Camp America- Is it worth doing?

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Fancy spending your entire summer in the USA? Camp America could be for you.

Applications for Camp America 2013 are now open, but is it worth doing?

This summer I spent a glorious 10 weeks in the USA. 8 weeks of that were spent in Maine teaching dance at Camp Tapawingo via a placement through Camp America (CA.)

What was camp like?

Camp Tapawingo “Place of Joy”.

From the idyllic landscape to the kids playing pranks, camp felt like stepping into The Parent Trap.

That said, it was hard work. You’re working from 7.30am when the kids wake up to 9.30pm when they go to bed.

On average I taught 4 hours of dance a day on top of other general activities like camper vs. counsellor softball. After 8 weeks I was physically exhausted (but my abs were cracking!)

Most CA placements will mean living in close proximity to children. I was in a bunk with another counsellor and 10 girls. You may be a football extraordinaire, but camp is only suitable for you if you like children too.

My diddy bunk.


Through CA, you pay about £700 before you go, on admin, CRB checks, medical checks and Visa. This includes return flights.

Earnings at camp vary on your particular placement and your qualifications. The CA website states:
Counsellor – Standard USD $600-$850

Advanced Skills Counsellor USD $700 – $950

You will not come back with a profit if you get placed through CA as they take a large percentage of your wages themselves. Do not do it for the dollar. Camp is not for you if you need to earn money over the summer.

I spent all of my wages whilst away, plus nearly £1000 of my savings. I’d say not bad for 10 weeks abroad, but I know that’s not an option for everyone. That said, I probably spent so much because I said yes to everything…You could definitely be a bit more sensible.

Down time

It is average to get one day off and one night off a week. Days off made the hard work worth it. Staff were amazing. Baseball games, beach days, mini golf, shopping in the city- a summer at home is a very boring affair in comparison.

My local team for the summer. The Seadogs.

In my hour’s break each day I usually joined in the other activities. Horse riding, tubing, ropes, sailing…the list of things to do at camp goes on!


Definitely the best part of my summer. After camp I spent 10 days travelling around the East Coast. Boston, Washington DC and New York were so much fun with the friends I made at camp. And travelling hardly cost me a thing!

Top tip: make friends with the American staff. Free accommodation is the way to do it.

NYC with other Tapawingo Staff


How to apply

You can apply online via CA website Then they interview you. A lot. It’s a pretty long and tedious process but I think it is definitely worth it.

Would I go again?

Yes! I had one of the best summers of my life. I worked hard but it was doing something I love. And returning staff earn so much more!

‘She remembers her summers that went by too fast. Please hold on to toady it will soon be the past.’ Camp Tapawingo.



  • Lucy

    CCUSA is cheaper!

  • Anonymous

    As is applying directly to a camp – they sort your visa etc for you and you get paid a heck of a lot more! I did it for 4 years!

  • Joe

    Having earlier been interviewed by Andre for this very article, my replies to his very probing questions have been completely changed and twisted to make more of a story than it actually was. There was a burst pipe above some lockers, the lockers were cleaned out, the pipe fixed and people carried on with their business. The accident happened in the older, existing building; the fact it was near the new build isn’t “a worrying sign” for the university at all, so to say that bursting pipes could be “mirrored” across the complex shows a complete lack of common sense. The team commissioned to build the Abercrombie and the John Henry buildings should be applauded and congratulated; not brought up on a burst pipe. Maybe a positive article about the award winning buildings wouldn’t go a miss in the future.

  • Freddie

    The flood occurred in an old part of the architecture department, the extension to Abercrombie was unaffected and undamaged. I’d also like to mention that students were in no way ‘flooded out’, and the problem was dealt with quickly and the fourth floor of Abercrombie was re opened early this morning. The head of school has asked for those affected to contact him about any damaged work so already things are being done about damaged property.

  • Jay


    Don’t forget this the same ‘journalist’ that caused the ‘Abercrombie: The Building We Paid For But Can’t Use’ issue between TDE & Business.

    Also the same person who wrote ‘Brookes student union will always be a bore”. Pretty much just sensationalist crap….. or articles about how well dressed people are.

    I think Andre is aiming for a career in Vogue or Cosmo or something. Maybe I’m just simply ‘jealous’ I will never be interviewed by Andre due to my appalling dress sense! 😉

    • TRUTH

      You’re right Jayson- you will never be interviewed by Andre because you really do have an appalling dress sense.
      If you don’t like the article why click on it? Or do you have nothing to do… I can’t deal with your BASIC ass!!

      • Jay

        Unsurprisingly I was interested in the article because it was about Abercrombie and damage to students work.

        I have no idea what BASIC means, but I assume it’s a acronym for something or other.

        The statement about my dress sense also wasn’t a major issue. It was an observation. In fact, my dress is very much in the same league as your opinion. Just doesn’t matter to me.

        Remember, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

  • not an architecture asshole

    for a group of students who claim to be incredibly busy and hardworking … architecture seem to take a lot of time out to reply to whatever is written about them on the Tab?

  • Paul Bramley

    Hey Nathan. You’ll be writing for the daily mirror at this rate my friend. With sub-par journilism like that. Try looking up the correct results before stating teams were ‘thrashed’.
    It’s people like you who cause aber to fall in the rankings.

  • Lloyd Nelmes

    underwater hockey won by something like 9-1 too :)

  • Alex Moore

    Aberystwyth won the first ever Societies Varsity that was held on this Sunday, could this article be amended to show this fact?

    We in the activities office are very proud of Cym Aber // Aber Soc Poker Society, Chess Society and ACOG who competed on Sunday for us in the rooms of the Students Union

  • Carys Ann Thomas

    Horse riding lost by three points, hardly a thrashing considering its the closest their captain has ever seen in three years of BUCs and Varisty competitions. Two of the Aberystwyth riders were in the top three individuals and Maddie Prendergast won the whole competition. Safe to say “thrashing” isn’t the correct word to use.

  • RAHH!

    Glenalmond – the most pretentious of them all.

  • HasCashAndHappy

    Quiet you vulgar little ned! Gordonstoun clearly beats Glenalmond; where did you go? Let me guess, it didn’t have sets, you bottom-feeding nobody. How’s you’re free Humanities course going??

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