Bring Cultural Diversity To Your Camp Staff

Camp directors are always looking for the best counselors and staff members, with specialized skills like basketball or dance, and a friendly, enthusiastic personality. But staff can bring more than just functional capabilities to a camp—they can also introduce cultural diversity and the learning opportunities that come with it! Camp directors who want greater cultural diversity in their camps often hire international counselors and staff through cultural exchange programs. The U.S. Department of State-designated Camp Counselor program allows young people from around the world to work and spend time in the United States during camp season.

Camps hire international counselors and support staff through program sponsors, designated by the U.S. Department of State (who administers the Exchange Visitor Program), who provide screening, placement, insurance and other benefits, in addition to sponsoring the J-1 Visa for international participants. For example, with InterExchange Camp USA, a designated and nonprofit sponsor, camps have several options for recruiting staff. They can choose how much or how little they’d like to be involved in the hiring process but always make the final decision to hire someone. Part of the service is taking care of English evaluation, screening and behind-the-scenes work necessary for visa sponsorship, which makes hiring international camp staff as easy as hiring Americans.

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Word On The Web

Excellent idea. Never thought of the parents sending thank you’s to counsellors’ parents. Well done. (“Making Camp Sticky, CB Jul/Aug 2014)

Patrick Kennedy


Ask The Go-To Bug Expert

Every year, there are some uninvited guests at camps—bugs and insects. Before you start swatting away this season and campers start complaining about their presence, give them something else to focus on. AfterBite—manufacturer of the insect bite treatment—launches “Professor Bugsbee’s Insectlopedia,” a blog chock full of facts, tips and content related to bugs. It provides advice on staying safe and enjoying the outdoors; tips on insects and how to avoid them; fun statistics on bugs and their benefits to the world; advice on how to treat stings; insect bite prevention and treatment. The blog can be found at




3-6 ACA National Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana—Hilton New Orleans Riverside;


16-19 ACA Tri-State Conference, Atlantic City, N.J.—Atlantic City Convention Center; (212) 391-5208 or

26-28 ACA New England, Manchester, N.H.; (781) 541-6080 or


14-17 Spring Leadership Conference, Palm Springs, Calif.—Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel;

16-18 ACA Midstates Conference, St. Charles, Ill.;

24-26 ACA Northern California CampWorks Conference, Felton, Calif.—Mt. Hermon Conference Center; or