Staff Testimonial

I have just completed my 4th summer working for Barracudas. I started in 2014 as a group assistant and have worked every Easter and summer since. I progressed into the Early Years Coordinator role and as of this year became an Early Years Manager. In this time I’ve worked at two different camps and have thoroughly enjoyed working at both. Working for Barracudas has been really convenient for me, as I started just before I began training to become a Primary School Teacher, which meant I was able to work somewhere for the holidays, not only that I enjoy, but could gain a wealth of experience from. I have worked with a range of people, many that work with children outside of Barracudas also, but all have the same passion and enjoyment working with children. I’ve made some friends for life from working at camp! Going to work every day and being able to have fun with kids and act like a big kid yourself sometimes is a fun way to earn some money over the holidays. I’ve always been supported from when I started, whether it be by red shirts, blue shirts or by the area team or head office now I’m a blue shirt myself; Barracudas has really enhanced my professional development, especially in finding different ways to adapt activities to different children, behaviour management, and leadership skills, all which I can use away from camp. I would recommend working at Barracudas to anyone, but especially to those who would like a career working with children, the experience is invaluable!

Read more...

Niamh Niamh 14th September 2017
Hemel Hempstead

Have you got a question that needs answering? Well help is here! Check out our FAQs. If you cannot find the answer to your question, you can call our Recruitment Team on: 01480 497533.

When applying

Q: I'm not sure which role I should apply for?

A: We have plenty of roles to choose from at camp. We advise you choose a role which you feel would be most suited to you, but most of all a role which you'll enjoy! For further information regarding our roles at camp, please see our job roles section. If you find you're stuck in choosing which position would be best for you, please call us.

Q: How old do I have to be to work at Barracudas?

A: Generally, you should be 18 years old or older. However, we are aware that some 17 year olds have great experience and in the case of lifeguards can be fully qualified as well. So, if you are 17 and have relevant experience or are a qualified lifeguard, we will accept your application.

Please note: you must be 17 by the end of the January in the year you wish to work and with the exception of qualified lifeguards, 17 year olds can only work as Group Assistants.

Q: I cannot work the full summer period. Can I still apply?

A: Absolutely! Often we need more staff for certain weeks as the number of children booked into camp fluctuates from week to week. As long as you can work for a period of two weeks even if there is a week gap in between the weeks you are available, please still apply but make it clear which weeks you can work. Typically the earlier weeks in the season are busier than the later weeks but each camp may vary. Our free training courses are still available to you and you are expected to undertake all induction training.

Q: Once I have applied, when will I know if I have got the job?

A: On receipt we will read your application form and let you know if we feel you are suitable to progress to the next stage of application. If you are, we will invite you to continue the application process which varies dependant on whether you have applied for a senior, general or specialist role. Before working on camp we would like to meet you so all NEW Barracudas staff have to attend either a Senior Selection day (if applying for a senior role) or an Assessment day (if applying for a general/specialist role). Both of these days are informal assessment days that provide both you and us with a great opportunity to find out more about one another.

If you attend a Senior Selection Day you will hear from us either way within 10 days if you have been successful or not. If you attend an Assessment Day, you will only hear from us if we feel after meeting you a Barracudas role isn't quite right for you at this stage, as you would have already been offered a conditional contract ahead of this day.

Q: What happens if I can't attend a Senior Selection Day?

A: If the preferred dates you submit for the Senior Selection Day are fully booked, or you cannot attend due to your own availability then your application will be placed on hold.

Q: What happens if I can't attend an Assessment Day?

A: If the preferred dates you submit for an Assessment day are fully booked we will call you to confirm an alternative day. If you are unable to attend an alternative date, your conditional contract will be revoked and your application will be placed on hold. If a space becomes available on your initial preferred dates we will call you or if your availability changes for an alternative date please call us on 01480 497533.

Q: Can I submit a CV instead of applying online?

A: No. For safeguarding reasons there are specific details we require that your CV may not cover. You must complete an application form to be considered for a job with us.

Q: Is there accommodation on site for staff?

A: No. As our camps are day only, there is no accommodation available for staff. You will need to live locally and be able to travel to the camp daily.

Q: Where are the Barracudas camps?

A: We currently have 40 camps. They are mostly in the counties that border the M25, situated in the South-East of England. All camps are open during the summer & with 28 camps open for the Easter period too. For full details please visit the camps tab. 

Q: I live overseas at the moment. Can I still apply?

A: As we have to complete background checks with original identification and would like to meet you at one of our selection or Assessment days, it is advisable to apply once you are in the UK. If you are planning to be here for the summer and wish to organise your work beforehand, it is advisable to speak to us first before completing the application form to discuss possibilities.

For your background checks you will need a letter of good conduct from any country that you have lived in for longer than two months. Please note we are unable to assist with your accommodation. If you are not a UK resident you must ensure you have any relevant working permits and visas.

Q: Do you carry out any background checks?

A: Yes. You must have a valid DBS (previously known as a CRB) certificate at an Enhanced level. If you have a current DBS certificate issued by another employer we can accept it, however, it must have been issued within three years of your expected contract end date with us. If it is out of date or you have not been issued a DBS previously, you will need to undergo a DBS check before working on camp. The DBS check will be processed if you are contracted in a general or specialist role after you have attended an Assessment day and you have signed your contract. If you are a senior member of staff your DBS will be processed once your contract is signed. The cost for an Enhanced DBS check is £52.00 which will be deducted from your wages at the end of the season.

To carry out these checks, we need various forms of ORIGINAL identification and proof of address. The full process will be explained to you once you have secured a place at a Selection or Assessment Day.

We will not discriminate against any applicant who may have a conviction. If you have a conviction or caution this must be declared when you apply. We will consider its relevance to the role you have applied for in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. If you have any questions regarding a conviction, please call us and a member of the recruitment team will be happy to discuss this with you in confidence.

New staff must bring their photographic identification (passport or driving license) to the Selection or Assessment day. Returning staff need to re-show their photographic identification at their induction training day.

We also ask you for two professional referees whom we will contact, one of which must be your most current employer. They must know you on a professional basis and cannot be family or friends, unless you have been directly employed by them, i.e. babysitting.

Barracudas is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

At camp

Q: What will typical day be like?

A: There is a detailed description in the Roles pages. Here are the general timings:

Daily Sessions  
Early Club: 08.00-09:15 Staff who run the Early and Late clubs are paid an additional £40 per week. You must have a Paediatric First Aid qualification to be able to cover these.
Registration: 08:30-09:30 You will either be running a group activity in your baseroom until all children have arrived, or will asked to be a runner which involves bringing children to their baseroom from the registration desk to their baseroom
Session one: 09:30-10:30 There will be a choice of at least two activities. You will be expected to lead one whilst another member of staff leads the other
Break: 10:30-10:45 You will supervise the children having their break or will be on a break yourself
Session Two: 10:45-11:45 A choice of at least two activities is offered with one being led by you
Session Three: 11:45-12:40 A choice of at least two activities is offered with one being led by you
Lunch: 12:40-13:25 You will be expected to supervise the children having their lunch. You will also be given a 20 minute lunch break where you will be able to take this in the camp office/staff room.
Session Four: 13:25-14:25 A choice of at least two activities is offered with one being led by you
Session Five: 14:25-15:25 A choice of at least two activities is offered with one being led by you
Break: 15:25-15:40 You will supervise the children having their break or will be on a break yourself
Session Six: 15:40-16:30 A choice of at least two activities is offered with one being led by you
Collection: 16:30-17:30 You will either be running a group activity in your baseroom until all children have been collected, or will asked to be a runner which involves bringing children from their baseroom to their parent/s at the collection desk
Late Club: 16:45-18:00 Staff who run the Early and Late clubs are paid an additional £40 per week. You must have a Paediatric First Aid qualification to be able to cover these

In addition to your lunch break you will also receive a 15 minute break in the morning or afternoon.

Rota:

There are two shifts:

8:30-17:00

09:00-17:30

Your Camp Manager will inform you of your shift and when you are able to take your breaks on a weekly basis.

Q: Is there a uniform and do I have to pay for it?

A: Barracudas will provide you with 2 x t-shirts. You will also be provided with a jumper and a whistle. There is no charge if you return everything at the end of your employment, except the T-shirts which after four weeks of wear in the sun you can keep, consider it a gift! You can purchase some rather stylish additional uniform through our online store if you wish. You should wear black or navy blue tracksuit bottoms or shorts and suitable footwear such as trainers which can be used outdoors.

Q: How much and when do I get paid?

A: Wages varies with role, age and experience. Please see job roles for further information. Staff will be paid at the end of July and then again 5 days after camp closes in August, for any August days.

Q: How many hours will I work?

A: Hours can varies from role to role. Please see job roles for further information.

Q: What are Skills Builder Courses?

A: We offer the opportunity for children to book onto our intensive courses for an additional fee. These include Motor Mania, Lab Rats (fun based science experiments) Upstage! and Swim School. They focus on a small group of the same children for an hour a day to progress their skills in that area. As these courses are progressive children must be booked in for the full week in order to attend. Some instructors will be involved in running these courses.

Q: What are Theme Days and when are they?

A: Our theme days are a great excuse for everyone to dress up and have a good time! Theme days will take place on the last day of each week. For more information on themes and dates please see Theme Days on the parents' website.

Q: What happens if it rains?

A: You'll get wet! We can't organise the weather but we do have a wet weather programme which swings into operation when it becomes too bad to be outside. If it is light rain we will continue outside, so make sure you bring adequate outdoor clothing.

The children

Q: What are the ages of the children who attend?

A: We are registered with Ofsted to take children who are 4.5 years old up to the age of 14 years.

Q: How many children will I be looking after?

A: For children aged 4.5 - 6 years the staff to child ratio is 1:8

For children aged 7 - 10 years the staff to child ratio is 1:12

For children aged 11 - 14 years the staff to child ratio is 1:16

Q: Can I choose which age group to work with?

A: We will aim to place you where your experience is but this is not always possible for the entire working period. However, if you are an early years specialist you will be working with the Under 8's. There are about 24-32 children in each group with 2 or 3 staff depending on their age. Each group splits into smaller groups when they make their activity choices. Generally the maximum age difference of children in a group is about 18 months. Children are usually grouped in the following ages:

4.5 - 6 years old

7 - 10 years old

11 - 14 years old

Q: Can you accept children with additional needs?

A: Yes, as long as we feel we can fully support their needs. If you have any experience with special needs, please make it clear on the application form as we occasionally have vacancies for staff to work on a 1:1 basis with children who need extra support during their time with us.