Before Camp / Top tips

What it Costs to be a Camp Counselor

Once you’ve worked out how much you can earn at camp in America with CCUSA, BUNAC, Camp America, Camp Leaders or AmeriCamp you need to look at how much each company charges too. After partnering where you’ll get the most money alongside each company’s reputation, you can make your decision on who to travel with.

BUNAC, CCUSA, Camp America and Camp Leaders all pay for your flight from London, arrival services and first-night accommodation costs themselves out of the pay they receive from your camp.

AmeriCamp includes the same as above, but you pay for your flights separately.

The fees listed below are the total price you will pay to each company, before you can leave for camp in America.

BUNAC

  • Total BUNAC fee = £610

This includes BUNAC membership, your flight, admin costs, 4 months insurance (+baggage insurance), placement, 24-hr help, support and advice. The £495 is split into three payments:

  1. 1st payment when booking an interview £50
  2. 2nd payment after a successful interview £150
  3. 3rd payment when you are placed £295
  4. US Embassy interview fee £115

CCUSA

  • Total CCUSA fee = £608

This includes CCUSA membership, return flight to NYC, admin costs, 3 months insurance, placement, 24-hr help, support and advice while in the USA.

The £608 is split into three payments:
  1. Application fee £45
  2. Acceptance fee £454
  3. US Embassy interview fee £113

CCUSA also offer a ‘no flight’ option where you can arrange your own flight to America. This costs £295. *Save over £50 on both options if you apply before January 1, 2012, in one instalment*.

Camp America

  • Total Camp America fee = £660

This includes Camp America membership, your flight, admin costs, 4 months’ insurance, placement, 24-hr help, support and advice. Camp America have divided this up into six payments:

  1. First payment £65
  2. Second payment £70
  3. Third payment £94
  4. Medical Insurance £199
  5. European Airport Security Taxes and Fuel surcharges £117
  6. US Embassy interview fee £115

Camp Leaders

  • Total Camp Leaders fee = £614

This includes Camp Leaders membership, your flight, admin costs, 4 months insurance, placement, 24-hr help, first-night accommodation, support and advice. Camp Leaders have divided this up into four payments:

  1. Application fee £49
  2. First instalment to pay within 21 days of being accepted £150
  3. Second instalment to pay within 60 days of being accepted £300
  4. US Embassy interview fee £115
Camp Leaders also offer a no-flight option, where you can get credited £300 back once you have completed your contract.

There are reward discounts of up to £150 available if you get all your documents in early too.

AmeriCamp

  • Total AmeriCamp fee = £714 

This includes 4 months’ insurance, placement, 24-hr help, support and advice. AmeriCamp have divided this up into three payments:

  1. Interview fee £20 (although they buy you a drink when you’re there)
  2. Application fee £179
  3. Visa fee to the US Embassy £115
  4. Flight £400 (approx)

AmeriCamp keep things flexible by allowing you to arrange your own flight. They have special rates agreed with STA Travel, but it’s usually around £400.

Make sure you check out how much you can earn at camp in America with CCUSA, BUNAC, Camp America, Camp Leaders or AmeriCamp before you decide which company to use.

Additional costs

As well as these fees whichever company you go with you will also have to pay for:

  1. A trip to the US Embassy for your face to face US visa appointment in either Belfast, Dublin or London – you choose which location.
  2. A UK pre-departure orientation based in either Belfast, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds or London – again, you choose the location.
  3. Your CRB check (£35).
  4. A medical if your camp requests it. The price of this depends on your doctor, but it is possible to get it for free.
  5. It’s a visa requirement to have at least $600 (£375) in your bank when you travel to the USA.
  6. The return passport courier delivery fee from the US Embassy, from £14.50.

If you want to know more about which company I went with and how that worked out for me, buy the Secret Diary of a Camp Counselor book!

life as a camp counselor

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7 Comments

  1. Hi Lucy, we are not sure where this £100 has come from? The total cost to AmeriCamp is £199, the J1 day is a third part cost and is the same as Camp Leaders?

    All the best

    AmeriCamp Team x

    • Hello AmeriCamp, Sorry about that. I hope you will find it fair and correct now. I’ve included every cost that applicants have to pay each company, so they know exactly what they’re letting themselves in for financially.

      Thanks,
      Lucy x

  2. Hi Lucy, we emailed you the stats, can you add them please?

    Sean

    • Hello Sean,

      To be honest I find you to be very rude. First you slag off my book on Facebook to more than 15,000 people when you haven’t even read it, then you demand a free one, then you pester me repeatedly to put your company’s details on my blog. You’ve upset me from the start and I don’t know anyone who’s used your company so I’m not going to include the information.

      Regards,
      Lucy

      • I wish this were Facebook so I could like this comment! I don’t know what Sean has done, but if he was rude to you Lucy that’s a very polite and reasonable response.

        More importantly, thanks for this post! It’s the first one I’ve found that has mentioned that the medical exam may be free. Everyone else just says ‘cost varies’ – it may be true but it’s not very helpful. Cheers!

        • Hey Emily,

          Happy to help! Sean was just slagging off my book on Facebook and saying it wasn’t real, then I find out he hasn’t even read it. After saying that he wanted me to promote his company. Goes deeper than the below :)

          Anyway, yes, you can get your medical done for free. It’s basically just your doctor signing a paper to say your fit for service.

          Hope you have a great summer at camp!

          Vicky

  3. Awesome things here!

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