They're on the way!
Not the reindeer with Santa in his sleigh, though I'm sure he's coming this way too! (Happy December 1st!)
The Camp America Recruitment Fairs are back for the 2017 season! So today I'm going to tell you all about my experience of the Edinburgh Fair all the way back in January - and why you should be there this year to make sure you get yourself the best present ever!
Get Hired On the Spot!
What could be better than coming away from a few hours of madness, nerves and fun, knowing that you have a placement at a camp in the USA for the summer? Nothing. Honestly, it's so cool.
It means getting up early (especially if you live somewhere other than the city where the recruitment fair is being held). It means standing outside of a big building on a cold January morning, and queuing (you know you love it really - you're a Brit!) It means doing a bit of homework and getting an idea of what you're actually looking for. But is it worth it? Yes.
When I say homework, I mean that it's actually really important to do a bit of research. Now you're being given the rare opportunity to possibly pick where you get to work. Usually, Camp America put your application onto their online directory for camp directors to choose from based on your age, gender and skills. At a Camp America Recruitment Fair, you are more in control. Take the opportunity to find somewhere you are really going to love!
Top 5 Camps - The Research Bit...
It looks long-winded. But it will help. Trust me. I did one of these for each of my top 5 camps and studied them. I knew that it would help me in the long-run, because I could ask them questions about their camp, and if I was asked any questions about what I knew of them, I would have a whole load of information I could give them. They like to know you are actually interested in them too, much like if you were interviewing for a job at a particular company.
The difficult bit is narrowing it down to your top few. The Camp America website has a list of which camps (literally hundreds) will be attending the fairs. My advice is go through them all. Look at their websites. Look at their social media - their YouTube, their Instagram, their Facebook and Twitter. Some camps even have Snapchat now. There is ample opportunity for you to find out everything you need to know before you arrive at the fair.
I found that the camps' own official website was a great indicator of what the camp was like. Not only are there pictures and information, there's usually a map too, and testimonials. And a staff section that will tell you what they look for. Do you match to their expectations? Are they what you're looking for too? Camp is about relationships, so it has to work for you as much as you have to work for them. Don't forget that.
With that in mind...
. Be Confident - show them who you are and what you'll bring to their campers' summer!
Now, even if you haven't completed an online application, you can go still along to the fairs. There, they can go through all the basics with you so you can go and find a camp there and then! But bear in mind, this will take you longer than someone who has already completed all their paperwork, but don't let that put you off! A summer of a lifetime is but a few hours away!
(I did, and spent 3 months in Texas... More to come on that soon!)