Our programs for under-16s are led by volunteer adults. Each delegation of 4-6 children / teenagers is looked after by such a “leader”. They must be at least 21 years old. There is no upper age limit. There are no costs for you. You are not paid, but we are happy to issue a certificate.
Leaders are substitute parents at the camp, have the legal responsibility for their delegation throughout the program and, together with the staff, are responsible for the program design. Leaders must be good with children/youth of the appropriate age group, responsible, open-minded, fun, with good communication skills. They must be willing to dedicate 3 full weekends between January to when the delegation leaves. They must also dedicate about one day per month to participating in training, and working with their delegates to prepare for their program.
Junior Leaders for interchange are age 18+. They help the leaders organize the participants and run the activities, and provide a bridge between the younger age delegates (age 11, or 12-13) and the leader.
CISV provides comprehensive training to all our volunteer leaders (including juniors) , and covers the cost of a first aid training course if you do not already have a current qualification.
CISV leaders improve their leadership skills, llifelong friendships with people from all over the world, and an amzing international network of contacts.
I had my first CISV experience nineteen years ago. At the time, I was eleven, and was a rather cautious and introverted child. After four weeks I came home quite dirty, rich in experiences and knowledge and with a bunch of new friends. I continued to be rather cautious, but in these 4 weeks I not only learned that different languages and cultures do not have to be obstacles, but that it was also completely okay.
In the summer of 2014, I experienced my sixth CISV camp. I was allowed to accompany four great, eleven-year-old children as they made friends, became more open, more interested, more confident; How they began to ask questions and perceive injustices, how they consciously grappled with their own origins and learned to think globally, how they behaved in solidarity and empathy and helped to ensure that these 4 weeks for all unforgettable experience.
Of all my CISV experiences, I probably appreciate my last two when I was allowed to be a leader at Villages the most: Because I witnessed a well-functioning and harmonious Leaders Group (which consisted of very different personalities!), a safe and loving environment, within which quiet children suddenly shared opinions, anxious children could forget their homesickness, and self-assured children acted as links of the group.
Because It's All About The Children.
Nancy Maguire and Penny Brady