When I started at camp in the 1970’s and the hiring of International staff was very much a new idea to most camps. I was hired to be a Soccer coach at a general sports camp in Maine – I was a student at St Luke’s College – a Teacher Training school in Exeter, Devon.
Some of the finest Teacher Training Colleges in the UK at the time – St Luke’s, Loughborough, York, Edinburgh, Chester, Winchester and Bedford to name a few – encouraged their students to go on the J-1 program to enhance their teaching experiences – I for one learnt more about working with children from my 8 weeks at camp than any college Teaching Practice.
As we traveled to other camps to play soccer, virtually all the camps had a Brit coaching them. We would then go back to college and spread the word about these amazing American summer camps and the numbers of Brits grew.
In the ’70’s and 80’s Summer Camps were able to hire the cream of the crop from Teacher Training colleges. However, as soccer gained in popularity at High School and College – specialist Soccer camps started to grow and this lead to a huge exodus of UK soccer coaches to work at these camps – the benefits being that coaches had much more free time and no camper coverage at night.
The next development was that with more and more specialist soccer camps and college programs suddenly US Soccer coaches with excellent qualifications were available to coach soccer at camp – no longer was the Brit to coach soccer a necessity.
So, what does this all mean for the prospective Soccer coach who wants to work at camp – bottom line you will need qualifications – the days of saying you are from the UK, have played soccer all your life, and have played at school and college is simply not enough. You need qualifications and a very good coaching background – a minimum of Level 1 if not 2.
Unless you have good qualifications to coach soccer at camp, you will need to offer activities.
At one time you could simply say “I am from the UK” and the assumption would be that you must be able to play and coach soccer – that is simply no longer the case.
Feel free to apply to be a Soccer coach at camp but accept the fact that you will need the credentials to back up your application.