Frequently asked questions about our summer staff…
HOW OLD ARE YOUR COUNSELORS?
All our Senior Counselors are over 18 and have completed one year of college or workplace experience. Any staff under 18 have completed both our CIT and Junior Staff training programs and are paired with a Senior Counselor.
ARE ALL YOUR STAFF FORMER ALDERSGATE CAMPERS?
Many are but this is not a requirement! Because of our strong leadership development program, many campers become CITs and Junior Staff before they are Senior Counselors. We intentionally create a strong staff team of diverse backgrounds to provide our camp community with the best staff possible!
WHERE DO YOUR STAFF COME FROM?
We have staff from all over the United States and the world! In summer 2017, we had staff from Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.
WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO YOUR STAFF RECEIVE?
Prior to camp, all senior staff participate in online training sessions specifically tailored to their past experience and skills needed this summer. Upon arriving at Aldersgate, they receive two full weeks of training including First Aid/CPR/AED certification, counseling skills, leadership training, program development, faith exploration, teambuilding, and situation-based exercises. Some staff also receive additional training or certifications in lifeguarding, challenge course facilitation, canoeing, sailing, and archery. This training is done by our leadership team and specialized professionals from the camp, education, and health industries.
HOW ARE STAFF SCREENED?
The majority of our staff are previous Aldersgate CITs or come to us through reputable camp staffing agencies. All staff receive a national background check each year, even if they have been on staff before. Our application process is very thorough to insure we create the best team who will work together and create a safe, memorable, fulfilling experience for your camper!
All staff complete a written application and have an in-person or Skype interview and submit three references whom we interview. If staff are hired, they must complete online training sessions before arriving at camp in addition to our two-week on-site training for all senior staff.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN SUMMER STAFF?
Some of the personal qualities we look for in our summer staff include interest in working with children, an excitement for working outdoors, ability to work as part of a team, being a good listener, ability to think quickly and react positively to challenging situations, and excitement for our mission. We are open to both staff and campers of all faith backgrounds and potential Aldersgate staff must agree to work collaboratively with others regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or faith background.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CITs, JUNIOR STAFF, AND SENIOR STAFF?
Senior Staff are a minimum of 18 years old and have completed one year of college or equivalent work experience. While many senior staff went through our CIT and JC program, it is not a requirement. All of our senior staff receive a national background check each year, even if they have worked at Aldersgate before. Each year, some of our senior counselors are international staff to help create a more diverse camp community. All of our international staff come to us through camp staffing agencies, who complete their own interviews and background checks in addition to those we do at Aldersgate.
Junior Staff (or JCs) have completed our CIT program. They receive modified training to start developing counseling skills and become leaders in the camp community. They are directly mentored by senior counselors throughout the summer and take on increasing responsibility as their skills and confidence grow.
CIT stands for “counselor in training.” These are rising high school juniors or seniors who typically have been Aldersgate campers in the past. They must complete a CIT application, be interviewed, and receive great references to be accepted into the program. All CITs attend a one-week camp session that includes leadership skills training, stewardship opportunities, and team building activities. CITs then return for two weeks as volunteers and are directly mentored by our senior counselors.