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2020 – A Perfect Storm! There’s A Great Year Ahead…

 I’ve been around awhile as many of you know, and have seen every permutation of placement season.  There have been years where applications were plenty and positions few, and others where the opposite occurred.  Variables in these shifts have been economic, demographic, geopolitical or just plain inexplicable. My “seasoned” season radar predicts a PERFECT STORM in 2020 with record demand from the camp community.  More importantly, Camp America’s early leads and application stats are off the charts.

We launched our Camp Directors’ Fair registration on July 2nd, 2019.  Some Fairs were full by mid-August, and we were over full capacity in every city by mid-September.  Early indicators are booming, matching is fast and furious and our online “pipleline” feature created a powerful pipeline of placemnets.  We thank you for your partnership!

I am proud that  this promising season is my fortieth in this unique and magical field of endeavor.  Vic has been with us for over two decades.   Jenna, Allyson and Elizabeth will all have had their ten-year “Camp Ameriversaries”. Chantal and Graeme will share a seventh season. Sam hit five this month and Clem and Kathy are not far behind.  Jules made a swift transition from customer to soldier for cultural exchange.  Our global offices have similar or better tenure.  How lucky am I to work with such an amazing team of experienced professionals?

I look forward to taking 2020 by storm together as we enjoy a perfect equation for success!!!

Keep Calm and Advocate!

So our programs are threatened in a small corner of the West Wing. It is prudent that we fight it with all the force we can muster with our Congressional representation, associations, alliances, constituencies and all other leverage imaginable. What we do is far too critical not to. We will win because we have to and we must.

On the same token we must not back down and succumb to this short sighted and vague exploratory dialogue. We have a Senate Appropriations Amendment supporting due process when it comes to exchanges and a House Resolution supporting them that are poised for passage. The compelling necessity of these programs coupled with the sheer strength of their historical benefits, integrity, and global reach combine to ensure their future safety. We should never stop the fight as there will be more threats to the J-1 experience just as there have been others in the past.

So let’s not let this affect our business processes or make any rash decisions. There are successful Fairs ahead, talented souls to recruit, perfect matches to be made, and an amazingly successful 2018 season to look forward to. I am proud of our solidarity and mobilized passion for what we do and am certain that this spirit will never end.

2017 Arrivals Just Six Weeks Away

Video-CA-Day-in-the-life-NEW-1400x610px  It’s been a great placement season… successful Fairs, great conferences, healthy application and matching numbers and our first arrivals are just one short month away.  Camp America staff is diligently working on flights, filling staff positions, running visa forms, preparing travel-to-camp arrangements, ramping up the arrivals hotel and program support and of course planning for another great year in 2018.  We will offer weekend hours for your convenience during June and last-minute visa-ready staff will be available until the end of the month as always.  We anxiously await the arrival of 8,000 international staff and another awesome season in the spirit of cultural exchange!

Enjoy the Holidays!

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Let’s extend a hearty welcome to Bridget Shanahan to the Camp America team! Best wishes to all for the Chanukah and Christmas seasons (or however you may celebrate) knowing that we appreciate our partnership in cultural exchange and all that you do to Bring the World Together. We are working hard to provide host camps the very best of staff and a wonderful experience at our upcoming Camp Directors’ Fairs. We are excited! Doubly exciting is our new Camp America Online portal with a contemporary look and feel. Technology is updated to accommodate tablet and phone functionality, it’s easier to navigate, and our applications are crisply presented and easy to view. It will be ready for launch by December 7th for the second day of Chanukah. Enjoy family and friends during this special time and let’s all be thankful for the true gift of camp!

Welcome Sam Roberts to the “Field” of Cultural Exchange


 It is not often that we welcome a client to the ranks of the Camp America program, and I am extremely pleased and fortunate to have Sam Roberts on our team as of October 1st.  Sam has always been a good friend of the program and now represents us from Gaithersburg Maryland as “Field Representative”.  While it may not sound as lofty as as his previous “executive director” status in the world of summer camp, I see it as a very appropriate title indeed. Continue reading