It’s April and the summer is truly on the horizon! We often get the question, “What do you do in the off season if you only operate in the summer?” Aside from enrolling, marketing, updateing our Data Recovery Software, taking care of the facility; the most important thing that we do is put together our summer staff.
Kudos to Alyse, Amber, Kim and Shawn for their hours of hard work in putting together the 2016 team.
What does it take to be a Cheley counselor?
Our counselors are at least 19 years old and many are 21 years old or over. Counseling staff have CPR certification and either First Aid or Wilderness First Aid certification, depending on their position. We look for people who are passionate about youth development, self-starters, compassionate, team players, have a love for the outdoors, and dedicated to making a difference.
Our Hiring Process
We start interviews in October for the following summer. Each staff members submits an application and three references. Interviews are conducted in person when possible, and by Skype or phone. We conduct reference checks, fingerprint checks (CBI and FBI database), National Sex Offender database checks, and review transcripts and driving records. International staff come through staffing agencies that conduct preliminary interviews and background checks in their home country, prior to our Skype interview. All staff members complete a sexual abuse prevention training course prior to the start of summer.
Cheley staff members participate in a comprehensive staff training, covering everything from Cheley policies and procedures to dealing with homesickness to program area training and lesson planning. We also have sessions on risk management and emergency preparedness, abuse prevention, van driving training, medication management and administration, and mandated reporting. For three days we learn from Bob Ditter, an award winning child psychologist. Bob teaches our staff counseling skills, how to work with boys, how to work with girls, and he provides tips for working with campers in a variety of settings. Many of our staff also have an opportunity to complete an overnight experiential training exercise. By the time the campers arrive, they are so ready!
We have a support system in place to manage our staff. We train, we teach, we encourage and provide a place for our staff to grow and strive to be their best selves.
We are psyched about the staff members we have in place so far and are looking forward to seeing them create the magic of the Cheley experience in 2016!