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10 Reasons to Be a Camp Counselor in the US or Canada

Have you always dreamt of living abroad and improving your English? If so, American or Canadian summer camp jobs could be the adventure of a lifetime. Read on to discover ten great reasons why you should consider seasonal work as a camp counselor in the United States or Canada!

Dec 18, 2019
  • Career Advice
  • Study Abroad in the United States
  • Study Abroad in Canada
  • Study Abroad in North America
  • Why Study Abroad?
  • English Proficiency
People gathered around the campfire

Do you enjoy working with children and being surrounded by nature? Have you always dreamt of living abroad and improving your English? If so, American or Canadian summer camp jobs could be the adventure of a lifetime. Read on to discover ten great reasons why you should consider seasonal work as a camp counselor in the United States or Canada!

1. Live in a foreign country

Assorted mini desk globes on shelf near gray kerosene lantern

Among the most enriching experiences you can get from living in a different country is immersing yourself in the local culture, meeting new people, and discovering new places through travel.

Not only will working as a camp counselor take you to breathtaking locations, but it will also enable you to work with people coming from various cultural backgrounds. By the end of camp, you will step out of your comfort zone and grow into a much more open-minded and understanding person.

Curious about living in North America?

Check out our country guides for the US and Canada!

2. Get professional experience

Summer camp jobs look great on your resume, especially if you are interested in continuing your career as a teacher or educator. It will help you understand working habits and give you an idea of the atmosphere in an international working place. The list of professional benefits for being a camp counselor is longer than that. For example, a continually changing environment such as a camp will teach you to develop soft skills needed in any company today.

These soft skills might be organization, planning of activities, and understanding the campers you work with. Seasonal work abroad will surely prepare you for whatever challenges your future career brings.

3. Get paid to do what you love

Friends reading a travel map

While you will be responsible for paying the program fees and the flight to your destination, summer camp jobs will give you a salary of around $1600-$1850. The additional benefit of working at a camp is that you won’t have to worry about accommodation or meal costs. Some counselor jobs in America and Canada even offer individual accommodation. Still, you will often share with other counselors and get the opportunity to turn your coworkers into new friends on the way.

At the end of the summer, you will have enough money in your pocket to head out and explore the vast expanses of the USA or Canada. This would be the perfect opportunity to get to know North America a bit better, and maybe even consider coming back to study abroad.

4. Travel after your work is done

Camp counselor duties are many, and it's a job that requires flexibility. That doesn't mean you won't have time to rest.

On your days off, you are free to get to know the area and cities around your camp. But the best thing is: after camp is done you will still have more than enough time to truly experience the country of your choosing. The working permit and visa you need to go to Canada or the USA will allow you to travel for up to 30 days upon the completion of your job. Make sure you pack accordingly!

5. Make new friends from around the world

different shoes hanging over a stone wall

The counselors from the country of your choosing (the US or Canada) will not be the only friends you get to make. Hundreds of counselors that travel from all over the world for seasonal work abroad to get the same experience as you will make your social circle more interesting and diverse. They will be looking forward to meeting you and spending the best summer of your lives together, just like you! It is the perfect opportunity to exchange experiences, stay in touch, and maybe even plan for a reunion after camp is over.

6. Polish up your English skills

It's important to know that to be able to work in counselor jobs in America or Canada, you need to have an upper-intermediate or advanced level of English.

In your everyday work around camp, you will rely heavily on your communication skills. While there are helpful tips for mastering a language, one of the best ways is to practice with native speakers. Practicing English with other counselors and campers who are native speakers will help you become less shy and significantly improve your English skills.

7. Teach what you like to do the most

Camp leader and two campers sitting outside

Have you ever wished you could teach others a hobby or a craft that you care about? Photography, water sports, horseback riding, rock climbing, painting, you name it. A camp counselor has the freedom to engage the campers in various activities.

When the time to say goodbye comes, you will be able to feel proud of teaching campers and awakening interest in them for something new.

Thinking about studying abroad in the US or Canada?

Use our search to find the perfect program!

8. Be a role model

Being a camp counselor, even through seasonal work abroad, is your chance to change a young person's life and make their time at camp a memory they’ll gladly revisit.

Since camp is the ideal place for children that want to make the most out of their summer, they will see you as a leader and a reference point.

This means that you will be the first person they come to for help and guidance.

You'll be a role model for your campers, and will make sure they're well looked after. From waking the campers up in the morning to tucking them in at night, you'll keep camp rolling along smoothly.

9. Spend time in the great outdoors

Both Canada and the USA are large and geographically diverse places. While it is true that the cities in both counties offer adventure and entertainment, the nature in North America is just as impressive.

During your stay, you will get to experience untouched wilderness and enjoy being surrounded by forests, valleys, rivers, and mountains. From the glacial lakes at Banff National Park in Canada to Yellowstone Park in the US, you will never lack awe-inspiring landscapes.

10. Experience sleepaway camp - the real, North American way

Ever seen Camp Rock? Being away at camp is 100% like the movies. You’ll sing, dance, make new friends, sleep in cabins, make s’mores, tell campfire stories, play games…the list of fun-filled activities is virtually endless. Sound like a good time? Head out to the Land of the Free or the Great White North and find out what the hype around camping is all about! Summer camp jobs in America and Canada will not disappoint!

About the Authors

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Patricia Luis Hernández (journalist and Spanish philologist graduated from the University of La Laguna) has lived in the United States for a year and has worked in different regional media. She is currently the social networking officer for Travelingua and a consultant for the Work and Travel program.

Virginia Coy (graduate in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Alicante). She has worked in different camps and been a camp monitor in Canada. She is currently an advisor and coordinator for the camp monitor program in the US and Canada.