There are a TON of different camps types. How will you choose the ones that are right for you?
In total there are about 12,000 camps in America. TWELVE THOUSAND SUMMER CAMPS!!! That is quite a lot.
The larger Summer Camp companies will work with around 1000 of these camps, and they’ll generally fall into 1 of 8 different categories. You’ll be asked to select at least 4 camp types in your application and you can be placed at any one that you pick. This is why it’s so important to pick the camp types that are best for you!
1. Specialty Camps
With this camp type, the campers will hope to improve their skills in 1 particular area. There is a range of different Specialty Camps, from Soccer to Performing Arts and Horse Riding. The campers will spend most of their day, working on their chosen area of expertise, but still have time to get involved with other camp activities, just so they’re not doing the same thing every single day!
2. Underprivileged Camps
These camps will cater for campers who may be from inner-city areas + don’t get to spend much time in the countryside, running around, being children. As the campers are often from a lower socio-economic background, this camp type is often run by a charitable organisation which gives the campers the opportunity to experience Summer Camp life. You’ll get to experience a range of camp activities and this is a camp type where you’ll make a huge difference to the lives of your campers!
3. Girl Scout Camps
The name is fairly self-explanatory. These camps will cater for girls and young women, helping them to grown and develop, using the principles of the Scouting movement. The activities have an outdoorsy focus, so expect plenty of cookouts, camping trips and hikes! They will mainly hire female counselors. Sorry fellas, this isn’t a camp type for you!
4. Traditional/Independent Camps
If you picture a Summer Camp in your head, you will no doubt think of a traditional camp. These camps will have a huge range of sports and activities, with no specific focus…apart from having FUN! You will usually find that these camps are all-girls or all-boys, but there are some co-ed camps.
5. Day Camps
As the name suggests, the campers will only stay for a day at a time, usually between 9am-5pm. Day camps are closer to urban areas and will last for around 11 weeks…a little longer than most other camps. The campers will still get involved with all camp activities, but at 5pm they will pop off home! This means that counselors will get more time off. Accommodation may be on-site, with a host family or at another nearby camp.
6. Special Needs/Specific Requirement Camps
Children and adults with additional needs are looked after at Special Needs and Specific Requirement Camps. Although previous experience is helpful to work at one of these camps, it is not necessary. They are mainly looking for caring, patient counselors, looking to give their campers an amazing summer! The campers will participate in a range of sports and activities, sometimes with adaptive equipment. If you want to help change someone’s life, this is the camp type for you!
7. Religious Camps
I worked at a Jewish Camp, so I’m a little bit biased towards this type! You’ll mainly find Jewish and Christian Camps, with varying levels of religious affiliation. I’m not at all Jewish, but spent 3 amazing years at my camp! Along with all of the usual camp sports and activities, there may be religious services, prayers before mealtimes or study sessions. If you’re not religious, you won’t be expected to join in…but I learnt the mealtime prayer at my camp and loved the services!
8. Agency Camps
These camps are usually run by a larger company, such as the YMCA or 4-H. The campers will come from a range of backgrounds, making these camps very diverse! Sessions will usually last 1-2 weeks, so you’ll get to meet plenty of campers.