Let us tell you about working on a Underprivileged Camp...
Not all kids are lucky enough to be able to go to summer camp. Thankfully Underprivileged Camps are helping change that!
Most summer camps require parents to pay for their children to attend...but what about the kids in the USA that aren't lucky enough to come from families who can offer them this experience? Thankfully there are local authorities and charities who believe that every child deserves to experience summer camp, so they work hard to run Underprivileged Camps to give kids from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to go to camp. Underprivileged Camps can also be known as Not For Profit Camps as they're not set up to make money unlike most other camps. The sole purpose of these camps is to allow children to enjoy being children, as they may not get this opportunity in their daily lives.
As these camps rely on external funding and charity donations, accommodation and facilities can be quite basic but this means you get to experience a true summer camp environment! There will be log cabins, outside dining rooms and everyone's favourite area of camp - the lake! Counsellors will live in the cabins with the campers and it will be here that you form your close bonds and community feel on camp. Campower staff will normally have separate accommodation with the other support staff and sometimes senior Counsellors.
These children can come from difficult backgrounds and some may be homeless or orphans. For a lot of campers, it will be the one time in the year that they get a chance to get away from their home life and just enjoy being a child in a supportive and safe environment. As a result of their hard childhood, campers may have learning needs, attention deficit disorders or at the very least a tough personality! But even if they appear tough on the outside, they're still children who simply want to make friends and have fun - and you help make this happen! A lot of the American staff on these camps will have been campers previously who had such a great time, they want to stay involved.
Working on a Underprivileged Camp is a hugely rewarding experience as you are truly helping to change children's lives and have a positive impact on their future. You’re main role above anything else is simply to be a positive role model for the campers, so camps will look to hire staff who can offer patience, empathy but can also hold their own! These camps will hire for a variety of roles so if you think you have what it takes to work on an Underprivileged Camp, make sure you select it in the 'Camp Preferences' section of your online application.
Charlie's Underprivileged Camp Experience...
"I worked at an underprivileged camp for 5 summers. Starting my first summer as a general counsellor and then returning as a division head and then guidance counsellor. A major part of any staff members job at an agency camp is to be a positive role model for the campers. The facilities tend to be a little more rustic and the campers are a handful but it is a really rewarding experience!"