PARENTS & GUARDIANS
Your Child Is (Temporarily) Flying The Nest
Congratulations, your child has decided to fly the family nest for the summer and work at camp in America! Don't worry, we will walk them through the whole process, camp will take care of them during the summer and they have access to a 24 hour help line while they're away.
They are about to learn some fantastic new skills, make friends from all over the globe, experience what working with children is all about, improve their CV, gain independence, become a team player, experience a new culture, travel and so much more.
We understand the worries and concerns you may have with regards to your child working in the US at a summer camp for 3 months- hopefully this page will give you some peace of mind and answer any burning questions you may have.
Whilst we understand your loved one may not have been on a solo adventure of this size before, we would appreciate it if any questions regarding their application, camp placement, visa and the embassy come directly from the applicant. More than anything else this confirms that they are taking the role of a camp counsellor (acting in loco parentis) seriously and that they are organised and motivated enough to go through this process as an individual. Of course, we welcome questions- but these should come from the applicant - GDPR prevents us from sharing application specific information with anyone but the applicant in question.
SCJA was established in 2017 as a way of helping attract more applicants to our parent company, Wild Packs Summer Camps. The team working at SCJA is essentially the same team who run Wild Packs. Established in 2008 Wild Packs’ aim is to redefine current industry standards and change the face of today’s camp counsellor. All of the team go back to camp each summer (don’t worry there is a 24/7 manned emergency phone line so applicants can always reach us over the summer) and this allows us to keep our knowledge and enthusiasm about camp fresh and up to date!
We offer a cultural exchange program to around 1500 international camp counsellors every summer- we accept applications from all over the world! Our head quarters just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland is staffed with passionate, informed and motivated staff who all understand the benefits of working in a summer camp setting.
We provide applicants with all the necessary visa paperwork to allow them to work in the US and complete medical insurance for the duration of their stay in the US.
We have a close partnership with hundreds of camps in the States, all of which are different shapes and sizes. From traditional co-ed camps to disadvantaged, adventure to performing arts, there is a camp out there for everyone!
Much of the SCJA process piggy backs off of Wild Packs' systems, so do not worry if you start seeing the Wild Packs' logo; you're still in the right area and we can point you in the right direction if necessary.
Once an application is fully submitted online one of the team will reach out discuss the participant’s application, their motivations for camp and experience with kids. This is a fantastic time to ask any questions about camp, the J1 visa and SCJA. Our best piece of advice is to remind your child to spend some quality time on their application, check spelling and make sure there is adequate content in all fields. It’s time to impress!
We do not have any registration fees. Only once an applicant has been screened, assessed on their suitability for the program and then accepted (if we believe they are a good fit for camp) are any fees set (please note, being accepted onto the program does not guarantee a job at camp). Please check our ‘Timeline & Costs’ page for more information regarding costs. When, and if, an applicant is accepted on to the program applicants must submit various documents. These documents are required in order to obtain a J1 visa for the applicant and many of them are also required by camp (e.g. references and police checks). Applicants are able to view what documents they need to submit to the office by logging into their account.
Visa Interview at the American Embassy
All first time camp staff are required to attend the American embassy for an in-person interview. Applicants are given information regarding the embassy upon being placed at camp. Applicants attending an embassy will be told how to book their own appointment. Embassy interviews are mandatory.
Applicants book their own flights. This allows them to have some flexibility with regards to dates, airport locations and prices! Applicants should not be booking any flights until the visa has been approved.