Jobs & Careers

Compare American Summer Camps

Compare the top American Summer Camp companies and make sure you get the most from your summer abroad.Camp America

Fancy travelling the world and getting paid to have the experience of a lifetime? Working at American summer camps is the stuff of dreams for thousands of students every year.

But whilst students are excited by the opportunity to work abroad in America for the summer, we know from experience that it can also be confusing in choosing which company to go with.

You'll find plenty of posts and reviews about these American summer camps but it's difficult to know if you can trust them. This makes it hard for students to research the companies to make the right decision.

So we've done the hard research and put together an up-to-date comparison table and reviews of the five main American summer camp companies available: AmeriCamp, Camp America, Camp Leaders, BUNAC and CCUSA.

These companies do not own the American summer camps and simply act as ‘middle men'. This means that you could be at camp with other people who used a different agency as yourself, doing the same job & still being paid less! Crazy, right?

Whether you're on a gap year or looking to land a non-conventional job abroad during your summer holiday, it's important to know what you're getting to ensure you have the best summer you can.

American Summer Camps comparison: 2017

This year we have rated AmeriCamp as the best overall American Summer Camp organisation for students. As well as providing a great customer experience they also offer the best take home salary and lowest costs.

See the facts and figures in the table below of all the main summer camp companies.

CompanySalary*Costs**FoundedBenefits?Catches?
AmeriCamp£1250+£2792010Flexible & discounted flights

Highest Salary/Lowest Costs
Flights not included
BUNAC£650+£4991962Most established

Flights included
High costs
Camp Leaders£650+£5491999Flights included

Possible rewards for early application

Discounts

Free ISIC card.
Low minimum salary
CCUSA£570+£5251985Flights included

Possible rewards for early application
Low salary
Camp America£490+£5991969Flights includedHighest Costs

Low minimum salary

* Salary amounts shown are for standard camp counsellors. Values also change depending on US exchange rates

** These costs are subject to change and do not include third-party costs (see below).

*** AmeriCamp, camp America, BUNAC, CCUSA and Camp Leaders are not the only American camp companies out there but were the 5 that we deemed provided the best service for students in the UK.

If you're after a more in-depth overview of the various American summer camps, see below.

American Summer Camp companies: Review

If the table wasn't enough, we have the complete low down and comparison of the summer camp companies below in more detail.

AmeriCamp

americampAs you can see from the table, AmeriCamp has the highest salaries on offer as well as the lowest cost.

A downside is that there is no option to include flights within the cost. However, with AmeriCamp's Student Universe travel discount the flights should cost you no more than £500 and most even manage to get flights for as low as £350.

Even with the cost of the flight added to AmeriCamp's package, you are still likely to come back with more money after your American Summer Camp experience.

A small break down of their salaries shows that they pay (minimum):

  • 18 yr olds – $1285
  • 19-20 yr olds – $1550
  • 21+ yr olds – $1645
  • Returners – $2000

Plus you can get paid extra if you have lifeguard or swim instructor experience.

Request an AmeriCamp brochure »

BUNAC

bunac2BUNAC seem to be the best of the rest in terms of their offering this year.

They offer the option on whether or not to include flights but you're worse off by £600 if you do choose to include them so if you think you can find a cheaper deal we say go for it.

The amount you could get is pretty unclear on their site as they only seem to list the maximum:

  • Max salary (flights inc) – $1100 (£940)
  • Max salary (no flights) – $1600 (£1220)

Visit the BUNAC website »

Camp America

campamericaCamp America is the most established company in the industry and they pride themselves on their international summer camp fairs and customer experience.

However, their costs are the highest out of the 5 companies featured and they also have the some of the lowest salaries on offer and with the total cost including 3rd party (quoted on their own website) is £772 and the minimum salary being around £490, you could end the summer after working in America with around £300 less than you began.

A small break down of their salaries shows that they pay (minimum):

  • Counsellor – $600 – $850 (you are most likely to get this role)
  • Advanced Skills – $700 – $950
  • Campower – $1200

Visit the Camp America website »

Camp Leaders

campleadersCamp leaders have the option to include flights or book them yourself. The cost with flights is £549 and without is £299. Interestingly your pocket money/wages differ if you choose to go with or without flights.

If you got the max salary and chose to have flights included in your package you'd end up with £530 less! This means if you can find a flight yourself for cheaper (you probably can) than this you're well worth doing it yourself.

The amount you could get is pretty unclear on their site as they only seem to list the maximum:

  • Max salary (flights inc) – $1150
  • Max salary (no flights) – $1500

Visit the Camp Leaders website »

CCUSA

ccusaCamp Counselors USA have the 2nd lowest costs which is great.

It's worth noting that CCUSA also have two options available for students, the package with flights included and the package without.

If you choose the go without the costs are £299 which (as a comparison) is more than AmeriCamp who also don't offer flights and you would get paid the same as you would with AmeriCamp.

Alternatively, if you choose the option with included flights you will pay a cost of £499 but unfortunately the money you get drops too with this option as listed below:

  • 18 Yrs – $750
  • 19 – 20 Yrs – $800
  • 21+ Yrs – $1000

Visit the CCUSA website »

Extra summer camp information

Third-party costs

Every single company you go with requires you to pay the third-party costs yourself and they are equal for all of them (do not believe otherwise). Some see these as the hidden costs of American Summer camp work.

  • CRB police check – £45
  • Embassy interview appointment to gain working visa – $160
  • Travel to Embassy – varies on where you live
  • Medical at doctors – varies

The prices may change from person to person but the third-party costs total around £180 in total.

Types of summer jobs

Most summer camp companies can place you as a general camp counselor or a specialist in your chosen activity. In either roles, you will be working with American kids and helping them have a great summer break!

Below is a list of the types of summer jobs you could expect to be doing at a camp in America plus much more. If you have a skill like this then jump right in and get involved.

  • Archery
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Gymnastics
  • Horse riding
  • Fencing
  • Dancing
  • Life guard
  • Swimming
  • Water-skiing
  • Sailing
  • Climbing
  • Tennis
  • Drama
  • General admin and camp support staff

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