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Want to Work on the Waterfront?

Spend summer soaking up the sun at a camp’s waterfront or swimming pool. You could be teaching and supervising water sports or keeping everyone safe as a lifeguard.

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What Do Waterfront Staff Do?

Most camps we work with have an amazing lake or swimming pool, and every one of these camps relies on a dedicated team of waterfront staff and lifeguards to handle the chaos when a hundred kids descend on them! As part of this team, you’ll spend your day at the lake or pool (or both) so pack plenty of sun cream. Water sports specialists can teach and get involved in a huge range of activities, from sailing and kayaking to water-skiing and tubing.

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  • Lifeguarding

    All lifeguards will require a current Lifeguard qualification (American Red Cross or NPLQ) and ideally have previous experience working as a Lifeguard.

    Some camps, if they see you already have strong water-based skills such as swimming, will provide this training for you. You can also complete an ARC training course directly with us too if you want to complete the qualification before taking this role at camp.

    As a lifeguard, you may be eligible to become an Advanced Skills Counselor and receive a higher rate of pocket money.

  • Water Sports

    You can teach the following water sports at camp:

    • Boating
    • Canoeing
    • Fishing
    • Jet-Skiing
    • Kayaking
    • Paddle Boarding
    • Sailing
    • Surfing
    • Swimming
    • Tubing
    • Wakeboarding
    • Water-Skiing
    • Whitewater Rafting

    Any experience or qualifications in instructing any water sports will be very beneficial to work in those areas, especially as safety in the water is so important. For example, a BCU Level 2 (or above) coaching award in Canoeing or Kayaking or an ASA Level 1 or 2 if you'd like to specialise in teaching Swimming.

  • Swimming

    It goes without saying, whatever water sport you’re specialising in (and especially as a lifeguard) you’re going to need to be able to swim with some proficiency.

  • Childcare

    Even though you’re an activity specialist, you’ll still likely have counselor duties when you’re not teaching or taking your time off. Any childcare experience can be great to include in your application. As a counselor your duties will include waking campers up in the mornings, joining in with mealtimes and evening activities and then making sure they go to bed at night. You’ll be keeping them organised and safe, making sure they listen to instructions (and follow them…) and also serving as a key source of fun and entertainment throughout the day!

  • Enthusiasm & a Fun-Loving Attitude

    As well as finding talented individuals who can help campers to improve in certain water sports and stay safe in the water, Camp Directors are looking for waterfront staff who can make sure their campers enjoy the best summer ever.

    By approaching every day and every activity with enthusiasm and fun, you’ll make sure your campers feel the same way too. They’ll be much more willing to step out of their own comfort zones and embrace new experiences, especially if they’re first-time campers who might already be feeling a bit unsure or nervous.

  • Communication

    From sunrise to lights out, you’re likely talking to someone, somewhere. From your campers themselves, to other counselors and staff members, you’re going to need your communication skills to be in tip-top shape.

    With the campers, you need to be able to strike the balance between understanding and following rules and expectations, and creating incredible memories of one of the best summers they’ll ever have. Although, remember communication isn’t just about talking - you’ll need to actively listen to any problems or concerns, and make sure campers feel valued and heard.

    With other counselors and staff members, you’ll also be building a network of hugely supportive relationships at camp, and likely developing new friendships you’ll have for years and years to come. Communication becomes one of the most important aspects of the teamwork you’ll need to make sure each day runs smoothly.

  • Patience

    You’re going to spend a minimum of 9 weeks working with kids of varying ages at camp. They’re going to be excited and energetic, and you just wait until the sugar in those s’mores hits their system!

    Patience is a hugely valuable skill to have in your remit. By being patient you’ll be able to let the campers express themselves to their fullest, all the while retaining control, maintaining the fun and being as supportive as you possibly can. When a challenge arises, patience can help you navigate it with ease.

  • Flexibility

    Camp life and kids are unpredictable, so having some flexibility is going to help you out a lot in daily camp life. Joining this together with some problem-solving skills, you’ll be able to navigate plenty of tricky situations.

    From changes to the schedule, handling bad weather or dealing with unexpected events, being flexible will help you handle a changing camp environment in a way that means your campers likely remain oblivious to the fact that this wasn’t the plan all along. The more enthusiastic you are about new plans, the more on board your campers will be too!

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Real Experiences

Don't just take our word for it - this is just a snapshot of the amazing summers our participants have had at summer camp and why they keep coming back for more.

Taking the campers out on the lake, doing things they'd never usually have the opportunity or support to do, was the greatest feeling. Seeing them feel like they can do anything was the best!

Lucy, Camp Northwood NY

Lucy, Camp Northwood NY

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Days off at camp were a peaceful break to get to know small town America, bond further with staff, try new food and experience local life.

George, Camp Schodack NY

George, Camp Schodack NY

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Camp America was a life changing experience for me. I didn’t think I would have the experience and confidence to be a certified lifeguard. but the training I received was thorough and I had a lot of support.

Harrison, River Way Ranch Camp CA

Harrison, River Way Ranch Camp CA

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You join this bubble of people who are extremely caring and supportive, they help you grow as a person and unlock new confidence. I would recommend Camp America to anyone!

Alex, YMCA Camp Copneconic MI

Alex, YMCA Camp Copneconic MI

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Staff started camp with a mix of experience but none of that mattered. You are well trained and everyone supports each other creating a close-knit community like no other.

Katie, Camp Lee Mar PA

Katie, Camp Lee Mar PA

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Camp feels like an escape from reality and brings everyone so much fun and laughter. I love seeing the transformation of campers and helping them grow throughout their time at camp.

Isabella, Camp Susquehannock PA

Isabella, Camp Susquehannock PA

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Why Work on the Waterfront?

If you love being by the water, there’s no better place than on the waterfront at a picturesque summer camp lake or pool. You’ll spend 9 weeks topping up your tan and helping kids safely have as much fun as they possibly can in the water. It’s understandably one of the most desirable places to work on camp. As an activity specialist, you may also be eligible for a higher rate of pocket money, but this will depend on the activity, the camp, and the demand this season.

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Ready for the experience?

Don’t miss out on your American summer camp adventure. Start your application today and prepare for a summer working abroad, travelling the USA, and becoming a positive role model for children and young adults in whichever camp you call home.