•MY AMERICAMP EXPERIENCE•

1:00 pm

I just want to start and say that these options are my own and I am not being paid to say any of these, as I went through the experience I had so many questions so I thought I would share my own. 

I suppose first things first, why Americamp? To be honest, it was the first one that I clicked on,  it had promoted cheaper fees and when I tweeted about Summer camp they were so active and replied right away, which I loved. 
I had actually started my application but in 2015 and then decided I wasn't ready so when May 2016 came around and there was a chance to put a VIP deposit, I jumped at the chance. I was so excited. 
I didn't do much after that, it was maybe a month later that I actually started my application and sent it back and the rest is history... 


Treat this like a job application, be as enthusiastic, as possible, go into detail and just sell yourself. Camps want to be able to know who you are and want to hire you.
I remember being told that my skills weren't gonna be good enough, so  I was told to write, camping and loving the outdoors.
 I didn't understand why that was just a big deal, know I realised that it is a core skill to survive at camp, you are outdoors all the time, it looks great on your application.
Write as much as possible and like I said, sell yourself!


As cringy as it may be you'll have to do it, just be yourself! Add pictures, videos and anything that could win you a place to camp. I would show you mine but I don't want you to cringe you out. ;)

This was the make or break for me, this is where I got placed and where it all changed. 
Try and meet people beforehand, I ended up making friends with another 7 applicants and it made it so much easier. We were all in the same boat and it calmed the nerves a bit!
The fair itself was so overwhelming, there were so many people, all pushing to get into a queue for a camp. The queues were so long, it was quite intimidating.  
 I went to several camps before Tanuga, they were all very formal and focused more on skills. My skills were basically working with children and a creative side, so the few I went to told me I didn't have enough skills and they were looking for more specific ones. It was quite defeating, however, I went a queued up at Camp Tanuga tucked into the corner. 
This is where I say be yourself, I sat and word vomited all over Jack, the interviewer, I just non-stopped talked the whole time about random things, he then stopped me halfway through my sentence and said 'Do you want the job'... 'I'm hiring you because you're fun!' lol
And that was that I was placed and my journey began.
I know people that didn't get placed at Camp Fairs, however, went on to be placed elsewhere, so don't worry. 
So be yourself, show your personality, research the camp, and relax!!




As the weeks went on, it was so excited to officially say where I was going,  I researched the camp so many times and stalked *soz guys* the hashtag to see who was all placed. 
I had to pay a few more fees, including a placement fee and then it was on to the Visa. 
It is as scary as it seems when you first go to start the application, however, as you go through each section it isn't as bad as it seems.
Take plenty of time to do each part and just relax, save after each part if you don't think you can do it all at once as it will not save and you'll have to restart. 
Make sure you have the reference at hand and a picture at the right size (2" by 2", you should get an email from Americamp with step by step instructions. Follow that and you'll get it right!
Make sure everything is spelt right. Double. Triple. Triple check. 
I say check your spelling as I misspelt my name, it was two letters in the wrong place on my Visa appointment and I thought I wasn't gonna get in. We called up and they said to risk it or change the date. I risked it and I thankfully got in!!
The Visa itself is £160, so make sure you have that to pay, you then get to book your appointment. This part is pretty simple and then you wait.

Unfortunately, if you live in Scotland like me, you either have to travel down to Ireland or London. I travelled down to London as it was cheaper and we made a holiday out of it! 
Make sure you bring all the documents you need, again Americamp will email you right before. 
It is quite intimidating so again try to arrange to meet people there, I met up with Jade and I felt a lot calmer. 
Fun fact: the time of your appointment is just an average time, they find it easier giving appointment times so everyone doesn't arrive at the same time. 
Which was great to find out as Americamp arrived 5 minutes after my appointment, but like I said it was fine. 
 It was so much better than I thought, you were able to take bags inside and also your phone, they put them through a security scanner as well as yourself going through one. 
Once they have checked your documents, you sit in the waiting room and get a number. Once your number is called you go over to the booth. 
They again ask to see documents and also your picture.
Your picture has to be the right size but also has to be a completely white background, I say this as mine was off-white and she very kindly let me use it, even though it technically wasn't allowed. 
You then go through to the US  part and they asked me where I was going and for how long and that was that! 
Americamp had told we had to have something to prove that we were coming home. Book flights there and back or use uni/college acceptance letter, or your job telling them you were coming back. 
However, I wasn't asked at my appointment, but just to be sure. 

I got my visa about 5 days later and I was so excited. It was official!!!!



After all the stress with the Visa, you will get to a  point when it will be all about camp now. 
Packing was another stressful time, how was I gonna fit 3 and a half months of clothes in 40kg. The truth is that you won't  and in fact, you don't need to. 
I was given a camp packing list that freaked me out, it told me to pack 10+ t-shirt, 10+ this, 10+ that and in all honesty, you don't need it. You'll learn at camp that it honestly doesn't matter if you wear the same thing twice, three times, ten times, as long as its (kinda) clean then you are sorted. 
I would say pack things that you think that can last you 1/2 weeks and go with that. 
On our days off we went to the laundry matt to clean our clothes.  When the kids arrived the days off were less consistent, however, you could give washing to other counsellors to wash. 
Shorts, t-shirts, flannels, sweatshirts, comfy clothes were a must but I would also suggest bringing fancier clothes, for days off and late night trips to 'church' ;) 
Bring trainers, sandals, fancier shoes and if you want hiking boots. 
Don't over think it, if you miss anything you will have plenty of time to go out and buy things. Go into shops like Goodwill and get yourself cheap clothes. 
Toiletries are again the same, you can always buy things on days off or again get other to buy you things. 
Make-up wise, simple is better, you will have opportunities to dress up but there is no point bringing expensive products. I put mascara and sorted my eyebrows most days, but like your outfits, no one cares. 
So, don't overthink, be sensible and remember you can also pick things up as you go. 


So I could talk all day about Camp life, but I realise every camp is different.  I will say is that you'll get the hang of the routine and it will become second nature. The camp may seem huge when you start but you'll be walking around the place like you have lived there your whole life.
Have fun and just enjoy the summer of a lifetime. 


Hope this was helpful, if you have any more questions leave them down below?
Thanks, Americamp and Tanuga!! See you next year!
Love Emma
xox


  

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10 comments

  1. This was so interesting to read Emma! I've always liked the idea of doing a camp in America so it might have to be something I do one day! I love how much detail you put into this post; it'll be incredible to read for someone embarking on an Americamp soon!

    www.imjustagirl16.co.uk

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  2. This sounds like such a cool experience and thanks for the tips! I’d love to do something like this so I’ll bookmark it for a later date! It sounds like you had the best time!

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  3. What an informative post! I've seen a few posts from people talking about their experiences in Summer Camps in America. It's not something I've ever thought about and when I've seen them on like, American TV shows, they always seem like an odd concept but I bet it's so much fun and a fantastic experience! The only thing putting me off is the heat- I hate summer in London as it is!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  4. Wow, I had no idea that the application progress for these camps was so insane! It sounds like soooo much work, so I'm glad that you found the camp worth it! Trying to cram everything you need into that luggage allowance does sound seriously difficult, I feel your pain there! I'm sure that this post will be incredibly useful for anyone else wanting to follow in your footsteps!

    Abbey 🍂 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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  5. I bet this will be a useful post for anyone planning on going to camp. I considered doing this a few years ago but never got round to it, but I bet it's absolutely amazing. I've only ever heard people talk about how much they love it.

    Kristy | thevioletblonde.com

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  6. Ah I'm so jealous you got to do this, I wish I could have done something like this! I did spend 5 months living in Florida and had a fab time xx

    G

    www.teawithgi.com

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  7. Haha please share the tape!! Was it like a big brother audition tape? Xxxxxx

    lucylovesbeautyxo.com

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  8. Wow, I didn't know there was so much to consider! I thought you just applied online, sorted out your travel/visa, packed and you were on your way! There's definitely so much more to consider like which camp is more suited to you!

    Sian x
    www.theenglisheverygirl.com

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  9. Ive been looking in to something like this for a few years now but been in full time work makes it a little more difficult to take the plunge! Sounds like such an amazing experience!

    Sarah | http://www.sazsinclair.com xx

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  10. This is such a helpful post! Sounds like an amazing opportunity to take x

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