Summer staff are the foundation of the GYV. This diverse team represents a wide range of professions and skill levels. Whether a recent college graduate, a seasoned youth trainer, or a university professor, GYV staff show a passion for youth development, community involvement and a keen interest in learning different perspectives. Many have traveled to distant corners of the world.
GYV hires those who demonstrate:
The average age range is 22 – 27 years. Workshop instructors, professional chefs, health staff, and key program coordinators are often older. (Minimum age is 21, although 19 and 20 years olds are considered for support service roles.) It is not unusual to find people who are exploring new careers.
Legacy seeks individuals with a balance of hard and soft skills. The best staff also possess qualities of empathy, humor, quick thinking, flexibility, and creativity. The team also demonstrates varied leadership styles. These traits ensure many teachable moments are “captured”, and a summer that is memorable and fun.
So what is it really like? Working at GYV is inspiring, meaningful, challenging, and intense. Some staff applicants have a somewhat romanticized notion of what it is like to work at GYV – “a summer near the mountains; in nature; young people from all over the world having deep, meaningful conversations; enjoying wholesome food…” GYV is that, and much more. It is hard work, and staff must possess multiple capacities.
GYV staff have a tremendous responsibility in caring for the participants’ day-to-day needs and by serving as role models. Each staff person hired agrees to abide by GYV’s Honor Code and Staff Agreement, which outlines the individual’s rights and responsibilities as members of the GYV community. (Youth also agree to the same principals.) This agreement goes beyond the standard policies and procedures one might find in a typical camp setting, addressing issues of how we view and treat one another and ourselves while at GYV, in addition to articulating who we aspire to be.
As a close-knit team, staff work to strengthen the GYV community and to realize the uniqueness of each individual. GYV guidelines are few, but necessary. GYV’s Honor Code was written jointly by past participants and staff, and provides the guidelines by which we can create a model cooperative community and broaden the experience of every member of village. Each participant and staff is expected to:
Please do not apply if you feel you cannot abide by this code. More details about the “staff agreement” and other key personnel policies will be provided to those selected for interviews.
Staff also receive a modest salary, ranging between $225 – $400 / week (before taxes). Salary is discussed during the interview process, and varies depending on the position and level of experience.
Staff are responsible for transportation costs to and from Bedford. (For those taking public transport, Legacy can arrange for pick-up to get to GYV in rural Bedford from near-by airports (ROA or LYH), bus and train stations (in Roanoke or Lynchburg, Virginia.)
Staff have time off before and in between sessions. These blocks vary in length from 12 to 32 hours. During time off, staff are encouraged to explore local sites and rejuvenate themselves through proper sleep.
Staff also have approximately 2 hours of “discretionary time” daily. During this discretionary time, staff remain on the property, to be accessible as needs arise. Some staff choose to do planning work or take a nap. Others may meet a friend in the staff lounge, exercise, or work on an art project.
Daily Rejuvenation: Knowing how to pace one’s self while working in a residential setting is key to a balanced GYV experience, where the youth benefit the most from what you have to offer. When not on duty or needing to plan an activity, staff are encouraged to “re-charge” (remaining at camp), whether it be through something active with others, or more solitary. Special staff events are organized periodically during the summer (evening pool party, movie nights, etc.). On many occasions, small groups of staff self-organize morning yoga sessions or go running together.