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First Timer Costs

Explore the options below to find out how much the Camp America programme will cost you for the 2024 season.

Includes up to $2,150 USD pocket money from your camp!

No Flights Available No flights included


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First Timer: No Flights

Apply today and do something different with your summer.

Programme fee includes: Application & Placement Services, J-1 Visa sponsorship and Group International Accident & Sickness coverage. You will need to factor in external third party costs for your Police Check, visa payment direct to the US embassy, and completion of your Medical Form by your GP.

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Includes up to $1,550 USD pocket money from your camp!

Flights Available Return flights package


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First Timer: Flights Included

Apply today and do something different with your summer.

Programme fee includes: Application & Placement Services, J-1 Visa sponsorship, Group International Accident & Sickness coverage & your flights to and from the USA. You will also need to factor in external third party costs for your Police Check, Visa Payment (set by and paid directly to the American Embassy), and completion of your Medical Form by your GP.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why Camp America?

    Camp America is the chance to do something different with your summer, living and working either with children as an activity leader/counselor or ‘behind the scenes’ as support staff, on an American Summer Camp!

    In terms of broadening your horizons, seeing another country in a whole new light, meeting new people, travelling to new places and adding vital experience to your CV, Camp America provides an excellent cultural exchange programme. Nearly 8,000 applicants around the world are placed every year.

    The price of our programme includes:

    • Travel to your camp, including flights from London and other major global cities that we recruit in. (Other gateways come with additional costs.)
    • Return flights from New York to your city of departure.
    • Accommodation and food for your entire stay on camp.
    • Pocket money.
    • Group International Accident & Sickness Coverage for your entire stay in the USA.

    The type of work on camp directly relates to your skills and interests. For example, if you are a keen swimmer who lifeguards, there will be positions at camp to suit you.

  • What do I get from Camp America?

    Firstly, we will help you get your placement at camp. Having worked with summer camps in the USA since 1969, the camps trust our applicant recommendations and we know which camps you’ll have amazing summers with. We work with more camps and make more placements than any other organisation every summer and, unlike other organisations, we will also serve as the sponsor necessary for you to get your J-1 visa.

    You will also receive payment for your placement at camp (we call it ‘pocket money’). As a first-time applicant you’ll get anywhere between USD $1000-$2150* depending on your country of application, skill level & experience. As a returner, you will be able to negotiate your own salary direct with the camp. You also get Group International Accident and Sickness coverage** that covers you from the time you leave the UK until your return, so this includes your travel time after camp and not just while you’re working. Whilst you’re working on camp all your food and accommodation is covered by the camp. A return flight to New York is also included*** and full J-1 visa sponsorship and visa papers.

    As well as all of that you also get 24-hour support in America, and friendly, professional, enthusiastic support throughout your Camp America application. Camp America is also great work experience for your CV and gives you the opportunity for independent travel as you’re able to stay in the USA for up to 30 days after your camp placement has finished.

    *if you are applying from Israel, please visit for specific cost information

    **pre-existing conditions excluded

    ***in some countries flight options are not available and applicants must arrange their own transport

  • When do I need to be available and for how long?

    To be able to apply for the programme, applicants need to be available to fly to camp between the dates of 1st May and 30th June. This is due to when most camps start and you must be able to arrive in time complete staff training and orientation. You can enter the earliest date you can depart on your application.

    Although all the camps that we work with have varying programmes and dates, we do ask that all applicants are available to be at camp for a minimum of 9 weeks. This is the typical placement length for most camps, but it can be slightly more or less. The longer you’re available the better, but you can expect to be on camp for around 9 weeks from your camp’s start date once hired. By giving us your earliest start date, we will match you to a camp that welcomes their staff on or after that date, so you could still depart later than your earliest available date.

  • How old do I have to be to apply?

    It is a visa regulation that participants must be 18 when they fly to the United States, therefore Camp America does not accept applications from people who are not 18 by 15th of June. You can start your application before you turn 18 as long as your birthday is within the full application season and before 15th June.

  • What skills and experience do I need to have?

    The skills and experience you need to have should be relevant to the activity areas that you want to work on at camp. If you want to apply to teach activities to children, then you will be applying for the Counselor role where there are plenty of activity areas you could be hired in. Depending on your hobbies and interests there’s bound to be a skill area on camp that you could teach, but you need to have the knowledge level and confidence to be able to teach this to children. So, it could be in, sports, drama, music, outdoor adventure, media, performing arts, water sports. Any experience in food preparation, maintenance work or housekeeping would be valuable for a Campower role. Due to visa restrictions, only full-time students can be offered the Campower role.

    If you’re applying for any Counselor roles then it can also be advantageous if you have any examples of childcare experience. Whether this is voluntary or paid positions and with any aged children, the more experience you can demonstrate on your application the better, although it’s definitely not essential, especially if you are a skilled activity specialist or applying for the Campower role.

    To learn more about the individual Counselor and Campower roles available, please see our Camp Jobs page.

  • Does applying early really increase my placement chances?

    Yes it does! When we open the recruitment season in August-September we have almost 8,000 positions available. With each passing day that number decreases, so the earlier you apply the better!

  • My doctor wants to charge me a lot of money to complete the medical form. Must this really be done?

    Yes, all Camp America participants are required to submit a completed medical form from their doctor before departure. We realise this can add an extra expense, and unfortunately, there's not much we can do on our end to change this. We're sorry for the hassle and appreciate your understanding.

  • How will I get to camp?

    If you are on the CA flights package this will be arranged for you and full details will be added to your CA flights page nearer to your departure date. Most camps will pick you up at the airport, however some will need you to get buses or other transport to the closest town - if this is you please don’t worry, CA will plan this for you and give you detailed instructions.

    Hopefully you’ll also be travelling with others who are going to your camp. If you have any questions on this once you have your information, please call and talk to us in the office (0207 581 7373) we’ve all done this before and can hopefully help. If you are arranging your own flights, please speak with your Camp Director about your arrival.

  • Can I choose my own flight date to camp?

    Your flight date is chosen by your camp based on the availability date you listed on your application and when the camp needs for you to arrive.

  • How much luggage can I take?

    Please check the website of the airline you are travelling on for this information. Camp America will not be held responsible for excess luggage charges.

  • Do I get a refund if I am not placed?

    Unfortunately, the first deposit is non-refundable. However, if you have paid further Camp America fees, we will be able to refund these. We cannot refund any third-party payments you’ve made such as police check fees. The refund is automatically processed back to the account that you have made your payments from.

  • What are my return flight options?

    For those on London flights you will have two options – Fixed Date and Flexible. If you are flying back to any other airport, only the Fixed Flight Date option is available.

    1. Fixed Flight Option – In this option you will be asked to choose a return flight date. Dates start the day after your camp assignment ends and flights are Monday to Friday only. Flights depart from New York (JFK or Newark airports) only, regardless of where you were flown to when you arrived in the US. Many flights are overnight flights that will arrive the next day, or they may depart New York as early as 8am. This option is FREE if you choose the date BEFORE you fly to the USA. If you choose this option, you must choose a return date as soon as possible. Prior to your flight to the US, you may change your return date choice at no extra fee, however, please note this is dependent on your individual flight booking and your departure airports. Exceptions to the free change would be if we’ve booked your flight round trip which would require a fee to change the date. We advise that you check your booking with us at the time we contact you about your flights. Once you arrive in the US, any change request will incur a penalty fee. If you do not pick your return date after choosing this option before departing for the USA, you will be charged this penalty fee when you pick your date in the USA.
    2. Flexible Flight Option – If you are unsure of when you need to be home by or just would like some flexibility, you may decide on a Flexible return ticket. With a Flexible ticket you do not need to choose a return flight date before you depart for the US. You can choose while you are in the US (flights are subject to availability). You can fly from New York or from many other selected cities throughout the country, but you will only be able to choose a Flexible option if you depart from and return to London. This is also an optional extra and there will be an additional fee for a Flexible ticket. Once Flexible tickets and prices are available to purchase and if you are eligible, you will be given this option on the flight page on your online account.
  • As a returner, can I apply to a different camp?

    The simple answer is yes you can! If you are thinking of trying out a different experience for next summer, then you’re welcome to apply to a new camp. When you re-activate your profile, you can select an option for your application to be sent to other camps. To do this you will need to update your application and complete the required sections, you will also be required to attend another Camp America interview with one of our Interviewers.

    Please note that as part of your application to a new camp, you will be required to submit two new references to support you. As you have already spent a summer at camp, one of these references must be from your previous camp. Ideally it should be completed by your Camp Director and if you are not able to get in touch with them, please let Camp America know as soon as possible.

  • Does returning cost the same as my first year?

    As a UK returner to the same camp, you pay a lot less then you did in your first summer. The main reason for this is that there’s not as much office and admin work required for your application. Also, by going back to the same camp there’s no placement charges to that camp which means you don’t need to pay as much to Camp America!

    You also have a couple of different options in terms of your travel to camp, which will also impact you being able to negotiate your pocket money directly with the camp. Check out the Returner Costs for more information about this.

    Please note that your fees as a returner are dependent on the country you are applying from. We recommend you explore the information on our current season’s cost page for more information.

  • What are my flight travel options as a returner?

    As a returning participant you have two options concerning your flight to the USA:

    Option 1 – Own Transport
    You can make and pay for all your return travel to the USA and to your camp. Camp America will not charge your camp any agency fees and therefore you should receive the same salary as an American staff member.

    Option 2 – Camp America Flight
    If you prefer letting Camp America book your flights, we are happy to do so. Please note that your camp will then be charged for the cost of this flight and it is most likely that the camp will deduct this amount from the salary they offer you. Please contact Camp America for the exact amount your camp will be charged. Please note that all return flights will depart from New York regardless of where you were flown to.

  • Will my pocket money be subject to US Tax?

    Due to recent changes to the tax laws in the U.S. income tax system, and the elimination of personal exemptions (which was $4,050 per individual in 2017), Camp Counselors and Campowers (who hold J-1 visas) will now have taxes deducted from their pocket money and will be required to file a U.S. Federal income tax return and, in certain cases, a State income tax return to satisfy their U.S. income tax liability. Please be aware that Camp America cannot legally give advice on US taxes.