GFC’s Avodah Counselor-In-Training Program

GFC’s Avodah program is our staff-training program for campers entering their senior year in high school.

Whether or not you have been to GFC as a camper, this program gives you the unique opportunity to start on the road leading to a camp staff position after high school, as well as valuable skills to prepare you for college and the workforce.

 

In our Avodah program, you’ll gain valuable skills you wouldn’t be able to attain through a traditional internship or summer program. From earning your CPR/AED/First Aid certification, to building top-notch resume building skills, to leaving with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, you will grow personally and professionally while having a summer of impact and fun. Check out our Profile of an Avodah Graduate.

Some of the participant highlights of the program include:
  • Serving as a role model for a bunk of campers
  • Avodah unit trip nights
  • Shadow program
  • Avodah wishes
  • Behind the scenes involvement with GFC’s operations team
  • Planning and facilitating small and large group programming
  • Avodah unit community building and bonding
  • CPR/AED/First Aid Adult and Pediatric Certification
  • President’s Volunteer Service Award Recipient

Members of our Avodah program have traditionally been required to attend a full summer program – both sessions as well as an intersession trip. We understand this has been challenging for some participants as they may have other commitments with their families or schools through the summer. This year, we are excited to announce a single session option for this program. Avodah participants can choose to sign up for Session One, or for the Full Summer with a generous discount. Our program is designed to be attended for the full summer, so we strongly encourage our full summer program. Curious about the differences? See the comparison and see the summer rates and dates.

 1st Session OnlyFull Summer
Bunks to Work With12
Avodah Night Trip24
3-Day Avodah TripIntersession Trip
CertificationsCPR/AED/First Aid- Adult and Pediatric
Community Service100 Hours250 Hours
AwardsPresident's Volunteer Service Award - Bronze LevelPresident's Volunteer Service Award - Gold Level
First-Year Staff Bonus$50$100

  In our Avodah program, you’ll gain valuable skills you wouldn’t be able to attain through a traditional internship or summer program. Check out some of the benefits below.

Working with Bunks


As part of a unit team, you will work with bunk counselors and assist in the leadership of campers. You will remain with the same bunk throughout each session, allowing you to develop relationships with the campers and to have a positive impact on their lives. From theory to application, you’ll learn about child development, managing small and large groups, and remaining flexible to make smart decisions quickly.

Shadowing


There are many roles and positions at camp and you will learn about different positions and roles around camp. For full summer Avodah participants, you will also have the opportunity to observe and work with a specific position. During first session, you’ll learn about the specialty roles at camp outside of the general bunk counselor. Formally through the Avodah education program, you’ll learn about the variety of positions that make up camp and will hear from the staff members in those positions this summer. Informally, you’ll interact with these roles on a day-to-day basis as you work with campers, participate in activities, and experience camp. During second session, you’ll have the opportunity to dive deeper into a position that sparks an interest in you! You will shadow a person for one day, completing their tasks alongside them and having a taste of what it means to be in that role. You will learn how to ask questions in a professional environment and analyze your experience.

College Prep and Life After High School


The Avodah program will prepare you for life after high school in a variety of ways: preparation for the college application process, gaining life skills for “adulting,” and networking with professionals at universities. You will have the opportunity to work on your college essays, work with a visiting college academic counselor, and consider which colleges are right for your personal and career goals. You will personally grow and learn skills such as time management, self-care, and managing challenging situations. You will also have an opportunity to learn about Jewish life on college campuses from some of our visiting faculty who are staff members of Hillel at universities in our region including Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Oklahoma.

Time Away – Full Summer Participants Only


Full summer participants are allotted up to 10 days away throughout the course of the summer. These days away are reserved for commitments – such as school programs, important family events, and college visits. Session One only participants are not allotted any days off. All days off should be communicated and approved by McKenzie prior to the start of the summer.

Scholarships are available to all campers, including Avodah participants. Check out our resources for ways to make camp affordable.  
As a higher-level program, Avodah participants must apply to complete their registration. Any questions about the application process should be directed to McKenzie at msigle@urj.org.

  1. Have a parent or guardian register the Avodah participant for the summer.
  2. Upon registration, the Avodah participant complete the Avodah Questionnaire, which can be accessed in your CampInTouch Forms & Documents section.
  3. Have at least two people (a teacher, mentor, Rabbi, etc) fill out our Reference Form. At least one referral must be from a congregational professional (i.e. Rabbi, Cantor, Youth Group Advisor). The best references are those who know you best from a congregation, school or leadership setting. We kindly ask that family members do not serve as references for you.
  4. The Avodah participants must schedule and complete an interview with McKenzie.
  5. The parent/guardian and Avodah participants must read and sign the Avodah Agreement.
  6. See you this summer!!  

 

For questions about the Avodah program, please contact McKenzie Sigle at msigle@urj.org
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