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Happy campers

Summer camps USA

If you go down to the woods today. You’ll find one of the highest camp salaries, included meals and accommodation, and an all-America summer doing a job that matters.

It's never to early to get camp ready. Book now for summer '25.

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Why do summer camp USA?

Reasons to decamp Stateside for the summer. 1. Spend nine weeks living in epic wilderness locations, with 30 days afterwards to travel around America. 2. Give your CV a serious bootcamp with a ton of leadership and teamwork skills. 3. Do what makes you happy – from coaching sports to teaching crafts. 4. Understand what the third 'F’ in BFF stands for. 5. Positively impact the lives of children and young adults.

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Highest salaries

We have one of the lowest program costs and highest first-timer salaries – minimum USD $2,000. Plus, with meals and digs included, you’ll usually save money at camp.

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Roadtested experiences

Hear from travellers who’ve been there and worn the ‘Staff’ tee. Our roadtesters trial and shape every JENZA experience to ensure it serves our travel community first.

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Camp matching

We’re one of the only summer camp providers where you can directly connect with camps and pitch for the roles you want. Make your own luck, instead of taking potluck.

S'mores and more

Why go to summer camp in America?

The summer camp USA program was originally founded to help prevent conflict by connecting cultures and bringing young people together to work side-by-side. Today, these values of inclusion and community have never more important – and are the centre of every camp experience.

Picked for their location, ethos and the experience they offer for staff and campers – all the camps we work with are accredited by the American Camps Association (ACA). A summer of lakeside swims and campfire nights, it’s all about getting back to nature and the things that matter. (S’mores – but mostly the friendship and inclusion thing).

Spilling the iced tea

Summer Camp USA | £379

We provide the J-1 visa support, sponsorship and camp placement to have an unforgettable summer working in the States. Earn money, explore America, shape lives.

As American as apple pie, summer camps in America open their gates to thousands of children and teenagers every June/July. Each year, Camp Directors hire likeminded 18-30 year olds from all over the world to help run the camps. From coaching tennis to teaching music or just being a general role model/older sibling/support network for your campers – it's the chance to live in incredible locations, build lifetime friendships and make a difference.

We’re not going to sugar coat it, camp is hard work. You’ve got to want to work with children, love the outdoors, and be mostly okay with shaving foam pies and/or water bombs to the face. But watching your campers grow in confidence and self-esteem, while also growing yourself? That’s a summer you won't find anywhere else.

Whether you’re a camp first-timer or camp returner, we help take care of everything.

To work at an American summer camp, you need a J-1 cultural exchange visa. This allows you to work at camp for up to nine weeks between Jun-Aug (depending on your camp dates), plus travel for 30 days afterwards. (Honks loudly to the sound of a USA trip).

In order to apply for a J-1 visa, you need to have a US sponsor. That’s where JENZA and our US partner CIEE (the longest running non-profit sponsor in America) come in to provide all the necessary checks and paperwork.

The J-1 visa consists of an online application and an in-person visa appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate. The visa cost is paid directly to the embassy – see 'What's not included' below for the current fee.

Most passport holders can apply for camp. You just need to be:

  • Aged 18-30
  • Able to fly to the USA before 20 June 2024
  • Able to commit to the whole camp season, usually 8-12 weeks
  • Be a fluent English speaker with no criminal history
  • Must have some prior experience working with children or young adults. (Don’t overthink this – most people will have experience without realising, so make sure you talk to us)
  • Must have a passport that’s valid for at least six months beyond your stay with a free double page for your paper visa
  • Must have proof of an onward flight from the USA
  • Must be able to provide proof of supporting funds, usually USD $800 in the form of a bank statement

Confused? Our JENZA Support Squad are here to guide you through it step by step.

Types of camps We work with 300 camps in 30 states, including Private Camps, Non-profit Camps, Disability Camps, Girl Scout Camps and Religious Camps. While each American summer camp has its own identity, what ties them all together is the sense of community and connection with nature. Living at camp, you’ll have a front row seat onto the some of the most breathtaking scenery in America – usually with 1-2 days off a week to explore.

Jobs at camp As early as November, camps will start recruiting for Camp Counsellors, Activity Specialists and Disability Camp Counsellors – or a hybrid role where you do a bit of everything. It’s an opportunity to grow your skills, turn your hobby into a paid job and spend the summer doing what you love – whether that’s teaching soccer, basketball, watersports, climbing, horseriding, gymnastics, theatre, art, drama, rock band and everything in-between.

Accommodation and food is included at camp. Plus, we have one of the highest first-timer salaries – at least USD $2,000 for the summer.

To give you enough time to get hired, get your visa and get out to the USA this summer - we suggest booking by 14 March.

1. Apply online First, check you’re eligible in the tab above, pay your deposit, and wait for one of our team to get in touch to set up a non-scary video interview. This is a visa requirement to assess your suitability for the J-1 cultural exchange program.

2. Land a job We’ll set you up on the Camp Connect portal where you’ll fill out a profile. Camp Directors can contact you for video interviews, and vice versa. Plus, we have regular virtual hiring events where you can connect face-to-camera with camps.

3. Sponsorship application Once hired, we’ll start the sponsorship process to secure your DS2019 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor status) which is needed to apply for your visa. This can take up to eight weeks. We’ll then guide you through the J-1 visa application process.

4. Embassy interview We’ll help you arrange and prepare for your in-person embassy interview. Be prepared for them to keep your passport for around two weeks. Once approved, you can collect your passport or have it couriered – depending on what you’ve arranged.

5. Living room dance Virtual high fives with the team and other Jen-setters going to camp on your pre-departure group call. We host a live FAQ to answer all your questions. Plus, loop you up with other travellers going to camp via our JENZA Discord group chats.

  • Pre-arranged job placement at a summer camp in America
  • A final summer camp salary of USD $2000
  • All food and accommodation whilst at summer camp
  • J1 Camp counsellor visa.
  • Access to JENZA's summer camp virtual hiring events
  • Pre-departure orientation to prepare you for camp life
  • One-on-one support securing your visas and interviews
  • 24/7 help on the ground from our partners in the USA
  • Medical insurance during your camp placement
  • Your SEVIS US Government fee

US Embassy fee This is paid directly to the US Embassy and currently costs USD $185 (+ an additional $105 for Australia passport holders.)

Support funds You may be required to show proof that you can access USD $800.

Travel insurance for camp We include medical insurance during your camp placement, but you must take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover against the rest of your trip. For example, flight delays, cancellation and curtailment, personal belongings, legal costs, adventure sports, and more.

Flights We don’t recommend booking flights until your visa is approved.

Meet our Camp Insiders!

Inside story on summer camp

What's summer camp in America actually like? Why live in the woods for two months? And why is everyone always covered in neon paint? Just some of the questions our JENZA Camp Insiders will be answering between now and summer '24. Here's Camp Insider Sophie: on swapping Melbourne for Maine, second guessing herself, and then realising camp was the best decision she’d ever made. Ahh, we love a happy ending. Find out more to watch all our Camp Insider videos.

Episode 1 | JENZA Camp Insider, Jess

“I met the love of my life and my best friends.” Bunk talk with camp returner and JENZA Camp Insider, Jess. Who left New Zealand for her second summer working as a waterski counsellor at Tyler Hill Camp in Pennsylvania. Here’s her first episode on sleeping in bunks with strangers, new food and getting into the swing of camp. Follow Jess’s camp story @jenzatravel

Episode 2 | JENZA Camp Insider, Sophie

"Although every day was similar, no day was ever the same." Sophie's real talk on an average day working at summer camp in America. From sun up until sun down, with everything that comes in-between - from bunk clean-ups to banana boating and campfires. Follow Sophie's camp story @jenzatravel

Upcoming Events

Virtual travel talk | Tue 30 Apr '24 @ 19:00 (GMT)

Working holidays with JENZA - Everything you need to know

Want to go travelling or planning a gap year, but don't know where to go and what you can do? Our escape artists (otherwise known as the JENZA Support Squad) are here to give you the rundown on all our work overseas opportunities.

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Virtual travel talk | Thu 2 May '24 @ 17:30 (GMT)

Intern UK with JENZA - Everything you need to know

What do you get if you cross career goals + travel goals? Whether you're a current student looking to get ahead this summer, need academic credit as part of your degree, or you're a recent grad needing professional work experience - Intern UK is a slam dunk for your resume. Find out more, meet the JENZA team, and ask all your questions at our virtual travel talk.

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Free virtual info event - Wed 22 May '24 @ 19:00

Summer Camp USA - Everything you need to know

Spend your summer living, earning and having the time of your life as an Activity Specialist or Camp Counsellor in the USA. Job placement and new BFFs included. Join our travel talk for the need to know on visas and how JENZA helps you land a job before you go.

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BUNAC Travel Services Ltd trading as “JENZA” is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 01391030 and registered address at 5 Richbell Place, London, UK, WC1N 3LA.