Pros of Returning to Camp America

Returning to your summer camp, to live it all over again. What a time to be alive! In this episode, I discuss the best pros of returning to Camp America.

Transcript from this podcast episode

Hello, and welcome to another episode of There’s No Place Like Summer Camp. I’m your host, Andrew Waterhouse and in today’s episode, we are looking at the perks of returning to summer camp. So come on into our tent, and I’ll spill the beans.

Greetings everyone and welcome to another episode of, There’s No Place Like Summer Camp. In this episode, this is going to be tailored towards those that are looking at returning to summer camp, or perhaps have returned themselves. And in our first episode of this two-parter, it’s the perks of returning to your summer camp. So this is going to be looking at those that are going to be returning to their own summer camp. Rather than returning for another year of doing Camp America and actually going to a different camp, that’s an entirely different subject.

This video, or podcast, shall I say, is for those who are looking at returning to the camp that they know and love, and hold very dear to their hearts. So let’s start with the first pro of going back to your summer camp.

Increased pay when returning for a second summer

So your first pro of returning to a summer camp is obviously going to be the pay, the pay is a lot higher for those that have experienced summer camp and are returning for a second year, particularly for those that are going to be going back to the camp that they know and love. Because Camp America doesn’t actually set the rates that you get paid. It’s the camps that see the potential within you. And when you’ve gone and worked for one summer, they already know the levels that they can expect to get from you. So when they offer you the chance to return for a second summer, which of course is entirely in their hands as well, they don’t have to take you on for a second summer, if you think they think you might be a bit shit kind of thing.

So they’re gonna, if they really want you, which is 90% of the time, they’re gonna offer you a lot higher wage. And in my case, speaking of wages, I’ll use this as an example my first summer I had to pay, I was paid $750 for two months of work. So when you actually break it down, it’s not actually that good money. But as I’ve said in previous podcast episodes, it’s not actually about the money when you go and work with somewhere like Camp America, Camp Leaders and Bunac. The reason that you go is to have the time of your life and, you know, try and grow kids and like have a beneficial impact in the world and go and experience a new culture and travel to a whole new continent. The pay thing, of course, is going to take a little bit of a back burner. But I think it’s a good idea to know what kind of money you should be expecting.

My pay as on the first year of staff vs the second summer

So my first summer, as I’ve said, I got $750 when you split that between the two months, that’s $375 per month, which isn’t that much really when you’re having to travel after and go to Walmart if you want any, any little bits and bobs. And also if you’re going to be doing any travels after camp as well as during camp as well because you do get a couple of days off. So you need to be pretty careful with your money. And you’re going to be wanting to take quite a substantial amount with you just to spend in the second summer however, I believe it was $2400, so you can see straight away, how much of a difference it was, it was almost three times the amount, which totally blew me away. And it was actually enough to be comparable to a proper salary so to speak, rather than it just being real volunteering, kind of numbers and stats there.

So, in the second summer, I got a shit ton more money. And I remember before actually signing up for the second summer, I made a little list of like, okay, what can I expect if I was them? What would I get just to try and plan my finances kind of thing? And when they told me that amount, I was like fucking you’ve offered me like, twice the amount that I thought I would get.

The reason the second summer salary at Camp America is so high…

This is sort of going on a bit of a tangent here is because in your first summer, the camp pays for your flight. So that’s actually included in your calculator. They’re paying for the flights and giving you $750. Of course, this is going to be different depending on the type of job you’re doing, how much experience you have, and how desperately they need you also how good your portfolio looks on the Camp America website as well. There are a lot of factors that go into determining someone’s pay. That could probably be another episode.

In the first summer, they’re actually paying for your flights, as well as the wage in the second summer, however, you kind of skip through a lot of the steps in the Camp America process. And I’m sure it’d be the same with all the others as well. No longer do camp pay for your flights, but you actually have to source them yourself. So that takes a fair chunk out of that $2400 because you’re having to pay for the flights yourself. But when you balance it all out, you are getting a lot more money by returning for a second summer.

Meeting Friends Again from the First Summer

So moving on to the second point of what makes a return to summer camp so good, is that you get to see your friends that you love and miss so dearly. Because I know for one, I made some friends, particularly in New Zealand and that side of the world. And I was absolutely heartbroken to say goodbyes in the travels. We did after camp and then being like, oh, this is actually could be the last time I ever see you. And it was absolutely gut-wrenching.

When they’re just like going back to the art. Well, I was going back to my normal life and kind of leaving them behind. And you’ll say, Oh, okay. So when we stayed in contact with social media and that sort of thing, I think I don’t think you can really get away from that these days. But seeing them again, when you return to camp, you’re like, oh my god, like you’ve got the troops back together.

In our case, it was full of guys. So I vividly remember all getting into a bit of a huddle in our first week and just chanting lads! lads! lads! lads! like proper over-the-top celebrations, because we were finally reunited after a year of being apart. The last one of the great things about returning is that you’re going to see, you’re going to see them again, if you all like what’s the word promise to return kind of thing. So that’s a massive benefit because you’re just going to be hanging out with your best mates and having like the time of your life as again, but you get to do it all over again for a full whack of summer with your best mates. And you can also like plan what you’re going to be doing travelling afterwards and that sort of thing. So that’s a massive Pro to returning back to your summer camp.

Arranging the travels after camp for an Absolute Blast, Again!

The third pro to returning to your summer camp is how you can arrange the travels with them after camp two. So you make all your best friends from the first summer you come over, and you get to see them all again. And you’re going to be really excited to go on these adventures with them that you could only dream of all year round since you last saw them.

So last one real big benefit of returning to the summer camp, is you get the familiar familiarity of your best friends from last year mixed in with the anticipation of all year round thinking, Oh, what are we going to do this year? Where are we going to go? And that sort of thing.

Seeing the campers again

Okay, so the fourth Pro to returning to your summer camp is that you’re going to see the kids again, obviously, you’re going to see the same familiar faces that you already come to recognize around camp these are going to be some of your favourite campers from a time gone by what say last year. It’s not actually time to come by, but you’re going to be really excited to see them. They’re going to be really excited to see you it’s going to be a whole year of school and growing up and puberty and in your life as well.

They’re going to be really excited to see you one of the things that at least Camp America try to enforce I don’t think enforce is the right word, but guide you on is the social media side of things. And campers and staff there tend to be like a grey sort of area around adding campers on social media.

So when it does come to returning for your second summer, you don’t really know what the two have been getting up to, especially as kids these days I don’t think are allowed on social media like Facebook. I think that the minimum age is 13. So if you’ve been working with the younger children, for instance, you’re not going to see what they’ve been up to but you’re going to definitely see how they’ve changed and grown. Plus, they’re going to be excited to see how you’re doing as well, because, obviously, you’re the face that they know and run from the previous summer. And you’re just gonna, like, oh, I can’t wait to see you again, and all this sort of stuff, and they’re gonna see how you’ve changed.

They’re gonna want to know every single nook and cranny about your life and any sort of relationship things that you’ve got going on.

There’s No Place Like Summer Camp is Available as a Travel Book – Detailing time at Camp America!

So it’s come to that point in the podcast where I’d like to do a quick plug for the book. There’s No Place Like Summer Camp, hope you’ve really enjoyed the podcasts up until this point. But There’s No Place Like Summer Camp is available for pre order now(!) of the paperback version, as well as ebooks.

Buy the diary I kept while at Camp America – Available on Amazon!

So if you do have a Kindle, or you do have a phone or tablet or something like that, feel free to go and check out There’s No Place Like Summer, where you can pre-order the book before it goes live across multiple shopping avenues. So Amazon and hopefully, other retailers as well are becoming later on in the year. So if you do fancy pre ordering reading, it’s available, in both paperback and ebook versions.

Background to There’s No Place Like Summer Camp Book

So I’ve touched upon this previously in other examples of why you’d want to return to your summer camp that you know and love so dearly. And that is just simply relive it all over again, you’re going to be literally making memories of a lifetime all over again, you thought it was once in a lifetime, but you’re lucky enough to be able to do it twice. Personally, I’ve mentioned this in other podcast episodes, but I’m sure there’ll be new listeners who just hop in and Midway. But I’ll mention it again. I did Camp America for two summers, so it wasn’t exactly extortionate. Perhaps there’s probably better-educated people out there to do a podcast like this, but I’m just talking from my own experience and that sort of thing. So I did it for two summers. But personally, I was like, Wow, I can’t believe I’ve done it for two summers, like, I knew it was gonna be the time of my life. And I literally looked forward to it so much, because the first year was that good. So just to be able to relive all those memories, again, with the people that you know, and love as well, it makes it a lot easier, I guess. So yeah, that’s another benefit of returning to the summer camp that you know, and love so dearly.

Benefit of returning to camp: It’s so much easier

Another benefit of returning to your summer camp. And this is going to be a little bit of a strange one. But it’s actually a lot easier application process to get through Camp America for a second summer of the same camp that you’re going to than it is to apply in the first place or apply for a different camp. Let me explain.

So when you actually apply for the first time, you’re going to be going through a lot of visa applications, passport checks, interviews, face-to-face interviews with the camp. There can be like application days as well. So there’s like Camp America recruitment days, you don’t need to do any of that when you return for a second summer, you’ve already got your profile created, they’ve already got all your passport details, you just pretty much need to go through there and confirm everything.

Then once you check a box to say that you want to return to the same summer camp, the person that’s on the other end of the website or the robot, whatever, will ping an email over to the summer camp that you’ve just come from. And they’ll basically say, are you happy for Andrew Waterhouse to return for another summer? They will say yes, he’s the best.

So it’s a lot easier application process the second summer around, you’re literally just double checking everything that’s already in there maybe updating a couple of fields where things change your experience, you don’t really have to go into as much detail either. So like on my first application to Camp America, I did a video because a lot of places say it’s worthwhile uploading a video to stand out. I’ll probably leave this for a second or third podcast later down the line. But yeah, let’s just say I didn’t have to do it on the second year-round.

All you must do, is check your details are up to date

When you do return for another summer, pretty much all you’re doing is checking that your details are all correct. Making sure your passports up to date. Yes, you still have to go for a visa interview in London. I don’t think there’s anywhere else It’s in the UK that you can actually go. And pretty choice, it has to be London. But yeah, you have to go to their embassy and ask for a visa. And then literally, your profile, once it’s complete is sent over to camp and they go, oh, yeah, he sounds, we’ll, we’ll pay him X amount. So it’s a lot easier application process to do that. Whereas if you apply for another camp because what you can do is you can apply for the first time, obviously, do your normal summer.

But if you want to go and apply to a new camp after that, so you want to do a second summer, but not particularly the camp that you are at, you want to, you want to maybe look at other camps, and experience something new. And I trust me, I was in that boat for a long time. I was like, I really want to do it again… But I want to take these guys and all of us go and apply for a camp somewhere else, but it never really worked out that way. And it was a bit too much hassle and too many hoops to jump through. It’s not something that Camp America really support. But if you do want to do something like that, you’re gonna have to I think you can just tick a box saying no, you’re open to new camps. And then your profile is pretty much put up on the website like an Argos catalogue.

I hope a lot of you know what an Argos catalogue is because I know there’s going to be maybe an international reach to this podcast because they can be reached anywhere, any device, in your car, on the TV, on the phone, on an iPod. Got a bit distracted there. But the Argos catalogue is basically a whole massive book of products. And all you are is a simple entry in there, they can flick through the pages and go oh, we like the look of him.

I forgot what I was saying again.

So yeah, as I was saying, your profile will you’ve put into this catalogue, and they can just flick through it at a whim and try and see how you would match up to their camps. To try and get a whole group of people to get to the same camp, that’s gonna be really tricky to do. And you’re gonna have to pull some strings to try and get that to work. It is a lot easier just to go ahead and apply for a second summer, if you want to do a second summer with the camp that you know, so well, and see your mates over there.

You know how to do your bit of the summer camp job

The final list of pros of why you want to go back to your same summer camp is a little bit of a collection of pros, because this one comes under the header of familiarity. You’re going to know everything about how camp works. Yeah, you might only be there one year. Yeah, you might know not know everything, but in particular, for your role and how you fit into that camp, you know, where you fit into that jigsaw, you know how the schedule works, you know, where things are around camp, you know, what to expect, you know, the sorts of faces that you’re going to be seeing. There are loads of things that you kind of take for granted when you try and apply to a new summer camp.

As I was saying in my previous Pro, if you were to try and apply somewhere else, you’re literally starting all over again. And there’s no guarantee that it’s going to be any better.

Different doesn’t always mean better. Should I say you’re getting just as much of a great summer by working at the same place that you know and love as it is to go and work at another summer camp? Just because it’s another place to explore. There’s a certain rhythm that you’re going to know of how the camp works, what people you need to, please and what campers they are and how everything ticks at camp because not every summer camp is the same.

Familiarity benefit of returning to the same summer camp

Particularly for those that may be religious or have some sort of special attribute about them. So the familiarity X, the heading of familiarity is going to really like help you just to settle in that little bit quicker and hit the ground running. When you return for that second summer. You’re going to know what the food is like at camp, which is a pretty big thing because obviously, I mentioned earlier about the wages and that sort of thing. What didn’t really mention was how your food is paid for your accommodation is paid for that sort of thing. So apologies for that. Just trying to cover my tracks from earlier when I said about the pay. The pay does cover it’s Like it’s expensive, like pocket money, so to speak for your first summer. Anyway, moving on to the food scenario at camp as well is going to be another thing where you’re going to know what types of food to expect what things you should get at Walmart, and how to have a blast for the second summer.

Also, by returning for the familiarity part of the camp, you’re actually going to be turned towards the first-time staff, perhaps campers too, but more, particularly the staff side of things I like to focus on. They’re going to be asking you like, oh, what tips do you have? Where should I go with my time? And who should I hook up with? They’re not gonna well, they will ask that, but I don’t think the familiarity thing is gonna get you that many bonus points. So anyway, I think that’s really pretty much wrapped up most of the pros of returning to the same summer camp.

In closing…

If you have any questions, anything that you would like to ask anything you think may be missing from this episode. Feel free to hit me up. There’s No Place Like Summer forward slash contact and you’ll be able to get in touch. I’m also available on Twitter too, at Andrew W. oh nine. In next week’s episode, we’re going to be looking at the cons of returning to summer camp. This is going to be an absolute parallel shift from where we are today, being more positive from coming home from Camp America and being like, wow, I need to do that again. What are the some of the cons of actually returning to the same summer camp? So it’ll be an interesting episode. I hope you hear for it. Please subscribe and rate on all your podcast platforms of choice. And I’ll see you in next week’s episode.

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