The counseling internship program at Kabeyun is a wonderful opportunity for older campers to expand their involvement with camp and to prepare for the challenges they will face if, in the future, they join the Kabeyun staff.
The intern program is vastly different from the summers participants have experienced in the past. There is a focused and specific curriculum, concentrated on developing leadership, teaching, and group management skills. Interns work closely with counselors in activities and in the cabin, observing and being observed, teaching and co-teaching. These experiences are enhanced through regular group meetings, workshops, and individual feedback conferences. And, while graduates of the program are invariably more prepared for the challenges of camp counseling work than they would otherwise be, participation in and completion of the intern program in no way guarantees future employment on Kabeyun's staff.
The program length of eight weeks \can be challenging for interns who have late summer commitments to school sports, preparation time for the academic year, or family plans that often seem to fall in August. The program's culmination falls at the end of the 7th week, and the 8th week is there to allow the intern to see his cabin group through to their end. Interns who need to depart early can plan on departing at the start of the 8th week.
In the interest of crafting the best possible experience, the size of the intern group is usually limited to between six and eight boys, and there typically are more applicants than we are able to accept. Acceptance to the program is based on the content of each boy's application along with our prior experience of his potential to participate successfully in the program. This is a "real world" sort of scenario, and before he makes his decision to apply, we encourage parents to make certain he's aware of all of the possible outcomes. And it's worth noting, that many great counselors were never interns!
The application process begins in the fall – those boys who have been at camp for at least one of the previous three summers and who will be age-eligible for the program in the upcoming year will receive an invitation to apply by mail. The application is a series of short-answer questions, many of which are complicated and have no single right answer. The questions are included with the invitation letter, and applicants should spend some time reflecting on their years at camp and their observations of both good and not-as-good examples of counseling. It does not help to try to guess what we will want to see – applicants should be themselves and answer honestly! Applications should reflect the level of commitment the applicant is willing to apply to the experience.
IMPORTANT! For applicants to be considered, they must already be enrolled. Deposits for those applicants who are not offered a spot are refunded promptly. Those who do not earn positions in the intern program are, in most cases, welcome to return for another year as a full camper – the intern program is not their only option. If they've not been in the oldest cabin, the Owls, before, we encourage them to consider this.
Make sure your folks complete the online enrollment form, including deposit.
As interns we are placed in a precarious situation in which we strive for the respect on the level of that of a staff member, while still maintaining the light-hearted carefree innocence of a camper. Hopefully the feeling is universal that as an intern group we strived to reach a level that has yet to be attained by any other such group before. The job was in no way easy, but in the best possible way, teaching us lessons not only applicable in a camp counselor role, but in all the roles we will fill throughout life. For this we are eternally grateful.
Although some of us may not return next year or even the year after, always keep in mind that you can never truly leave Kabeyun. It is a mindset and a way of life that exists within all of us. Our job is to spread this way of life wherever we go, to whoever we meet.
So, with your help and kindness over these years we continue on the path of life that is Kabeyun, a life not only appreciating the better things in life but a lifestyle that involves conscious decisions that work to better the community. Never forget that the fire that is Kabeyun can burn the whole year through, not just the summer.