A Partnership in Cultural Exchange

Camp America has been a designated J-1 sponsor in the camp counselor category through the U.S. Department of State since 1969. We received our summer work travel Campower designation in 1985. As a sponsor we are subject to rigorous regulatory provisions and our host camps work closely with us to ensure that we successfully and consistently adhere to them.

We take pride in our level of regulatory compliance, and in forging partnerships with camps that ensure the health, safety and welfare of our participants while making cultural exchange a strong component of the program. We welcome your participation with true emphasis on learning and complying with U.S. Department of State regulatory provisions governing the exchange visitor program.

It is clear regulatory intent that we recruit staff that plan to take advantage of cultural exchange opportunities, and to place them with employers that are willing to partner with us in making these opportunities available to them.

Key Regulatory Reminders

Camp Counselor

  1. The primary focus of the program is cultural exchange and engagement with Americans on multiple levels.
  2. Sponsors are to place the health, safety and welfare of participants first and foremost.
  3. The program is not intended to assist in filling administrative, ancillary or medical positions.
  4. Host camps are to be in compliance with all relevant federal, state and local minimum wage law.
  5. Participant arrival is to be validated within ten days of arrival at camp.

For current Exchange Visitor Program regulations governing the camp counselor and summer work travel categories please refer to the following links:

Campower Support Staff

  1. Cultural Exchange Component
    Our program is required to demonstrate tangible examples of engagement with Americans both inside and outside of the camp environment and require camps to partner with us in doing so. This includes documenting external cultural exchange activity on the part of participants and sharing it with Camp America as program sponsor. In addition, participants are expected to work side by side with Americans and have maximum interaction with campers and U.S. staff.
  2. Documentation
    Regulations require that we have on file a current copy of workers’ compensation declaration page, employee identification number, and business license for all camps participating in the Campower program.
  3. Prohibited Jobs U.S.
    Department of State regulations prohibit placement 1) as operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not (i.e. drivers) or 2) in positions requiring work hours that fall predominantly between 10:00p.m. and 6:00 a.m. (i.e. night watch).
  4. Individual States and Participant Compensation
    Compliance with state and local labor code is a key regulatory provision. Camp America requires a separate signed contract providing for additional compensation for support staff placed at camps in California, New York (for profit), Wisconsin, Colorado, Delaware, Maine, and Massachusetts.
  5. Participant Monitoring
    As with counselor staff the arrival at camp of all participants is to be validated within ten days of arrival. We appreciate your assistance in providing the appropriate resources, reminders and computer access for our participants to respond to our monthly monitoring e-mails. This correspondence will gather valuable information from participants on their cultural exchange activity during the course of each month.

For resources on regulatory compliance for the Campower program please refer to the following links:

If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact:
Andrew Newberry
Responsible Officer

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