Camp Europe, much like the name suggests is a company that runs summer camps for kids all over Europe.
It’s great summer fun for kids and also an awesome opportunity for young adults looking for a European summer adventure of their own…
A summer job at Camp Europe as a camp counsellor, is a great way to travel and see a new place, while also earning a bit of money and getting some pretty unique work experience. I incorporated a stint at Camp Europe into my Gap Year, as a way to take a break from the seemingly endless spending that comes with travel and actually brings in a little bit of money while still experiencing something new.
It was a great summer job experience and one that I highly recommend…
As camp counsellors you get free accommodation and food, a week’s comprehensive training with other newbie counsellors at a camp near Munich and free transportation to your summer camp site.
Camp Europe operate campsites in Germany, Ireland, Austria and Spain – and you get to choose where you want to work! Whoop!
Wanting to enjoy a long hot summer and start working on my Spanish skills, I chose Spain and was fortunately placed in a lovely little Sports and Language camp in a town called Amposta, about an hour south of Barcelona.
The Application Process
The application process I pretty straightforward.
Fill out an application form on the Camp Europe Website – I think they cut off applications around January each year, so get in nice and early.
Provided you meet all the requirements, you’ll be put through to the interview stage. I had two interviews over Skype before I got a job offer. To accept the job offer you need to pay an application fee, which goes towards the cost of training you before camp, and also just shows that you’re serious and are locked in for the job.
I didn’t need a visa for my work at camp – and I don’t think most people need one, as the payment is more of a lump sum ‘gratuity’ rather than taxable income.
We went kayaking, swimming, banana-boating, wind-surfing, did a high-ropes course, played lots of sports, tried team games, had several disco’s and even a casino night. It was really fun – and not just for the kids. We also had day trips to both Barcelona and Valencia, where I got to enjoy touristy things like the Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and a guided tour of Valencia… all for free! Wahoo!
Before our camp started, all counsellors for the summer were required to complete a week long training course, at a camp just outside of Munich, Germany. There were about 50 of us, from all over the world.
It was like being on camp ourselves as we slept in tents, woke up to music and filed in lines for meals.
During the day we learnt how to lead camp games and facilitate activities, administer first-aid, teach English and other general camp duties. At night we drank beer around the camp fire and made fun of each other. It was really fun, even though the weather was pretty miserable (especially coming from 2 weeks in sunny Croatia).
Once this finished, I travelled with the other counsellors placed in the Spanish camp to Munich Airport and we flew straight to Barcelona, which was all organised and paid for by camp Europe. From here we travelled by car to the campsite in sunny Amposta, where we spent a couple of days setting up the camp (and lounging by the pool) until the camp started.
Life as a Camp Counsellor
Our camp was a Language and Sports Camp, split into two sessions, each two weeks long.
As so many different languages are spoken in Europe, they’re a huge priority in schools, with kids often taught their native tongue + English + another language. It’s pretty cool really, I wish I had learnt another language as a child – learning Spanish in my twenties took some real determination!
Anyway, this is why most Camp Europe’s’ programmes have a focus on language. Our camp taught English and Spanish in the morning, and then the afternoon was spent doing more typical ‘camp’ activities.
We went kayaking, swimming, banana-boating, wind-surfing, did a high-ropes course, played lots of sports and team-building games, had several disco’s and even a casino night. It was really fun – for both the campers and counsellors.
We also went on day trips to both Barcelona and Valencia, where I got to enjoy touristy things like the Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and a guided tour of Valencia… all for free! Wahoo!
The location of the camp was great too, as there were several other camps in the grounds at the same time, including an FC Barcelona Football Camp and a Basketball Camp with Ricky Rubio! (Confession: I had to Google him, but now I know he’s a big deal, so will continue to talk about him as if we’re besties…)
Anyway apart from an obligatory selfie with my new favourite basketball star, this also meant that when the kids (finally) went to bed, we could get together with the counsellors from the other camps and have a drink and socialise. So I got nearly no sleep, and was up at 7am each morning, but man it was worth it.
It really was a great, cheap way for me stay in Europe over summer. All my meals were included, as well as accommodation (which was nice rooms, not tents!), transport to the camp and a few sneaky beers too.
As camp counsellors were also paid for our time, so by the time I left I had a nice lump sum of spending money to continue travelling with.
If you have any queries about summer work with Camp Europe, let me know!