Top Tips for Making the Most of Your Time Off at Summer Camp USA

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Summer Camp USA is probably the most fun summer job you’ll ever have. The kids are hilarious, you spend all day playing sports and activities in the sunshine, and your Camp will be in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. That being said, it’s also lots of hard work – entertaining kids, doing activities all day and early starts - you’ll definitely earn your time off! Each Camp has its own schedule for annual leave, but typically you’ll get a couple of evenings off a week, as well as a full 24 hour and a 48 hour break each month.

BUNAC’s Marketing Manager Emma spent three summers at a not-for-profit girls’ Camp in New Hampshire. Here are her top tips for making the most of your time off at Summer Camp.

Make the most of Camp’s facilities

Camps have amazing facilities and are in some of the most beautiful settings - you may not even want to leave on your day off! One of my favourite days off at Camp was getting a lift into the local town, wandering round Walmart and Target (why are American supermarkets and shops so much better than the ones at home?!).

We then headed back to Camp and spent the morning on the secluded side of the lake where no classes were held, playing with our newly purchased inflatable dolphin! We did some activities in the arts and crafts block in the afternoon, played a game of tennis and took the speedboat out to waterski. We ordered pizza to the staff quarters for dinner and had a sleepover in the Barn with scary movies on the projector screen. So much fun, so relaxing and we had a good break without spending much money or travelling long distances.

Go home with an American Counsellor

Summer Camp USA is a cultural exchange programme at its heart – you'll never get a better glimpse in to American life. Many of your fellow Counsellors will be American and live within an hour or so of Camp, so why not see if you can go back and visit their home town with them? It’s great to see where your new-found best mates grew up, check out their home (my Camp friends homes were literally like something out of Desperate Housewives) and get some creature comforts / a sense of normality back – a mom cooked meal, TV, a double bed and the ability to wash and dry all your own clothes. Bliss.

Get exploring!

Many Camps are in more remote areas of the USA, off the beaten track from where you would normally visit on holiday. Why not get to know small town USA – these have so much charm and are often unlike anywhere you’ll have experienced before, and it’s so cool to explore somewhere none of your friends have been. That being said, you’ll also likely only be an hour or so from a big city by train or bus. Many Camps are based on the East Coast, within easy reach of Boston and New York City – grab your new mates, plan a road trip, and spend some time in the big city before heading back to the wilderness of Camp.

Remember the law

It’s illegal to drink under the age of 21 in America. Whilst it may not be what you’re used to at home in the UK, it is the law, and there can be serious consequences of breaking this. It’s also against Camp regulations to drink or smoke on Camp property. Don’t let an unnecessary, stupid mistake ruin your trip of a lifetime. Is that drink really worth being fired from Camp and having to head back home immediately? No. 

Head to our Summer Camp USA pages to find out more about the best summer job you’ll ever have, or if you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop us an email at enquiries@bunac.org.uk or call us on 0333 999 7516.

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