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Kabeyun counselors are chosen for their warmth and compassion, their understanding of children and their integrity as much as, or more than their expertise in a particular activity. A staff to camper ration of 1 to3 enables us to place a strong emphasis on instruction and to encourage positive and lasting relationships between campers and their counselors. Each summer we seek a balance between older, more mature and experienced men and women, and younger students. Our staff return rate is typically 80%, and sometimes better. Many of our counselors have "grown up" with us, spending several summers as campers, participating in our counseling intern program for 16-year-olds and continuing as staff.
Our counselors wear several different hats, ensuring their access to all the boys in a variety of contexts. All counselors are instructors in their particular areas of expertise, as well as cabin counselors. There are three counselors in each cabin who share the responsibility for parenting this important home group. In addition, all counselors share in the responsibilities of supervising a table in the dining hall, leading special activities on the Kabeyun stage, and supervising evening activities - they are involved in every aspect of community life, regardless of their particular activity assignment.
Kabeyun's 2021 Staff
Just about every one of our counselors is certifed by the American Red Cross as a Waterfront Lifeguard - this allows them to take the boys swimming regardless of their activity assignments. Evening dips with the cabin group is a favorite way to end the days, for instance. All trip leaders are additionally certified in Wilderness First-Aid, an intensive, two-day course, as a minimum. Each summer several also hold certifications as Wilderness First Responders - a nine-day course in backcountry medicine.
As instructors, our counselors also hold a variety of professional certifications: paddling staff are certified by the American Canoe Association as instructors; our swim staff are certified as Water Safety Instructors, a Red Cross certification; the archery instructor is certified by the National Archery Association as a Level I instructor; climbing staff have training in top rope site management and challenge course instructors are trained in the technical and safety aspects of the ropes course. Equally important is the amount of experience behind them in their respective activities, providing a solid foundation for specific technical and safety training.
During our first 50 years Kabeyun was very much an all-male world: the only women at camp were the nurse, an occasional spouse and an office secretary - a minimal presence in the daily lives of the boys. By the early 1980s, we had come to believe that the all-male camp of the past no longer met the needs of boys facing increasingly complex familial and social situations at home. Today, women make up 10-15% of our staff; they are fully integrated into camp life, including living in the cabins as counselors in the younger cabins. We believe this provides the boys, and all of us, with a better balanced community and gives us access to a much broader pool of talented, skilled and experienced counselors.
Kabeyun enjoys an excellent return rate for staff – 80% or better in any given summer. We think that this means it’s a good place to work. Many of our counselors have grown up with us as campers, and participated in our counseling intern program for 16-year-olds; others spend a few summers with us, go off to gain experience elsewhere and return later. This steady presence of folks who know Kabeyun well assures a strong sense of continuity and stability for our community, an imperative ingredient for all we strive to accomplish with kids.
Each summer we also welcome a number of new people – also a necessary ingredient for successful summers. A place like Kabeyun, with a long history and a strong culture, needs and appreciates new perspectives, new ideas and fresh energy. If you love working with kids, love to teach and want to be a part of a community with a solid sense of mission and purpose aimed at enriching the lives of young people, we encourage you to contact the director to explore the possibility of joining our staff.
Counselors at Kabeyun live in cabins with the boys, grouped by age with seven to ten boys in a cabin. Cabin responsibilities are shared with two other staff members. Counselors are also instructors, with experience and abilities in a particular activity area, teaching four periods a day, five days a week. Finally, every counselor is an active member of the community in many other ways – supervising a table at meals; present and supportive in community-wide events; sharing of him or herself in countless ways aimed at providing kids with a great summer experience.
Ken Robbins, Director
PO Box 325
Alton Bay, NH 03810