one reference from a co-worker.

Let’s face it, your video is what really brings your application to life! Camp Directors will watch your video first, before deciding to read your application so it is the perfect opportunity to show off your personality, skills and convince them to hire you!

Keep it short and sweet (we recommend no more than 2 minutes), and be yourself!

Click on our ‘How to make your AmeriCamp Application Video’ below for helpful hints and tips. Remember to think outside the box and don’t be afraid to get creative.

We can easily defer your application to next year, and you can simply pick up where you left off!  If you wish to cancel altogether your fees will be non-refundable. Please refer to your program agreement for Terms and Conditions.

Fees and Figures

The programme fee covers your application fee, i.e. the cost of us working with you to make sure that your application is submitted to and processed by the US office, to get you placed at your perfect camp!

It also includes your visa sponsorship, which allows you to work and earn money legally in the US, covers the cost of us producing your DS2019 (certificate of eligibility) and SEVIS receipt. It also includes your 90 days of medical insurance.

In order to do AmeriCamp, you will need to get a medical check from your GP which will include a list of vaccinations and immunizations. Different GPs have different pricing plans, however, if your GP is charging more than $100 please contact us so we can discuss your options.

In order for you to work in America, it is a US Department of State requirement for participants to have a J-1 visa. AmeriCamp will provide the sponsorship to obtain this visa as well as providing your visa documents such as your DS-2019 form (Certificate of Eligibility).

When you have been #plACed at your perfect camp, you will then need to apply for your J1 visa and book your US embassy appointment.

AmeriCamp will provide you with a full set of instructions on how to apply for your J1 Cultural Exchange visa and how to book your US embassy appointment. You will be required to attend a personal interview at your local US Embassy Consulate in either Sydney, Melbourne or Perth and it should be noted that this could take a couple of hours to attend and any costs of travel to/from the Embassy is your responsibility.

The cost of the J1 Cultural Exchange visa is $160 USD and is a third party cost paid directly to the US Department of State. AmeriCamp will charge you a $45 handling fee to cover the cost of shipping your DS-2019 form from the US office.

We have an incredible in house team that will provide you with quotes and help you to book your flights, all whilst giving you peace of mind that there is a 24 hour support line in case you need to change your flights. Return flights typically cost between $1,000 – $1,700.

Here at AmeriCamp, we are proud to announce that we offer the highest wages within the Summer Camping industry and you can earn up to $1950 USD, depending on your age, skills and experience.

For the duration of your placement at camp, if you are 18 years old, your starting salary will be $1500 USD, for 19 to 20 year olds, your starting salary will be $1650 USD. If you are 21 years old and over, your starting salary will be $1750 USD.

If you are an ACA certified lifeguard, you can earn an additional $100 USD and if you are working at a Special Needs camp, you can earn an additional $100 USD.

Getting #plACed

AmeriCamp works with you to ensure your application is the strongest it can possibly be before we ‘transit’ your application to the US. From here, we work with some fantastic Placement Coordianators who will put you forward to different camps and place you on ‘review’.

The Camp Directors then have the opportunity to look through your application and invite you for a Skype interview. If all goes well, your placement will be confirmed!

Please note, it is not uncommon for you to be #plACed straightaway without an interview – if this happens, congratulations! This would suggest that the Camp Director must have really liked your application.

There is no exact science to the amount of time it takes to get #plACed, although generally speaking the earlier you apply, the earlier you will be #plAced.

Please also be aware that placements can occur anytime up to the 30th of June, so hold tight and keep the faith! Remember: AmeriCamp has had a 100% placement rate between 2015-2017 – you’re in the best hands!

Whilst each and every camp that we work with offers an amazing and unique experience, your placement actually depends primarily on you, the applicant! All camps will require individuals with certain skills, and so you will more than likely be #plACed according to the skills listed on your AmeriCamp application.

For example, if your AmeriCamp application outlines that you are an accomplished rock climber, then you will naturally be considered by camps who are hiring for a Climbing Instructor role. Because of this, it may not always be possible to place you at a specific camp of your choosing.

However, we work with hundreds of camps all across the US, and while most of them are located on the East coast we guarantee that wherever you may be #plACed, your camp will be just as special as any other! Ultimately camp is camp: the place you’ll make lifelong friends, the place you’ll long for once you’re back home and most importantly where you’ll be having your summer of a lifetime along with your fellow campers!

In summary, you could well be placed anywhere in the US – but this is what makes the AmeriCamp experience so worthwhile.  Think of it as an adventure!

At AmeriCamp we are proud to say that every camp we are associated with is incredible. Working at any camp in America would be an invaluable experience.

We would recommend not getting too hung up on the location of the camp, as camp is an incredible experience wherever you are #plACed! Instead, engage your sense of adventure and don’t get bogged down with only considering camps in New York or California, for example! If there’s somewhere that you are desperate to see, don’t forget that you can use your 30 day grace period to travel after you’re finished at camp.

Unfortunately it is unlikely that you can be #plACed with a friend or partner as we deal with each application on an individual placement.

We would advise that you always keep your options open, as we have found that some Camp Directors are put off from hiring friends as they believe that this prevents applicants from fully embracing the spirit of camp.

Don’t let this put you off, though, we can assure you that you’ll have an incredible experience wherever you are #plAced and you can always meet your friends/brother/sister/cousin/partner/grandma/dog at the end of camp for your 30 day grace period, plus you’ll have more way more crazy camp stories to share!

Most camps will reach out to you via email, so it is important you check your mail daily. It is especially important to check your junk/spam folders as well, as the email will be coming from an American address and so may have been filtered incorrectly by your mailbox.

Each year placements are lost because people don’t respond to emails quickly enough, or they are lost in spam, so please don’t be one of them! Make sure you are on the ball and are replying to camps/Camp Directors promptly.

In most cases you will hear from your camp directly after interview, however in some cases you will get placed directly so ensure you are checking your online account 3-5 times a week.

We wouldn’t advise you to turn down your first placement without speaking to us first; we will take a look at the reasons why the camp might not suit you, and can make changes to your application.

If you really feel that the camp isn’t the best fit we will do our best to #plACe you elsewhere, however we can’t guarantee you would be offered a second placement. All of the camps we work with are truly amazing and you will have the summer of a lifetime – wherever you may end up!

AmeriCamp are extremely proud to announce that we have successfully #plACed 100% of all applicants in 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been incredible years for AmeriCamp and we hope to continue this success for the 2019 season!

We work extremely hard to ensure that all of our AmeriCampers have the very best chance of placement, however if we are unable to place you we can defer your application over to next year and you will have no fees to pay to AmeriCamp.

Alternatively, we will give you a full refund of your stage two fee.

Visas and Insurance

You will be required to attend a personal interview at your local US Embassy in either Sydney, Melbourne or Perth and it should be noted that this could take a couple of hours to attend and any costs of travel to and from the Embassy is your responsibility. Please check the websites of the embassy for any processing times.

The cost of the J1 visa is $160 payable directly to the US embassy, AmeriCamp will charge you a $34 handling fee to cover the cost of shipping your DS2019 from the US office.

If you miss your appointment, you must contact us for advice on how to re-arrange, however we can’t guarantee there will be another appointment time available.

You are responsible for securing your visa. It is extremely rare that anyone is denied a visa, however in such a case all fees are non-refundable. If you have any concerns please contact us before your appointment. If you are denied on the day you will be given a chance to appeal/re-apply for a visa.

Yes! As part of your programme fees you will get 90 days of economy medical insurance to cover both accident and illness. This will cover you at camp and on your days off, and for most standard 9 weeks contracts this will also cover your 30 day grace period.

For the duration of your placement at camp, you are covered by your camps ‘Workers Compensation’ policy should you need any medical assistance.

Your medical insurance can be extended both before and after your camp contract dates and you can also opt to upgrade to premium coverage. To obtain this, you just need to contact one of the AmeriCamp team members who will be able to provide this for you.

If you wish to extend your medical insurance to longer than 90 days, you will need to contact your AmeriCamp office directly, and one of the friendly teams members will be able to obtain the necessary details from you and update your policy.

AmeriCamp provide you with 90 days of economy medical insurance to cover you over your summer, however we would definitely recommend that you take out extra travel insurance to cover you for flight cancellations, baggage loss/theft/damage and for other personal items.

Before, At and After Camp

This really depends on the role you are hired for, though from General Camp Counsellors to Activity Specialists, we can guarantee you’ll be getting stuck in with all kinds of work, along with free time to do whatever you please!

For details about specific roles, check out our ‘Positions’ page! No single day at camp is ever the same, but for an idea of what your typical day at camp might look like, check out our blogpost: http://americamp.com.au/americamp/daily-life/

Yes they do. Many have Wi-Fi throughout their campus as well, however please be aware you will not have access to this during working hours especially in ‘unplugged’ camps.

Remember you are at camp for the kids!

Your first point of contact should be your Camp Director, as they will have years of experience in dealing with all sorts of issues and queries.

Alternatively you can contact us or drop us an email and we will get straight back to you.

For emergencies, you should contact your US visa sponsor on +1 888 268 6245 who will be able to notify AmeriCamp.

 

Our number one priority in this situation will be to get you home as quickly and safely as possible, so you will need to call the US visa sponsor on +1 888 268 6245 who will be able to notify AmeriCamp.

Please be aware you will incur extra fees for departing camp earlier than your contracted finish date, details of this can be found in your signed program agreement.

Yes! After your camp contract finishes you will get a 30 day grace period to go and see the sights – whether that’s a road trip with your new camp friends, a trip to Chicago or even Los Angeles!

Of course, you don’t have to use ALL 30 days of your grace period, and you can return home whenever you’re ready! If you’re anything like us, though, you’ll want to see as much of the States as you possibly can once your hard-earned camp wages are burning a hole in your pocket! We could probably spend all day listing America’s ‘must see’ sites, so instead we’ve compiled our top 10 post-camp destinations in an exclusive blogpost!

If you’re STILL stuck for inspiration, be sure to check out a selection of post-camp packages from our partners at TopDeck, as well as our amazing AmeriCamp After Party in New York!

General/Miscellaneous

Each year AmeriCamp sponsor multiple societies, from providing free kits, sponsoring competitions and tournaments, through to givings societies cash incentives for promoting AmeriCamp. For more information please email and we’ll be in touch.

Did you know? We're run by Britain's best boss!


We can assure you at AmeriCamp that the sky really is the limit - just see for yourself what a typical day in the AmeriCamp UK office is like for our staff!

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