Running about in the sunshine, playing games all day, singing, laughing, a great wage, meals included, free accommodation...
Sound good? This is generally what life at a European summer camp is like. There may be the odd moment where it's cloudy or rainy, or a few tense language barrier moments but on the whole, summer camps are a fantastic opportunity to get paid to have a lot of fun.
Italy, France, and Spain are amongst the most popular destinations. Some camps pay you a great wage and provide your meals and accommodation; a pretty good option for students who may want to travel in the summer without breaking the bank. Contracts are relatively short-term, which means you can easily fit this kind of work into a summer break from school, college or university. For newly qualified teachers or TEFL course graduates who want to develop their style and teaching approaches, this is a great chance to do it in a relatively stress-free environment as lessons mostly take place amidst outdoor activities.
Working in a summer camp will help you to become more confident and able in your communication skills and will seriously help your organisation skills. You can ease into your role as teacher and role model simply because it's really good fun and your students will be far more open to listening to your instructions out with a classroom scenario. You'll be able to learn a lot from those you teach too, as many will come from a number of different backgrounds and from countries across Europe. You may even pick up snippets of another language!
In terms of requirements to apply, it will depend on the camp. They may look for those with an interest in sports or evidence of previous work with children but generally those who are creative, enthusiastic and love an interactive work environment will thrive in a camp counsellor role.
Fraser Duff from Scotland, who started his TEFL career in a summer camp in Normandy and moved on to work in summer camps in Canada, said:
"This job made me realise how much I enjoy working in this environment and what benefits it can give to anyone seeking to change career. Not one day is the same; the feeling you receive when the day is over is of satisfaction."
He's seen a progressive career in working in camps around the world and hopes to continue these experiences in a variety of roles. His most recent camp work involved teaching children how to fish! Regardless of what he's doing and where he is, it's something he's very passionate about. Working in a summer camp, for him, was a revelation. This kind of experience could do the same for many people who may be unsure of their future and their career path. Whether based in England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales - native or near-native English speaker - this is something that you could quite easily plan to do this summer.
Follow Alana MacPherson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@TEFLorguk