About Camp

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What is Summer Camp?

Just picture it: horseback riding, rock climbing, and sailing all in the same day. Staying up late telling ghost stories with campers by the campfire. Hiking to a private lake nestled in the woods.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of kids ages five to 17 attend summer camp at the thousands of camps located in rural areas across the U.S. The specific activities may vary from camp to camp, but an atmosphere of fun, friendship, and discovery stays the same. Whether the campers attend for one week or eight, campers and counselors alike have the chance to try new activities each day, learn important skills individually and as a group, and make friendships that last a lifetime.

Types of Summer Camps

The majority of CIEE placements are in traditional camps—which can be co-ed or serve only female or male campers—where many different activities are offered, from arts and crafts to archery. For many families, it’s a long-held tradition for children to attend the same summer camp their siblings, parents, or even grandparents did when they were young, creating a unique and close community atmosphere.

Here are just a few of the other types of camps in the U.S. that you may be placed in:

Agency/Nonprofit:
These camps are affiliated with a social or advocacy agency that assists with funding. Many serve co-ed campers—from all walks of life—in the same facility, on separate campuses, or through different sessions for boys and girls. These camps can range from very rustic to traditional in their cabins and buildings. Many agency camps appear to be similar to private camps, but often follow a mission aligned with the affiliated agency.

Girl Scout:
These camps only serve female campers and are often run in one- to two-week sessions throughout the course of the summer. Girl Scout camps are generally focused on building wilderness skills and participating in “outdoorsy” activities. Most Girl Scout camps use primitive tent cabins for their housing.

Disadvantaged/Underprivileged:
These camps—run or sponsored by outside community groups—often serve low-income campers from inner cities or extremely rural backgrounds. These camps are often quite rustic in nature as they are dependent on philanthropic organizations and other groups for funding.

Religious Affiliated:
Most of these camps are affiliated with either the Christian or Jewish faiths and incorporate both religious and non-religious activities. The emphasis on religion varies greatly from camp to camp.

Specialty:
These camps focus on a particular sport or activity like horseback riding, sailing, or theater. Specialty camps may also serve specific populations such as campers who have ADHD or have suffered a loss.

Special Needs:
These camps serve campers with one or more disabilities including those who are emotionally, mentally, or physically disabled. Specialty needs camps often offer the most challenging camp experience, yet can be the most rewarding. Many of these camps serve more than one type of disability, serving campers with a range of mental and physical disabilities during one session or specializing in one disability each session.

Activities at Camp

Summer camps offer a wide range of games, sports, and arts and crafts to inspire and engage campers. Camps are always looking for experienced counselors who can lead campers in a particular activity, especially specialized activities like fencing and woodworking. Below is a list of just some of the activities you can get involved in during your time at camp.

If you don’t have experience in the typical camp activities mentioned below, don’t worry! You can still apply to CIEE Camp Exchange USA.

Arts & Crafts

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Batik/Printing
Candle Making
Ceramics (Wheel/Kiln)
Fine Arts
Glass Blowing
Handicrafts
Jewelry
Leathercraft
Metalwork
Model Making
Naturecraft
Painting
Puppetry
Sculpture
Silversmithing
Stained Glass
Textile
Tie Dye
Weaving (Loom)
Woodworking

Land Sports

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Baseball
Basketball
Cheerleading
Fencing
Field Hockey
Figure Skating
Golf
Gymnastics
Hockey (Ice/Street)
Lacrosse
Martial Arts
Soccer
Softball
Tennis
Track & Field
Ultimate Frisbee
Volleyball

Media

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Computer (Programming/Graphics)
Creative Writing
Newspaper Production
Photography (Digital/Darkroom)
Radio Broadcast (Equipment)
Recording and Sound Editing
Video
Bass (Guitar)
Brass
Bugle
DJ
Drums
Guitar
Keyboard
Piano (Accompany)
Rock Band
Singing/Vocals
Song Writing
Strings
Ukulele
Wind Instruments

Outdoor Skills

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Animal Farm
Fishing
Gardening
Geocaching
Hiking
Orienteering
Outdoor Cooking
Primitive Camping
Rock Climbing
Ropes (High/Low)
Shelter Building
Trip Leader /Driver 21+
Trip Leader 21+
Whitewater Kayaking
Zip-Lining

Science

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Astronomy
Culinary Arts (Teach)
Electronics
Environmental Education
Model Rocketry
Wildlife Ecology

Swim

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Swim Instruction (Certified)
Diving
Lifeguard (Certified)
Synchronized Swimming

Water Sports

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Canoe
Crew
Flat Water Kayak
Motorboat Driving
Sailing
Surf/Wakesure
Wakeboarding
Water-skiing
White Water Kayak
Windsurf