The month-long training program in June will give you a chance to develop a full understanding of the importance and responsibilities of staff at camp and will also allow time to transition from a camper mindset to that of a staff member. It also gives us time to determine the best role for you on staff. You will learn highly specific skills for your area, generalized leadership training for camp, and other jobs you’ll work in the future, and learn more about your own leadership style and how to achieve your full potential. (You’ll also have time to take breaks and have fun!)
We recognize the importance of training and mentoring. Having a core of experienced staff members who can mentor incoming staff allows new staff members to receive one-on-one support and allows older staff to cement their skills through mentoring. Additionally, the 2019 revision of the American Camp Association (ACA) Standards requires that at least 80% of our staff members be 18 years old or older, so we are limited as to how many positions can be occupied by rising high school seniors and rising college freshmen.
Before arriving at camp, all Avodah participants will take part in virtual orientation sessions to get to know each other. Trainings will include icebreaker activities and intentional groupings that will help participants from different camper sessions break down barriers and learn to work as a team. After all, we’re all Barney folk! One of the best parts of being on staff is getting to meet people who attended different sessions as campers.
In addition to being able to spend your down time with your friends who are in Avodah, we will also have several organized opportunities each session for you to spend time with each other. In some cases, these will be joint training sessions. In other cases, they’ll be purely recreational opportunities.
We understand that you may have other things you want to do, but we’re asking folks to commit to the entire two-month experience. If that’s not for you, we invite you to consider Mechina.
If you are unable to arrive on time due to school commitments, we can accommodate participants who can arrive by June 10 for Avodah, provided you participate in all virtual events before your arrival at camp.
As with our traditional staff training, the entirety of this program has value. Our focus is always on our campers, which requires us to ensure that all our staff have received proper training. We will work with participants on a case-by-case basis to figure out if we can accommodate your needs in the program. In general, this will be easier if you need to miss part of July rather than part of June.
Avodah participants will go through a more rigorous application and interview process so we can verify that they are ready to be on staff in July before they are admitted into the program. They will also begin their training earlier, and we are limited by ACA standards as to how many staff members we can have under the age of 18. For these reasons, if you are interested in being on staff in July, you should apply for Avodah as early as possible. We will do our best to consider applicants who decide they would like to switch from Mechina to Avodah, but as we get closer to camp’s start date (and particularly once we are past it) this will be increasingly challenging for us to accommodate.
Avodah applicants will be interviewed prior to summer. If we do not believe an applicant is prepared to be on staff, they will not be admitted to the program. During Avodah training in June, you must follow all camp and program rules, participate fully in all aspects of the program, and demonstrate readiness for staff. All Avodah participants who do this in June will be hired. Our intention is for everyone to be hired, so plan on leaving camp at the end of July. That said, Camp Barney Medintz is not liable for travel costs if you are not hired and travel arrangements need to change.
We will be selective for both programs. Our final capacity will depend on how many apply for each program, housing, and the composition of our staff as guided by ACA standards.
From experience, SIT program quality and focus has suffered when SITs have cell phones. Part of this program will include discussing how to incorporate technology into camp life successfully. As such, Mechina participants will not be allowed their cell phones. Avodah participants will be given their cell phones once they transition to staff at the end of June.
Because we have limited space available for staff parking at camp, SITs in both the Mechina and Avodah programs will not be permitted to bring a car to camp. However, we are committed to arranging or providing transportation for Avodah participants on their days off in July (as we historically have done for any staff members who do not have cars at camp).
In June, Avodah participants will still be considered campers. They will not have days off but will still have camper-style activities and programs, including off-site experiences. In July, Avodah participants will be on staff, and they will have three days off during the session, just like all staff members. There will also be opportunities during both sessions to join Mechina participants in group activities in and out of camp.
Yes. Mechina participants will depart with campers on the last day of the session. Avodah participants will depart camp later, at the same time as staff, and will return to camp with staff before second session campers arrive. For participants who do not live in the Atlanta area, we can arrange for you to stay with a host family during your time off if requested.
ACA standards require that staff members be at least two years older than their campers. Therefore, Avodah participants will not be hired to work with any units older than Tsofim (campers completing 8th grade).
For both programs, parents will need to complete a camper application and teens will complete a separate online application. Click here for a complete step-by-step guide to our SIT application process.