Check-Ins throughout the Summer
Once everyone is safely at camp, it really feels like summer! InterExchange Camp USA keeps in touch with participants throughout the season to ensure that things are going smoothly at camp. Participants must respond to contact by InterExchange to ensure program compliance. The easiest way to do this is through the short surveys we email throughout their program.
We have a Facebook group that we will invite current participants to join. It will help them keep up-to-date with the latest Camp USA news and provides a way for them to share information and connect with fellow participants prior to arrival.
The InterExchange blog includes information about important topics like flights and insurance, general camp news, and words of advice and encouragement. Please encourage participants to “like” our Facebook page and to check the blog often. Participants can also follow us on Twitter @InterExchange and Instagram.
Our staff visits as many camps as possible in order to check on our participants and learn more about the camps. Visits are extremely beneficial to the placement process; once we have seen a camp, we have a clearer idea of the kind of person who would fit well there. During these visits, we generally tour the camp, speak to the director, and meet with all of our participants. While it is impossible for us to visit all camps, we try to rotate locations each year and see as many camps as possible. It is also important to note that the U.S. Department of State will conduct site visits to camps on some occasions.
While we arrange every placement with the best of intentions, there are inevitably a few placements that do not work out. One of the most important pieces of information that you can give to participants is that they must contact InterExchange by phone at 800.597.1722 (U.S. only) or email firstname.lastname@example.org if they have problems at camp. We cannot help unless we know that there is a problem. Participants must be mature enough to handle difficulties through communication with their camp directors and with InterExchange, not through their parents or you. If your participants are calling you about problems they are having at camp, please tell them to contact us directly. We will do whatever we can to ensure that our participants are enjoying camp and being treated fairly.
Our 24-hour emergency number is 1.800.597.1722 for calls within the U.S. Our emergency cell phone number is 1.917.741.5057 if you’re calling from outside the U.S. InterExchange Camp USA staff will have this cell phone with them from May 15 until September 15. During office hours, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. EST, participants should call the office first.
After the participants have completed the required time commitment at their assigned camps, they may travel for up to 30 days after their placement ends. The participant may not accept any other form of paid employment during or after his or her camp experience.
Participants are responsible for all travel arrangements and costs at the end of their camp commitment, including travel back to New York for the flight home. The Camp USA Facebook page is a great way to network with other participants all over the country to coordinate travel and meeting plans.
The U.S. Department of State advises that participants return home at the end of the of the 30-day travel period. InterExchange Camp USA cannot, under any circumstances, extend participants’ J-1 Visas, or transfer them to another program. All participants must leave the U.S. within 30 days of their contract end date or in time to begin classes if before that date.
If a participant is fired or quits during the program, he or she will be paid a pro-rated stipend based on 63 days of work.The prorated total will be less than the stipend stipulated by InterExchange Camp USA because the applicant will not have worked the full contracted period.
Conflicts that occur during the course of the program can be very costly both in terms of reputation and money. Participants should understand that their behavior during the summer determines whether the camps will accept other applicants from their country in the future. Cooperators should perform a complete screening to avoid sending inappropriate applicants or those who have the wrong motivation for participating in the camp program.
If a participant is fired or quits, InterExchange Camp USA may decide not to place the person in another camp setting based on his or her previous actions. The participants’ program will be shortened and they will start their 30 day grace period from the the last day they worked. If you purchased the flight for the participant, you may need to collect a portion of the flight fee from the participant since they did not work their entire contract.
At the end of the season (usually in late August), we will send you an invoice. This invoice will list all fees owed to InterExchange. Please refer to the IC fee and refund policy for more information.
InterExchange can provide you with a template for a Certificate of Completion If participants come into your office to collect their certificates, you have an opportunity to ask them for feedback about their experiences. If some of your participants live too far away to travel to your office, call them at home and mail their certificates to them.
At the end of the camp season, we will send you an evaluation form to complete. This is your opportunity to tell us what did and didn’t work well for you this year and to give us your suggestions for next season.
Review the sections of this manual whenever you need instructions or answers to questions about the program. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your efforts to make the InterExchange Camp USA program a successful cultural exchange experience for the people from your country and their host camps in the U.S. We’re looking forward to a great year!