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  • Writer's pictureBrit In The Six

Types of Camps

During the application process, you are asked about yourself and what your skill set is. Then the question comes: ‘what type of camp do you want to apply to? Pick up to four. You stop dead and think. What?! Are there different types of summer camps? What will I even like? You have no idea!

There are so many options, and it can be overwhelming when faced with picking one. I am going to break down what the different types are and what they entail. Hopefully this will help in your application process, and help you make a decision.

Traditional Camps:

This is what most people think of when they imagine their summer at camp. The perfect example is Disney’s ‘The Parent Trap’. These camps can either be co-ed or single-gender. Don’t worry, single gender camps often have a brother/sister camp nearby. They often have long-standing traditions, and campers and staff return year after year.

Traditional camps have fantastic facilities along with a wide range of programs and activities; land sports, water sports, arts, outdoor adventures etc. As well as BBQs, campfires and outdoor camping.

Faith-Based Camps:

There are a wide range of faith-based camps for campers from a Christian or Jewish background. These could be privately owned camps with a predominantly Jewish/Christian camper population or run by a charitable foundation.

Some of these camps focus on providing a typical summer camp experience whilst others deliver faith based learning in their day to day activities. Not all religious camps require their staff to be religious, just to have respect and understanding for other people’s beliefs.

Speciality Camps:

This type of camp focuses on one specific area such as performing arts, gymnastics, horseback riding etc. These programs are designed to teach campers and develop their skills in a specialised area.

Speciality camps run on a traditional camp structure and philosophy, incorporating general camp activities into their daily schedule. A great example of this being Disney Channels’ ‘Camp Rock’. If you are passionate about one activity and want to improve your hobby, your skill or your talent, this could be a fantastic fit for you.

Girl Guide/Scout Camps:

Were you ever a girl guide or a scout? This style could be your favourite. These camps are operated by GirlGuiding or Scout associations, with a large focus on wilderness, adventure and outdoor living.

Programming includes outdoor adventure, arts and crafts and being on the water. And the accommodation can range from cabins, to platform tents. These camps have a deep appreciation for nature and living in the outdoors.

Underprivileged Camps:

Underprivileged camps are for the most part similar to traditional camps. However, the key difference is that campers come from lower income families. These may also be known as not-profit camps, run by charitable organisations or government agencies.

The main purpose and aim for these camps is to help give urban campers their first rural experience with many new activities. Campers may be first timers like yourself, which is a cool connection to make too.

Camps with Specific Requirements:

Like most camps, these are based around a traditional camp program. However, they specifically cater their program for children and/or adult campers who have specific requirements. This could be medical conditions, behavioural disorders, emotional disorders, terminal illness, hearing/sight impairments, etc.

No, you do not need any previous experience working in this type of environment, as full staff training will be given. If you have any interest in going into healthcare or social work, this category would be an ideal setting for you.

Day Camps:

The clue is in the name with this one. Campers only come for the day. Typically, the campers come Monday - Friday approximately 8am - 4pm. They do not spend the night on the property. Day camps are usually in or near larger metropolitan areas.

The location of these camps can include, private properties, city parks, beaches or recreational centres. Also, some day camps could be affiliated with larger traditional overnight camps. As campers are not sleeping over, living arrangements for staff can range from: staff dorms or cabins, to host families.


[Note to all: With the camps that I haven’t personally experienced I got my information from CCUSA, Camp Canada, Americamp, Camp Leaders & Camp America websites]


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