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Types of Camp

Every camp in Canada is unique and varies depending on location, environment, activities, facilities and campers. All the camps CCUSA works with are carefully vetted and share our high standards, as well as the various provincial camping associations. 

There is a camp type for every single child, no matter what their abilities or background. The diversity of camps provides you with an opportunity to experience working at camp, which may be something slightly different to your own background. Regardless of camp type, all camps share the same common goal- to provide a safe, fun and rewarding experience for every camper.

You will be required to choose at least four camp types on your CCUSA application.

Traditional program Camps

  • Includes both privately owned camps and camps run by an agency (such as the YMCA, JCC or 4-H).
  • Can be either co-ed or single-gender. Single-gender camps often have a brother/sister camp nearby.
  • These camps often have long-standing traditions and campers and staff return year after year.

Religious Camps/YMCA Camps

  • Serve campers from a Christian or Jewish background in a traditional camp setting.
  • Offer traditional camp activities while incorporating religious values.
  • Some camps have Bible or Torah studies.
  • Not all religious camps require their staff to be religious:  it can be a good way to find out more about a religion or explore your own beliefs.
  • Participants going to religious/charitable camps are usually exempted from having to pay the $155 CAD work permit fee.

Girl Guide Camps

  • Camps based on the traditional philosophies of the Girl Scouts
  • Scouting or Girl Guide experience is not required to work at these camps.
  • Programming includes Outdoor Adventure, Arts & Crafts, Waterfront and Climbing.
  • Accommodation is either cabins, lodges with campers or platform tents.

Specialty program Camps

  • Focus on one specific area such as performing arts, gymnastics, horseback riding, etc.
  • Programs are designed to teach and develop skills in a specialized area.
  • Run on a traditional camp structure and philosophy, incorporating general camp activities into the daily schedule.
  • Often require highly specialized staff.

Underprivileged/inner-city camps

  • Make a difference in the lives of kids from low-income families.
  • Run by charitable organizations or government agencies (i.e.- Salvation Army, Fresh Air Fund).
  • Help give urban campers their first rural experience with many new activities

Special needs camps

  • Serve children and/or adult campers who have physical and/or developmental disabilities.
  • No previous experience working with special needs populations is necessary. Full training is provided by the camp.
  • Counselors help campers with traditional camp activities adapted to meet camper needs.
  • At some special needs camps, counselors also assist with daily living tasks such as eating, dressing, and showering.

Camps for campers with specific requirements

  • Serve children and/or adult campers who have specific medical conditions.
  • Conditions including emotional disorders, learning disabilities, diabetes, terminal illness, hearing/sight impairment and weight control.
  • Offer traditional camp activities geared to meet the needs of the specific camper population.
  • No previous experience working with these populations is necessary


  • Campers typically come only Monday to Friday from approximately 8am-5pm. They do not spend the night.
  • Locations of camps include city parks, beaches, church halls, or community centers. Some are also part of larger traditional residential camps.
  • Housing ranges from a staff dorm/cabin to host families. If the camp is part of a residential camp, staff may live in a cabin with overnight campers.