Back in December I posted the first in the Q & A series I’m doing with BUNAC, who are helping me get back to camp this summer for my 8th year! Now they’re back to answer some more questions about their Application and Interview process.
1. How does the application process work?
The BUNAC application is simple. Your first step of getting to camp (the happiest place on Earth) is to complete BUNAC’s online Summer Camp USA application. The lovely BUNAC team will then contact you about your previous childcare experience.
If you’re a great fit for camp, you’ll then be booked in for a face-to-face interview with a BUNAC Camp Counsellor Coach. The interview will last around 45 minutes, and they’ll ask you questions ranging from your favourite song to sing at Karaoke to why you’d make a great Counsellor. Don’t be nervous, just be yourself.
After a successful interview, and completion of your application, BUNAC will send your application to the Camp Directors across all of the camps we work with. The Camp Directors will be able to view your application and will reach out if they’d like to interview you at their camp!
If you get placed at camp, CONGRATULATIONS! It’s the best feeling in the world. Next steps will be sorting out your J1 visa paperwork, police check and attending BUNAC’s Summer Camp USA Pre-Departure Orientation (to get you ready for camp life!). BUNAC support you through the whole process, so don’t worry – it’s going to be amazing.
2. How much does it cost and what will I get in return?
BUNAC offer two great value price packages for their Summer Camp USA programme.
£299 – non-flight package
£499 – return flights (UK to New York or Boston) included
Both packages include your placement at a sensational summer camp (BUNAC work with some amazing and diverse camps), one night’s accommodation when you arrive, your accommodation throughout the summer, food and drink whilst at camp, visa support, and your all-important medical insurance. Of course, with the flights included package, you get your flights too – obvious, but worth mentioning 🙂
For more inclusions and a cost break-down, check out their website here.
3. What skills and experience do I need to apply?
BUNAC requires applicants to have worked with children in some capacity before, whether in an educational or sports setting – if you don’t have this experience yet, don’t worry! The BUNAC team will point you in directions of where you can start. Summer camp is all about the campers that attend it, so it’s very important that you enjoy working with kids (and being around them) 24/7.
Secondly, summer camp wouldn’t be half as fun without all the amazing activities you can do there – and camps need staff to teach them. If you have experience in a specialised sport like swimming, football, horse riding or sailing (to name a few) as a player or as a teacher, you need to get to camp. If you have a qualification teaching your specialised sport, it will be music to Camp Directors’ ears! Come the summer, you could be teaching it at camp as an awesome Activity Instructor!
Find out more about the roles you can do at camp here.
4. What dates do I need to be available? And how old do I need to be?
You need to be available from late May/early June to mid August. Summer Camp lasts for up to 10 beautiful weeks and BUNAC’s very final departure to date to the USA is on 20th June. The more flexible you are, the more likely you will be to get hired at camp!
To apply for BUNAC’s Summer Camp USA programme you must be 18 years old, however most camps only hire staff from 19 years old and upwards. If you’re unsure if you’re eligible, you can email them here.
5. What makes a good application? Do I need to do a video?
A good application is all about the detail, detail, detail. If you have relevant experience working with children, playing a sport, playing an instrument or even hiking a mountain on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition, please include it! BUNAC also encourage you to include a short video on your application introducing yourself, summarising your skills and why you want to go to Summer Camp USA. It’s important to note you don’t have to film yourself, but it will definitely strengthen your application if you do. Remember that BUNAC will answer any questions to help you complete your application – so if in doubt, just ask. They want to help you as much as they can get to Summer Camp USA!
6. Who is my interview going to be with? Should I be nervous?
Your interview will be with a BUNAC Camp Counsellor Coach – they’ve all been to Summer Camp USA before and fell in love with the experience. Now they want to encourage people like you to go and do it too! Being nervous before an interview is natural, but don’t let it affect you too much. The BUNAC team are the friendliest bunch of people you will ever meet – just enjoy it!
7. What should I wear and how should I prepare?
Dress smart casual. You don’t need to wear a suit, but you shouldn’t look like you’ve just rolled out of bed, either! Find the right balance and, most importantly, wear what you feel most comfortable to interview in.
8. What sort of questions will I be asked?
The majority of questions will be based on your childcare experience and why you want to go to Summer Camp USA. The experience is pretty unique, and BUNAC staff are Summer Camp crazy. They’ll want to make sure you’re the right person for the adventure, and if you have the skills and experience to do it. Practise and nail your answers for these, and research BUNAC beforehand, and you should be fine.
9. What’s all this I’ve heard about job fairs?
Good question! BUNAC hold annual Summer Camp USA Hiring Fairs in UK cities. Usually held in January in London, Edinburgh and Dublin, the Camp Fairs allow you to interview with Camp Directors from the USA and get a job on the spot. It’s a very special, high energy event because Camps have flown over literally with one purpose and one purpose only – to hire international camp staff like you. The Camp Fair for 2018 is now over, but there is still opportunity to get hired as BUNAC offer a Virtual Online Hiring Fair on 13th March 2018. It is the same concept as the Camp Fair, but instead of meeting them face-to-face you will be interviewing over Skype with American camp directors.
Start your application now to BUNAC Summer Camp USA!
**I’m returning to camp this summer with BUNAC who have been sending people just like you to camp for many years. Get in touch with them via their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, by phoning them on +44 333 999 7516 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.**
Disclaimer: BUNAC are waiving my camp fees in return for this blog series, but please rest assured that all opinions are honest and my own.