Camp Support Staff

All jobs at summer camps are important to its operation and summer camps throughout the US hire international staff members to help fill a wide range of support staff positions. These camps vary in many ways including location, program offerings, facilities and dates of operation. However, there are similarities in all summer camps for the support staff. Following are some of those similarities:

Living Arrangements:
In most cases, support staff are housed together in a bunk-like or dormatory-like arrangement. The bunk conditions will vary on location and will range from wilderness cabins to modern college dormitories, but all staff must understand that they will, in most cases, have one or more roommates. (privacy is at a minimum).

Roles and Responsibilities:
Summer camp support staff roles and responsibilities vary depending on the position offered. Often, staff who work in the kitchen or in grounds and maintenance will regularly begin work at an earlier hour to prepare the camp for the day while staff who work in the office might work on a shift basis where hours vary. Support staff work as a team and may at times of need, help in a variety of areas. Although support staff are not directly responsible for campers, it is usually encouraged that all staff get involved in special events and all-camp activities such as talent shows and international days. During time off, camps typically permit staff members to enjoy the campus and the facilities; to play tennis, play basketball, go for a swim, etc. If you love being around kids and being in the outdoors, working at a summer camp is ideal.
As you go through the application and interview process you will be able to speak with camp directors about their particular camp and your role as a support staff. Information about their expectation, salary, time off, etc. will be outlined for you so you can make an informed decision to accept or decline an offer.

Employment Restrictions:
The visa program you apply for is dependent on your employment. Participants working as camp counselors even if specialized, participate in the camp counselor program while support staff positions such as office, maintenance, dining hall staff, driver, etc. are part of the summer work travel program. These are two distinct visas and as such your employment is not interchangeable. Although there are general duties associated with the Camp Counselor position, once the visa is issued, participants may not work primarily as a kitchen staff or office staff. A support staff member cannot accept a change of employment to become a camp counselor.

Support staff program dates are restricted to their university official summer break dates within the program dates established for their home country.  SWT Program Dates 2015.

The program permits and encourages participants to remain in the United States and to travel for up to 30 days after the program end date. HOWEVER, participants are limited to the total amount of time officially established by the university as summer break, even if you are a graduate. Should you enter the US prior to your contract date or travel after your contract date, you are responsible for any and all arrangements and associated costs.

ACES utilizes the CampStaffUSA site to help in connecting participants interested in the summer camp support staff program with pre-approved camp employers.