Life at Camp
Frequently Asked Questions about life at our overnight camps
What is the living situation like?
Housing and meals are provided for all of our counselors throughout employment. Counselors share bedrooms. Laundry facilities are available once a week. Counselors have free access to internet before or after working hours in the computer lab. WIFI does not always extend outside of this room.
Is there family, pet, or couples housing?
No, we do not provide any of these types of housing at our camps. Please know that counselor visitors are not allowed on camp grounds.
How many camps are open at any given time?
We have anywhere between 1 and 17 camps running at any point in the season, at different locations across France!
Are the camps near large cities?
Just like at most American camps, the majority of our sites are located in rural areas. Our counselors must be prepared and excited to spend some time in natural, small town areas of France. Many come to love the local traditions, foods, wines, and people around the sites!
How large are the villages?
Our villages are generally between 50 and 65 campers. We maintain a ratio of 1 counselor per 5 - 7 campers (depending on the program). Therefore, a typical village houses between 62 and 80 people.
How are the village assignments chosen?
An applicant does not choose his/her village. Applicants apply to work at any camp, and for any American Village Camps program. The village placements are determined first and foremost by the needs of American Village Camps. The main determining factor is the maintenance of the correct counselor-to-camper ratio at every site, session by session. When creating the counselor schedule, there are external and internal factors to consider, as well as trying to balance the preferences and needs of 350 staffers annually. Please take this fact into serious consideration before applying.
How do counselors get to their initial sites?
The village director picks up counselors at the assigned French train station, at an assigned time (between 5 and 7pm) on arrival day (the day before your contract).
Being fully aware of the remoteness of our sites and the fact that many of our counselors do not speak French, we make an effort to make counselor arrival a smooth one. But for that to happen, you, too, must be organised! The Counselor Handbook and the Counselor Webzone outline travel tips and arrival instructions for counselors.
We do not organise other transportation for our counselors (air travel, trains from Paris, etc). This is one reason we seek initiative-taking, adventurous, and organized young adults!
When do counselors specify their preferences?
Once hired, counselors are welcome to inform us of a specific age or village preference on the Administrative Sheet that accompanies the work contracts. Be sure to fill this our quickly and return it at least 6 weeks before hire, as we work on the site assignments 4-5 weeks before your employment starts. Requests made after arrival to camp are not taken into account.
Can I keep my smartphone on me?
NO. Counselors may not use smartphones during the day. These devices are considered an unnecessary distraction in professional childcare/education positions. Counselors should bring a watch to tell time, and a camera if they want to take photos!