It's a pretty regular experience to hear someone applying for our Leader In Training program say that they have dreamed of being a Cabin Leader since they were a young camper. It's not surprising. Without a doubt it is our staff that make the camp experience great. In fact, part of our mission is to develop great leaders. We know that not only does training leaders make Camp Kadesh better, it makes the WORLD better.
But how do you become staff? What are all these different options for staff? Hopefully this post will answer some of those questions. The chart shows the different positions and how they are part of the progression of experience for different ages of staff. As a staff member gets older and gains experience they are qualified to hold roles that require greater wisdom and skill. This post is also focused on people under 21 that are trying to figure out how to be staff. We of course have lots of room for older volunteers to be a vital part of our staff.
Work Crew is new this year. We see that there are always campers that want to spend more time at camp, be a part of the staff, and contribute to what makes camp great. We created a spot that requires almost no previous experience and it is a perfect position to start learning skills to be staff. We also recognized that the LIT program can be pretty intense and maybe we needed to make more an opportunity for younger staff to get a "first chance" at serving on staff. So now we have it. A place that someone as young as grade 9 (or 14 years old) can sign up to serve. It's pretty basic, you'll get to do dishes, clean the camp, and help some in the kitchen. But, you get to help make camp great, and those of us that lead get to see how awesome you are, for future summers. Which leads us to...
Leader in Training (LIT) Program
Most people know the LIT program. We've got a detailed write up on its own page if you want to check it out. This is when 15, 16, or 17 year old applicants have a chance acquire some great skills and knowledge to really lead and be great camp staff. If you want to someday be a camp staff this is likely the route you need to take to get there. The majority of our staff have been through the LIT program
Cabin Leader in Training (CIT)
Not everyone is ready to take on a full position at camp after the LIT program. At times a person simply needs that extra mentorship from a seasoned staff to really feel confident in leading a cabin on their own (or as a Junior Cabin Leader) This also gives us a place for those that can not commit to a full term as a Junior Cabin Leader, but want to serve in a role for a week or two.
Junior Cabin Leaders (JC)
Junior Cabin leaders are staff that have completed our LIT program (or possibly a similar program at another camp) They are 16 or 17 and are looking to gain experience as camp staff. As a JC a camp staff member will work along side Senior Cabin leaders to be mentored and grow their experience and skill level. Junior Cabin leader positions are also shorter term commitments. Someone can still serve in this position all summer, but it is not necessary by design. It allows a 16 or 17 to have part of their summer free and not spend all summer at camp and allow us to have a number of people mentored in this type of position in one summer
Senior Cabin leaders
Senior Cabin Leaders are the heart and soul of Camp Kadesh. These are the staff members that set the tone for the week a camper will have. Our hope is that these ages 17+ staff are the cream of the crop and have been trained and developed to lead campers through the best week of their summer, if not year.
While Cabin Leaders are the heart and soul of a campers experience, there are many roles that are considered "support" of the campers and the cabin staff. We have positions for great programming people that do require even more camp experience to lead others. We also have entry level support positions that involve things like audio and video technology, maintenance, first aid and cooking. These positions all require a certain skill level, but can be open to people who don't necessarily have lots of Camp Kadesh experience. It is worth looking at the whole list to see what these types of jobs are all about.
We're constantly looking to train staff to be the best they can be. We want to find a place for anyone that wants to be a part of Camp Kadesh and someday have the skills to be paid staff... especially if that is your dream.