Working while you travel is a great way to stay in a country for longer. One of the jobs I’ve had abroad is working as an intern for Camp Adventure. The bare bones of the program is basically that Camp A contracts with the U.S. military to work for the Child Youth Services. During the fall and spring, the program offers internships, and during summer there is an actual camp put on for the children at different U.S. Army bases.
The internships are a little less intense and usually last 10 to 17 weeks. As an intern you work at the Child Development Center (CDC) or (less often) with school-age children for 9 hours a day (1 of those hours is a lunch break, so it’s really 8 hours of work a day). You help supervise kids under 5 (assuming you work at the CDC) and make sure they are eating, getting along and enjoying their time at the CDC. It is very rewarding work, and the kids are all really adorable. Of course some days can be really tough, and you just want to pull your hair out. But if you enjoy spending time with children, then it is a good program to get involved with.
I haven’t worked with the school-age children, so I don’t know much about that. But I think it is quite similar. I also haven’t done the actual camp. But from what I’ve heard it’s more intensive work than the internships, because the Camp Adventure people run the whole program rather than coming in as a support in the CDC. There are also some aquatic programs available; Camp Adventure staff work as lifeguards and give swim lessons.
Now, on to the fiscal benefits of doing the program. Camp Adventure pays for your flight to and from the place you are located, your housing and gives you a stipend at $24 per day for the amount of days you work. You have to pay several fees when you apply, but you basically get all that money back with your stipend (plus some extra).
You must have completed at least two years of college to be a part of the program. The internships are offered in Germany, Italy, England, Belgium, Key West (Florida) and Hawaii (although there are actually way more options, these are the places offered to first timers). Additionally, there are winter and spring break sessions available, but only to veterans of the program, so you have to do summer camp or an internship before being able to jump in on one of those.
There is a lot of work to do to apply, but once you finish your first contract it is much easier to reapply. The first time you have to get a federal background check, send in a huge application packet, interview, and several other steps. To find out more about applying, visit their website.
Overall it is a fabulous experience! On weekends you can travel around and see some awesome places. And working with the kids during the week is really rewarding. It is a great way to get out and see the world.