Having worked at Summer Camp in the past I learnt some useful information which may be of help to you. If you are a returner or a first-timer you might find these helpful so I’ve popped them in a blog post for you. If you have any of your own please feel free to let me know and leave them in the comments of the blog post as well!
1. Save Earnings to Travel
One of the things I would highly recommend is to save everything you earn throughout the summer for your thirty day grace period. Once you finish your contract at summer camp you have a whole month to travel the USA before having to return home. This is a fantastic opportunity to travel to so many amazing places and states at I managed to cover EIGHT during my first year working at camp. Your accommodation and food/drink is all provided by camp so avoid spending unnecessarily though the season. It can be quite hard to resist certain luxuries (candy, meals out etc.) but it will help you make the most of your travel afterwards if you save up!
2. Phone Contracts / Data Usage
I have an amazing phone plan with Three in the UK. They allow me to use ‘Go Roam’ (previously called ‘Feel At Home’) which basically lets you use your phone as if it is still in the UK. This means that you can call and text home as much as you like (within your contract limits) and also use your data in the USA. You will automatically connect to either AT&T or T-Mobile based on your location and it won’t cost you a penny more when you’re there. The only things I found is that the data can be a little slower in areas as it is such a vast country and you cannot use your phone as a personal hotspot but considering how much money you would save on local SIM/data plans these are insignificant! The only other thing to consider is that you will be charged for calling or texting local numbers in the USA but this is just the Pay As You Go rate on top of your phone contract. I used my data to avoid this though so used iMessage/WhatsApp primarily when contacting friends from the U.S. and FaceTime/WhatsApp call (which also uses data) if I needed to ring. If you are close to renewing your phone contract and are heading to the USA this season I would highly recommend Three, or just see what is available with your current network if they have good roaming capabilities. When taking out a plan just read through the features and ensure it’s a Three Advanced plan with ‘Go Roam’ included.
3. Trek America Discount (with USA Summer Camp)
When applying through USA Summer Camp you are entitled to an exclusive Trek America discount. They offer amazing travel experiences across the USA and have a huge range of attractions / areas covered. They are a great way to cover many of the hottest tourist attractions in a planned and compact road trip so perfect if you are wanting to do as much as you can in your travel period. For more information about the USA Summer Camp and Trek America discount please click here.
4. Visit Friends in the USA
I was very fortunate to make so many amazing friends at summer camp during my time working there. Our camp hired internationally so there were many of us from the UK as well as other European countries, the USA, New Zealand, Australia and more! Many of the counselors were from different states and they were really lovely in inviting fellow staff to their town/city afterwards. I managed to cover eight different areas/states during my travel/grace period. I started in Minnesota (where my camp was based) before heading to Iowa, Colorado, Florida, New York & Connecticut, Virginia and Washington D.C. I knew I was meeting my friends Adam and Michael in Virginia and heading to D.C. before travelling back to the UK but apart from that I left my travel plans open. I wouldn’t be worried about this either, being flexible with your plans means that you can see what others are doing at camp and go from there! What is really nice about this as well is that you get to see these different places from a local’s point of view and uncover some hidden gems of restaurants and attractions that you wouldn’t otherwise!
I hope you find these tips useful and please let me know if you have any other summer camp related questions! Thanks for reading and have a great day.