How do I become a Counselor?
Step 1: Sign up for Leadership
If you want to become a VBYC counselor, the first step is to sign up for Leadership Camp!
Leadership is a week-long immersive experience focusing on life skill development, counselor training, relationship building, and instilling confidence in all who attend. With a new theme selected each year, every Leadership camp is an always changing opportunity for those in 9th grade and up to learn and grow.
Step 2: Actively Participate in Counselor Training
At Leadership, all those who have not yet gone through counselor training will have an opportunity to sign up for a counselor training specific group. Don’t worry, you’ll still have time for other camp activities too!
The Head Counselor(s) will provide daily training and team building experiences to prepare participants for the challenges of counseling. Toward the end of the week, the Head Counselor(s) will evaluate who is ready to counsel and will begin assigning weeks to the new counselors.
Step 3: Counsel!
The Head Counselor(s) will provide guidance and support to all counselors during each session. This includes a counselor meeting before the campers come on Sunday as well as a daily counselor meeting. In addition to this support, each counselor is paired with a staff advisor who will provide mentoring and advice during their daily check-in. Through conversations held before the week, mid-week, and on the last full day of camp, each counselor will be coached through identifying goals, strengths, and areas for growth.
Note: New counselors are invited to fill out the Counselor Application prior to attending Leadership. The application will ask a variety of things, including your summer availability and contact information for 3 non-family references. The application will also be available for new counselors to fill out during Leadership if they have not already done so. Please check the VBYC counselor Instagram to be notified of when the application is posted.
Where do I fill out the application?
Here is the 2023 Volunteer Application.
Do I need training if I have counseled before?
Yes! All returning counselors must complete training hours before counseling each summer. To complete these, you must sign-up for and attend at minimum of one of the following before counseling this summer:
- Spring Mini-Leadership Weekend Retreat (typically one in April and one in May)
- Leadership Camp (mid-June)
- Advanced Leadership Camp (Early July)
This is a nonnegotiable requirement. If you have questions, please contact us.
Do I need to have a reference check if I’ve already counseled before?
Yes! We ask for the emails of 3 references within the counselor application. This applies to every counselor at VBYC. We will contact your references to ask some questions to help determine where you will best fit this summer.Our goal is to have a good picture of how to best support every counselor at VBYC.
I can’t attend Leadership due to school. What should I do?
Please contact us and we will discuss your options.
I’m not old enough for Leadership, but I can’t wait to be a counselor! Is there anything I can do?
Yes! For our older campers ages 13-14, we have a C.I.T. training program at Discovery, Frontier, and White Pine. The C.I.T. program provides an introductory hands-on experience working with younger campers alongside a counselor mentor.
After participating in training at their normal week of camp, C.I.T.s are invited to sign up to attend a younger camp at the end of the summer. In 2022, that is Explorer or Little Bear 2.
Information about the C.I.T. program will be sent via email to all enrolled in the applicable sessions.
I am a staff or counselor alumni and I would love to volunteer for a week. How do I do that?
First of all, awesome! It is so cool that you want to return! If you are hoping to return as a counselor, we ask that you join us at one of the Saturdays of the Spring Mini-Leadership Weekends to connect with the current counselors and staff. This gives everyone a chance to catch up on current policies and build new relationships.
For more information about volunteering, please email us!
A big part of the Leadership process is communication. We will work together with you, the counselor, to schedule your volunteer counseling session(s). If you or your family have any questions related to counseling, we encourage parents to let their young leaders be the ones to reach out. Questions can be directed via email or the official VBYC social media pages. For serious or sensitive concerns, please be sure to email us.
We ask that counselors please only direct questions to the official VBYC social media options or email rather than reaching out to the personal social media accounts of any staff members.
Head Counselor email – email@example.com
(please note that this email may not be monitored over the winter)
Counselor Social Media Pages – Great places to receive updates and notifications throughout the year! Also a great place to ask questions.
Facebook- Request to join VBYC Counselors group
In the off season, contact Dottie Myers-Hill if you have counselor questions.
Camp Director Contact Information:
Contact Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone Number-
- Winter: (269) 267-9586
- May-September: (269) 521-3855