What it’s Like to Work in a Summer Camp

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Ever wondered what it’s actually like to work in a Summer camp? Everyone’s seen at least one movie or series that has a Summer camp as its setting. These fictionalised versions of camps are enough to get anyone interested: it seems pretty idyllic most of the time, and a definitively fun experience to look back on.

If you’re toying with the idea of working in a Summer camp, then you’ll want to know more about what’s actually involved with working there. Every day is different, and you’ll be meeting a whole bunch of interesting people. Both your colleagues and the campers themselves.

Activities

Each day in camps is crammed with a plethora of different activities. Work in a Summer camp means you’ll be involved with these hourly events, which range from workshops to high ropes. Not only that, but you’ll be able to head out on a paddleboard or arrange sports events for everybody to enjoy.

Working with the children in these various activities means you’ll be able to form bonds. You’ll encourage them to push their boundaries in terms of sports, fitness or even confidence.

Meal times

Meal times are busy times of day in camps. Counsellors sit alongside campers in the dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Usually, your work in a Summer camp in this instance means that you’ll be responsible for serving food. Also that everything is clean and tidy after a meal. However, this can vary, of course.


Meal times are important as it’s often when any important announcements or information is shared with the camp as a whole. Aside from the official importance, it’s usually a fun time of day when the whole camp is together. Spontaneous games or singing are definitely not unheard of!


Evenings

Evenings at camp are always a whole lot of fun. After dinnertime, there’s often an activity that brings together the whole camp (or least a big group of campers). Depending on the night of the week, evening activities can range from treasure hunts and campfires to lively
discos. It’s up to the staff (that’s you) to keep everyone entertained, and make sure everyone’s joining in and having a good time.


Lights out

Once the fun’s over for the day and the campfire’s out; it’s time to get everyone safely into their rooms and off to bed. Campers are allowed a certain amount of time for showering, brushing their teeth, and hanging out before bed. Depending on the age of the campers, you’ll need to give more (or less) guidance at this time. This is to ensure that everyone feels happy – not everyone is 100% ok with being away from home.

As your work in a Summer camp continues, you’ll develop your own style and bedtime routines with the cabins under your guidance. You may choose to sing some songs, read some stories, or simply just let them unwind on their own before lights out.


Downtime


This may be the question that many people wonder about when thinking of work in a Summer camp: are you working around the clock? The answer is no – mostly. Often, you’ll have blocks of time in the day when you’ll have nothing scheduled, meaning you can do
pretty much what you want – have a nap, read a book, go for a walk, whatever. It’s time for you.

You’ll be working on a rota system in many camps, so there will always be a counsellor on duty with the camp-goers themselves. However, in case of an emergency, you should always be ready to be called and hop to action if needed.


Camp life


As you’re at camp, you’ll be living alongside other staff members. Just like the campers will be doing, you’ll be making friends with your team – except on a more long-term basis. If you want to work in a Summer camp, it’s important to be open-minded and easygoing, as you’ll be living in close quarters – sometimes in a boarding house type dorm room or in staff quarters.


This relationship that you’ll be building up means that you’ll be able to get support from other staff members in case you ever need it. Outside of the more intimate sharing scenario, you’ll be socialising with newer staff and the higher-up staff such as camp directors.

More information about working as a UK Camp Assistant can be found on our website here.

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