Since 1969, OVC partner Camp America have sent over 200,000 young people to work on camps spread all throughout the USA. Summer camp in America is a massive tradition and we believe there is nothing more culturally unique. Its estimated there are 12,000 camps spread all over the country and each summer some 11 million children and adults will attend camp.
WHAT IS A SUMMER CAMP? MEET OVC PARTNER AGENCY!
DONT THINK JUST DO IT!
At camp, participants can work directly with American children; by instructing or assisting them in activities. Given the fact we work with hundreds of different types of camps and place thousands of people, there are opportunities available for everyone. Camp is a truly international environment and you will make friends with people from all corners of the globe, meaning you will have unbelievably good fun travelling with them after camp and then visiting them in their own country.
Summer Camp Counsellor There is no need to panic! Counsellors have nothing to do with psychology, psychiatry or therapy - of any description! Counsellor is the term given to the people on camp who look after the campers general well-being and ensure that the kids get to enjoy all their camp activities safely, whilst having a good time!
It is likely that you will end up taking part in many of the activities as well - so while you do not need to be an expert, a flexible have-a-go attitude is essential. On a typical camp day, you could find yourself skipping from tennis to archery, to pottery... then finding yourself jumping off a double-decker boat into a lake, cheered on by your campers! You will also find that you take a full and active role in the general areas of camp, from looking after a table of kids at meal times - to entertaining at the flagpole or singing around the campfire.
And the role does not end once the kids are in bed! Counsellors often take on the role of bunk/cabin counsellors. This means you will sleep in the same housing area as the campers and supervise them throughout the night. So... if you have great childcare experience, but less specific activity experience and you fancy taking charge of your own tribe of campers for the summer - this could be for you!
Advanced Skills Counsellor are the all-action heroes of summer camp. They take on the overall responsibility of organising and instructing in a particular activity. They are the experts in their chosen field and are the staff that counsellors will assist.
As an advanced skills counsellor, it is likely that your days will be dedicated to coaching one specific area and although camps hire instructors in a wide variety of areas, we are on the lookout for highly skilled applicants with formal experience and expertise in the following skill areas:
- Climbing Wall/Rock Climbing
- Gymnastics (apparatus/trapeze)
- High/Low Ropes
- Motorboat Driving
- Musical Instruments
- Bike Riding
When you make your application, our US placement team will dictate whether or not your application meets the criteria of an Advanced Skills Counsellor and if you are offered an advanced role on camp you are likely to qualify for a higher rate of pocket money.
So... if you take your sport or craft seriously and have some formal coaching experience - the Advanced Skills Counsellor role could be right up your street!
PRIVATE/INDEPENDENT: traditional summer camps that have been around for many years owned by families and cater for children of high-income families - Activities include loads of water sports, tennis and even rock climbing or circus.
SPECIAL NEEDS: camps catering for campers with physical or mental disorders. Smaller groups and a wider age range of campers. Extremely rewarding and unique experience.
AGENCY/NON-PROFIT: camps run by charitable organisations catering for local community children - camps last 1 to 2 weeks typically.
GIRL SCOUTS: girls only camps, focusing on outdoor activities like hiking, teambuilding and cooking over the campfire.
FAITH-BASED: camps focus on religious activities and practices. Jewish camps are extremely popular.
SPECIALITY: these camp types have one particular interest for example tennis, gymnastics or drama. Counsellors with strong skills in a particular field are perfect candidates.
UNDER-PRIVILEGED: camps for homeless or less financially set campers, hosted by charities, companies or organisations offering children of different backgrounds a chance to enjoy camp life.
DAY CAMPS: typically hosted at schools or community halls, children only come during the daytime and counsellors typically live with a host family.
Camp Pocket Money
Age 18 + $650 - $1250
Age 19 + $750 - $1500
Age 21 + $850 - $1675
Camp Pocket Money - Californian/Wisconsin Placement
Age 18 + $1575
Age 19 + $1625
Age 21 + $1825
Special needs placements will earn an additional $75 to $100
*Return Campers will confirm pay rates with their Camp Director from the prior season
- Any persons aged 18 to 30
- Male and female candidates
- Valid South African passport - Apply now if you do not have one
- Experience working with young people is an advantage
- Knowledge of any particular sport or activity offered at the camps is necessary
- Working with people with special needs is a bonus
- Lifeguarding certificates/watercraft licenses are a bonus
Camps counsellors should ideally be available to travel to the US anytime from the 1st of May to the end of June. Camps are 9-11 weeks within this period. Camp length varies on the type of camp you are placed at, as well as the duties you will perform. Most camps are 9 to 11 weeks from the day of arrival plus up to 30 days to travel in the USA once your placement is complete.
Camp counsellors travel to the USA on J1 work visas. OVC will assist with the application process and do everything possible to ensure your visa is approved. The J1 camp visa is valid for 9-11 weeks and allows camp counsellors to travel for up to 30 days after completion of your camp contract. This means you can spend around 3-4 months in America!!
|Program fee||Vary per placement - See Application section below|
|Airfare (approx)||Flight Payment Options - See Application section below|
|Recommended Spending Money||$500|
To apply, contact your local OVC office as soon as possible. OVC will send you all the relevant application forms and links and assist to put together the best camp counsellor application possible.
When completing your application, it is important to mention all your skills, to create a great video and ensure you put your personality on paper! The more complete and in-depth your application, the better impression you will make on camps to ensure a speedy placement!
PROGRAM FEES: Camp counsellors are given the opportunity to pay their own flights upfront or have a flight provided by Camp America - all applicants pay the same application fee.
FEES: Flights Provided by Camp - SA to Camp and return from New York to SA
R2 000 - Paid once accepted by Camp America
R4 000 - Paid when placed at Camp
R1 300 - Air Taxes
R3 500 - Flight surcharge - Interview by 4 Jan 2018.
R5 000 - Flight surcharge - Interview from 5 Jan 2018
*Subject to change in 2018
FEES: Flights arranged by OVC to the USA and home
R2 000 - Paid once accepted by Camp America
R4 000 - Paid when placed at camp
Flights from SA to camp and paid in full by each applicant R10 000 - R14 000.
*Return Camp Counsellors / Californian/ Wisconsin Camp Counsellors - Please contact your local OVC office to find out more about the exact costs to partake in the program.
OVC partner with Camp America who is the biggest and best summer camp provider!
Every summer, Camp America send roughly 7 000+ young people to work at camps across 50 states in the USA. They are the best and most experienced at what they do and send far more young people to camp than any other summer camp provider.
OVC Success Stories:
I hope you are well. I just thought I would let you know I am safely back in South Africa after an amazing summer. I just want to thank you for the opportunity and I want to let you know that I am strongly considering going back next year
- Regards Rowan
I have had the time of my life at Camp. The staff firstly made me feel at home and working at Camp St. Croix was the best choice for me. The ability to spend time with the children and act silly, sing Camp songs, teach the children about my culture, learn new things and affect change, has made my summer here in the United States unforgettable. I loved all of it and I was voted the best female Counsellor this year.
- Regards Musa