I want to work in Amer-i-ca.
October 28, 2005 5:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm considering what to do with myself next summer (I know it's a long way off), and have hit upon the rather vague idea of working as a counselor at an Arts/Music Camp of some type, in America. I like in the UK and there isn't quite the same tradition of Summer Camp. How do I go about finding somewhere I'd like to work and finding out if they'd like me?

I've done some vague googling and turned up a few places, but I'd really like some more insight from people that know about these things. I'm a violinist/trumpeter in my first year of University (studying Music), and I'd definitely want to be at somewhere where I can use that, by coaching ensembles or whatever. I don't want to apply to Camp America, which does place students on summer camps, but they don't seem to do specific music ones.

So, give me your recommendations of good, reputable arts/music summer camps in the US!
posted by Lotto to Work & Money (10 answers total)
Response by poster: Er, that should be "I live in the UK".
posted by Lotto at 5:36 PM on October 28, 2005

Interlochen, in northern Michigan is considered very good, at least in the midwest. I went for 2 summers. Lots of fun, but people are very serious about their music.
posted by k8t at 5:48 PM on October 28, 2005

When I was a summer camp counselor here in the States many of the British counselors were sourced from BUNAC -- a great and reputable group.

Regarding notable summer music camps -- Aspen Music Festival, Eastman Summer Sessions and Interlochen Arts Camp are highly regarded summer programs.
posted by ericb at 5:50 PM on October 28, 2005

BTW -- the American Camp Association is a good resource.
posted by ericb at 5:52 PM on October 28, 2005

I did the teaching-at-a-summer-camp thing via BUNAC during one summer holiday when I was at University (I'm a Brit). Tons o' fun, and highly recommended. FWIW, I worked at Camp Walden, in Michigan, which was great. (Disclaimer: that was... oh, god, 18 years ago. I'm old, I'm old...)

BUNAC is definitely a great way to do it, as they take care of all the visa issues etc that you'll come up against. (You need a visa to work, and the standard visa waiver won't cut it, as you're being paid by a US corporation.)
posted by littleme at 6:02 PM on October 28, 2005

Many camps that aren't specifically arts/music camps may still have very good music programs. I worked as the drama "specialist" at a camp for a few years. Our overseas counselors were through BUNAC, I believe, and it was a blast. In fact, I'm still in touch with one of the Brits I worked with 12 years ago.
posted by jrossi4r at 8:23 PM on October 28, 2005

Lists like this might help out, with contact info for US music camps. The Tanglewood summer institute, also listed there, is a well-known one that is always looking around here for musician type counselors and RAs.
posted by whatzit at 8:32 PM on October 28, 2005

The camp I worked at in Connecticut for three summers imported most of its Brit staff via Camp America, but BE WARNED! It's more or less a scam. They arrange for Visas and flights and things, but charge you a ton for it, so you end up with maybe $200 US net pay for nine weeks of work, while a non-Camp America staffer would get at least $1200 US. I think BUNAC is the way to go, but it's been a few years since I've discussed this with anyone, so step with caution.

In any case, most of the Brit staffers I knew loved it. The only ones that didn't were the ones that didn't like kids, so as long as you like kids, teaching, and, in your case, music, you should be okay. Counseling is a blast, both in the work you do and in the interpersonal environment. You will also most likely get a chance to travel before or after the camp season. Have fun.
posted by The Michael The at 10:08 PM on October 28, 2005

I worked at a camp for 6 summers. For Brits, BUNAC is the way to go. Camp America is for profit, BUNAC is not, and what you'll have left at the end will reflect that. The non-British foreign staff would inevitably remark that they wished that they had access to BUNAC.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:07 AM on October 29, 2005

Mayor Curley, layin' down the science.
posted by The Michael The at 6:14 AM on October 29, 2005

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