Congratulations, your son or daughter has decided to fly the family nest for the summer and work at an American summer camp!
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 son or daughter 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.
About 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 Wild Packs 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.
Wild Packs 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! Check out our ‘Styles of Camp’ page for more information.
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 Wild Packs. Our best piece of advice is to remind your son or daughter 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 ‘Fees’ 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 Wild Packs 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.
Wild Packers book their own flights. This allows them to have some flexibility with regards to dates, airport locations and prices! Visit our ‘Flights and Travel’ page for more information.
Need advice on what to pack?
Visit our friends over at, Ticket4TwoPlease, for an in-depth packing list made by camp counsellors.
Gift ideas for camp counsellors
Want gift advice for a camp counsellor? Our partners, Ticket4TwoPlease, are here to help.