Work Abroad: A typical day working at a USA Summer Camp

All camps are different and timings may change depending on your camps schedule but here is a typical day of a Camp Counsellor at a USA Summer Camp.

The morning

9am – 12pm – Activities and time off (YAY!)

During the morning, the children had a range of activities to try out with different instructors. These include lots of different field and water sports, leadership skills and Arts and Crafts. As a drama instructor, this was the time I had off from the children every day. I would usually spend this time having a hot shower without the children around, preparing things for my afternoon drama session and catching up with Calum on the Camp computers in the office.

12pm – Lunch

This consisted of potato tots, occasionally burgers or hot dogs and a salad bar. I always rushed my group of young teens to the lunch hall as salad went quickly and a lot of the girls in my cabin didn’t like eating too much meat! (Eco-friendly and focused area of NY State)

1pm – 2pm – Siesta!

This was the favourite time of the day for the majority of the girls in our cabin. If you are in a cabin with the younger ones, you often have to arrange a calming activity but with our group of 13/14 year olds, it often become a relax, making friendship bracelets and practise random musical instruments session.

This was the time the camp counsellors could catch up and be silly before we got back to teaching!

The afternoon

2pm – 5pm – Group activities

The children chose between Expressive Arts, ECO, Outdoor life, Athletics or water sports and head off with the leaders of these activities. As Drama instructor, I worked with the dance, music, art and photography leaders to create a weekly performance ready for Friday Afternoon. Inside space is limited on camp so we often found room on the field or on the beach to practise.

5pm – Dinner

Day campers leave at this time and you take your cabin down to dinner. This can range from chicken and veg to burritos, noodles to pizza. On Fridays, there was a whole camp BBQ outside, which was a great way to round off a fun week at summer camp – children at this particularly camp arrived on a Sunday and went home the following Saturday.

6pm – 6.30pm – Cabin time

This is the time when children can freshen up a bit and rest after a long day of activities before a few evening activities to finish the day.

The evening

6.30pm – 9.30pm – Evening Activities

This obviously changes from day to day, camp to camp but the evening is generally used for group activities to build moral and team work. Campfire songs, talent shows, group games, Counsellor hunts, group yoga, sand sculpture competitions and a weekly dance are just a few things that occur during the evenings at Camp.

As a Counsellor, this is also time you may have off! At the camp I worked at, staff had either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday evenings off; meaning they could either stay on campus but be away from the kids from 6pm until 11pm or they could leave the camp and be back for 11pm. On my time off, a fellow counsellor and I use to either/and: order pizza and watch a movie, catch up with our better halves back in England or head out to a local restaurant with others who had the evening off.

If you are under 21 during your time at camp, don’t bother trying to drink or get drunk during your evenings off. If you are caught even slightly tipsy coming back into camp you will just be sent home straight away.

10pm – Lights out.

All Campers and Counsellors head to bed and get some sleep before another fun day at camp!

As I said, your day will vary slightly depending on your chosen camp but this is a typical day of mine whilst I was at camp. Sound like fun? Find out how you can get a job in a USA Summer Camp here. 

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Work Abroad a typical day at a USA Summer Camp
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  1. From campfire to Yoga this camp has so much to offer, and working for this is indeed a good option. thanks for the details.

  2. Whaaaaat?! This camp offers yoga and dance! The camps keep getting better each year. Super jealous. I love love love camps. My first time being a camp counselor was in Taiwan of all places. It was an English camp. Maybe one day I can introduce this camping to my school in China.

  3. Oh my!! The camp offers so many things to do during the day. There obviously wouldn’t be a dull moment. If I were there, I would skip yoga (yikes) and take up the dance session instead. 🙂 Cheers!!

  4. Oh wow the job as a Camper Counsellor sounds really cool! love to hear that more of the campers are eco-friendly, I would love to witness that talent shows, and sand sculpture competition, so great to have a Yoga class in the camp that’s awesome.

  5. I worked at a summer camp in the US for 2 months 5 years ago and had a blast:) It’s exactly like you described! I highly recommend it as it’s a great way to gain some work experience and travel somewhere you haven’t been before:D

  6. Sounds like scout camping trips that we did when we were younger. Is it something that a lot of kids still do now in the USA?

  7. Wow sounds so much fun wish I could do something like that. I have seen a lot of people doing activities.

  8. […] Generally, you will be with the children for the majority of the day between 7am to 10pm. This is structured so you have time for a shower and often have a short period of time away from the children to just get away from them for a bit! For a typical day working in a summer camp then head to this blog to read more. […]

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