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Site Seeing on Camp Trips

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 25 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Site Seeing Sight Seeing Summer Camp

When you go to work in a foreign country, you’ll probably have a list of the famous sights you’d like to see. If you’re going to work in a summer camp, you may wonder about whether your desire to be a tourist can be integrated with your work at the camp or will have to be dealt with separately.

Summer Camp Excursions

Very often summer camps are located in isolated rural areas. That being the case, it is unlikely that there will be many high-profile tourist attractions in the immediate vicinity. It would be very rare for a camp to sanction overnight stays for the children outside of the camp itself, so the scope for external excursions is limited. If they take place at all, they may be relatively trivial in nature, such as trips to a local restaurant or sporting facility, for example.

For any summer camp, and particularly so in litigious America, the safety of the children is paramount. In a well-run summer camp, the grounds of the camp itself will have been carefully designed with safety in mind. Ideally, it should be almost impossible for something unfortunate to happen to the children there. Outside of the camp grounds, of course, this simply isn’t true, and the dangers to the children – whether through accidents, predators or simply getting lost – are far greater.

For these reasons, you will often find that external trips just aren’t part of the normal routine at many summer camps. So if you were hoping to combine your own role at the camp with some tourist-style excursions, you may end up disappointed.

Summer Camps with External Trips

There are exceptions, of course. Not all camps are in wilderness locations. Some are in big cities. There, the camp administrators may well be more open-minded about external excursions. Some camps are not even residential at all. The children go home in the evenings. Naturally, that relieves the counsellors of the burden of having to look after them, freeing them up to do other things.

European camps also tend to be less uptight about trips outside than those in America. Many continental European camps include some element of language study along with all the other parts of camp life and, very often, excursions are scheduled as a way of putting the newly-acquired language skills into practice.

Personal Sight-Seeing While you Work at Summer Camp

So you desperately wanted to see the Statue of Liberty but ended up in a summer camp in rural Oklahoma? What do you do? Don’t worry. Your work at the summer camp should allow you some personal time which you can use for private excursions on your own without the children tagging along with you. Part of your normal schedule should include off-days, which you can use to leave the camp grounds and go wherever you want. After your work at the camp ends, you will also typically have some time left on your visa, often a month. Your camp work is normally deliberately structured in such a way that you have this time left to indulge your tourist fantasies.

What you’ll often find is that the other camp guides or “counsellors” are in exactly the same position. They want to visit the tourist sites too. Often, then, you’ll be able to plan and go on your trips together. This is ideal. It’s always better to go sight-seeing with friends than on your own. In some cases, the companies running the camps are very large, and may have resources and facilities all over the country, or even internationally. They may be able to help with the planning or logistical aspects of your sight-seeing expeditions.


Sight-seeing excursions aren’t usually a big part of summer camp life. There are exceptions, but you’ll need to choose your summer camp carefully if you’re hoping to find one of them. Otherwise, you can just do your sight-seeing on your own time, on your off days or once your duties at the camp come to an end.

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