In the past, JBers have had few CISV program opportunities during the years between being too old to participate as delegates (age 17) and being old enough to participate as leaders (age 21). Some camps had junior staff (age 19+), but they were uncommon. This year, however, CISV greatly expanded junior staff opportunities and added them to Village, Youth Meeting, and Step Up (Step Up 15 are 19+programs).
One BV alum, Isabel Shepherd, was a junior staff at a Step Up 14 camp hosted by CISV Portland this summer. Here’s what she had to say about this experience:
“STEP UP” IS TYPICALLY a three-week-long program geared toward 14- or 15-year-olds, with nine delegations from around the world. As its name suggests, this program allows participants to take on more leadership in camp life by planning nearly all activities and designing the daily schedule. Portland’s Step Up 14 camp, however, looked a little different from a typical Step Up program.
“At this camp, participants came from five chapters around the United States (rather than from an assortment of different nations): Miami, Smokey Mountain, Rocky Mountain Denver, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. Because this was a domestic program, participants had an opportunity to delve deeper into U.S. national issues; activity topics ranged from the accessibility of outdoor recreation to the housing crisis. Despite COVID restrictions early in camp, we were able to enjoy two excursions, and our campsite allowed for ample access to the beautiful Pacific Northwest wilderness throughout the program.
“At camp, I served as a junior staff, which is a wonderful opportunity for CISVers who are too old to be a delegate but too young to lead. As a junior staff, I served as additional support for the staff group wherever necessary. What I really loved about my role was that every day I was doing something different. Most days I would help with meal prep, source materials for activities, run the snack shack, and help out with planning groups. Step Up was such a formative experience for me, and it was so exciting to be able to play a part in creating that same experience for a new generation of CISVers!”
We’re excited to add junior staff to the options for our JB alumni! If this is a role that interests you, let us know!