Developed in part with a grant from
the National Science Foundation

Member since August 2016

  • Reviews 1
  • First to Review 0
  • Thank Yous 0
  • Fans 0
  • Profile Views 137

Review Distribution

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
1

1 Review by David

CampLeaders

CampLeaders

8/23/16

I'm afraid to say that Camp Leaders, though a useful mechanism for applying to summer camp, is essentially a way to siphon off a huge amount of money from young people wanting to work at summer camp. They take several hundred pounds in fees from you at the beginning, largely simply for so-called 'admin costs' (i.e. to supply themselves with salaries). Once I arrived at my camp in the US I found out when talking to American counselors that my paycheck was half of what they were earning - why? Camp Leaders. About $1,700 was . This was not something that had been made clear upfront to us; in fact, at the preparation day in London we were told to go to, they discussed the fees, and they claimed that it was 'camp' that paid this sum, not you. What they happily omit to say is that camp is paying this money out of your own paycheck, so in fact it is you paying this money.

This is utterly ridiculous. The fees to work at camp in the United States are not that high; it is simply a job, and under no other circumstances would you spend that sort of money (for me £450 fees plus $1700, i.e. about £1750) to go and work! The main services they provide are the following: sending off your application to camps; booking your flights; providing health insurance; sponsoring your visa.

The first of these seems very useful when applying, because you only have to fill out one form for Camp Leaders detailing the areas you would like to work, and they send out lots and lots of applications, almost guaranteeing you a job. However, your chances of working at summer camp are very high if you simply apply straight to camps; of course, you have to fill out a separate application per camp, but for the amount of extra money you will make not having to give it to Camp Leaders, it is well worth the extra effort. Camps need a lot of people, and especially if you have some experience working with children or skills (however basic) in outdoor activities finding somewhere to work should not be too hard.

Secondly, booking your flights; quite simply, this you can easily do yourself, and not something you need to have an external company do for you.

Thirdly, providing health insurance; again, basic health insurance coverage is not too difficult to purchase.

Finally, they sponsor your visa. This is something that often seems very attractive for Brits coming to camp; there are two points to make on this. First of all, I was personally very irritated at Camp Leaders because I have a US passport, so I did not need a visa, something Camp Leaders knew. As a result, the proportion of my fees that were spent on this aspect were simply me giving money to the company for nothing in return. However, if you do require a visa there are many other organisations (google 'designated sponsors j-1 visa' for the government-approved list) that will sponsor it for you. These will of course require some fees, but you will still be paying far less than you would if you operated through Camp Leaders.

Overall, therefore, the company is an utter scam. Their business model is simply to exploit young people's desire to work at camp by performing tasks for them that they could do themselves, as detailed above, and then taking an enormous chunk of their paycheck when they are working the US. They will get few repeat customers (all the other British counselors I know who used them will never use them again), but they know that they will get enough new customers every year that it does not matter. This is straight-up exploitative and very unfair.

Two further things to add; first of all, I do not mean to be disparaging on the individuals you interact with at Camp Leaders; those I talked to were all very friendly, helpful, and kind people to work with. As far as my experience went, the system was operated smoothly and efficiently. The second thing to add, is that I cannot recommend working at summer camp enough; it was an incredibly fun experience, you meet a wonderful group of people, and working with children in an environment like that was enormously fun. I very much urge anyone thinking about it to go and do it, it was a very special experience. I simply think that using Camp Leaders is an awful idea because of the hidden costs; I was lucky in that my camp paid fairly well, so I still managed to come home with money. I know other people who went through Camp Leaders and who worked at different camps who earned maybe $800 (£600 or so), which means they essentially break even when you take into account the fees they gave Camp Leaders at the beginning.

I would therefore urge anyone considering Camp Leaders to think very hard about it; the benefits you receive from Camp Leaders are all things that you can do yourself, and which may take a little more effort and time from you, but overall will mean you earn far more when you are in the US.

David Has Earned 13 Votes

David S.'s review of CampLeaders earned 13 Very Helpful votes

David hasn’t received any thanks yous.

David doesn’t have any fans yet.

David isn’t following anybody yet.

Similar Reviewers on Sitejabber

leighannr1
10/5/18

My 18 year old signed up with camp leaders, I wasn't sure she was mature enough, but thought if...

rebeccah117
9/22/17

I applied for Camp Leaders as soon as the applications opened in June of this year. I have had an...