Oh hey you!
Summer Camp. Yep, we’ve all heard of it. Wether we’ve attended one or eight as a child, worked on a couple or simply just watched ‘The Parent Trap’, we all have a fair idea of what summer camp looks like. Being a fair dinkum Aussie, it’s not a common tradition here unlike the United States and I had never really considered it as an actual thing that I could take part in. Ha, well did my gap year show me.
A jobless Renae, fresh from the years of high school that really had no idea about life was looking for a job, and nothing was happening locally, but how about overseas? I recalled a brochure that was handed to me in year twelve. Camp America was recruiting and they need me. I B-lined it to their website with butterflies in my stomach thinking this could be a thing and barley talked to my parents about it before I was signed up and due for the first payment.
Camp America is a summer camp recruiting service for short term employment for young adults age eighteen through to late twenties. They have staff located all across the world from Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Poland and further. The whole process was so simple and easy to follow. (I’ve attached a link below for the website if you’re interested) Camp America Official Site
Here’s my step by step guide of the process, to give you an idea of what you’re in for!
Step one: Sign up online and create a profile feat. Name, age, where you’re from and why you think your the best for camp and make the first payment. You then wait to get a phone call / email about organising an interview with a Camp America staff member in the location of your choice. The closest for me was an hour away in the beautiful hills! Such a scenic drive.
Step two: Between signing up and going for the interview you have a lengthy profile to fill in, with employment details, life experience, hobbies and activities and questions regarding your reasons for camp. I filled this is to my best knowledge and then the interview.
Step three: I went to a ladies home and she when through my profile. I had experience in leading youth camps, music and small tennis sporting achievements all to my advantage. She showed me how to word my question answers to make my profile sound more appealing to camp directors. She also explained the visa, flight, type of camps and lifestyle details. Generally camps start late May and go for eight to ten weeks.
Step four: That’s it. My profile had been posted with hundreds of other camp worker wannabes for all the camp directors across the United States to see. This gives them the opportunity to browse and look for applicants that would best suit available jobs and positions within their camp. Now was the waiting game. In a week or so I was to hopefully receive an email with a position offer. Some only wait a day others wait a month. This all depends on the profile and the camp directors. Four days later the message I’d been eagerly waiting for!
Step five: Pecometh had contacted me! This was my camp for the summer and after a few emails a phone interview was arranged. Time zones made this tricky but 10pm my time it was and all smooth sailing landed me a position as a lifeguard! They promised me all the essential training when I arrived, free of charge and the official qualifications following. A visa was needed and after a weekend in Melbourne this was granted. A very straight forward process with Camp America sending through all the needed paperwork making it simple as pie!
Step six:Today was the day! I was leaving by myself to go overseas, for my first time, for two and a half months to work in a place I’ve never been with people I had never met. I was nervous but excitement was over ruling and I was keen as a bean for what God had install for me. I arranged to meet two camp leaders in Washington D.C. at the airport when my plane landed. However I had to get through Adelaide, Sydney International, LA and then the ultimate destination, Washington D.C.
This was the start of something completely amazing, so exciting and nerve wrecking. What had I got myself into? Stay tuned for the second part of this journey to learn more!