The Global Youth Village is located in southwestern/south central Virginia, a four to five hour drive from Washington, D.C. It is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, on 80 wooded acres with a stream, soccer field, basketball court, classroom buildings, pool, outdoor stage, organic vegetable gardens, art studio, computer lab, staff lounge, and a dining facility.
Accommodations for staff are in simple wood frame cabins (with electricity). Counselors live in cabins with youths. Others sleep in similar cabins, shared with other adult staff. They are “open space” with little privacy. Abundant quiet places around the property typically provide the privacy staff may seek for reflection and “recharge”, in addition to the comfort of a supportive, friendly community. (A limited number of semi-private rooms are available which are reserved for guests or staff with special needs. Housing for couples or families is extremely limited. If this is a need for you, please inquire prior to applying.) Centralized bathhouses serve clusters of cabins. Select program areas are air-conditioned. Most sleeping quarters are not.
Meals are served buffet style, and the entire Village dines all together. The Global Youth Village serves delicious vegetarian meals (ovo-lacto) focusing on “comfort food” from around the world as well as American classics. Special dietary needs can usually be met. (Please feel free to share specific needs or food allergies pre- or post- hire.) Poultry or fish entrees are served on occasion, once each session.
Each summer, GYV’s youth demographics vary, depending upon grants Legacy receives. In past summers, GYV has hosted teen delegations from Iraqi, Indonesia, Yemen, Algeria and Egypt, as a well as a broad array of teens from countries that were part of the former Soviet Union! In 2019, special grants funded teens to join us from Egypt, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Turkey. American teens are also an important part of the Village and typically represent varied ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Usually 60% or more of the young people who attend receive financial support. Although many U.S. teens come from the east coast, some do come from the west coast and other parts of the U.S. For many, it is their first time living in a rural setting.
For staff, there is a constant cycle of planning and delivering. Days are very full and long. A typical youth schedule may look like this:
- 8:30 Breakfast
- 9:30 – 12:30 Workshops: LivingSidebySide & Global Faces of Leadership
- 12:45 – 1:30 Lunch
- 1:30 – 2:30 Siesta
- 2:30 – 3:45 Electives
- 3:45 – 4:00 GYV Café – for snacks and conversation
- 4:00 – 5:15 Action Teams – plan sports tournies, sharing night, cultural focuses
- 5:15 – 6:30 Rec Time
- 6:30 – 7:45 Dinner, followed by Village Gathering
- 8:00 Evening Program/Special Event, followed by Cabin Time
Staff schedules are designed to allow for team meetings and planning time. (Sample staff schedules are shared during interviews.)
General Staff Duties: Most staff “wears multiple hats,” each person playing a role to make sure Village life runs safely & smoothly. In addition to one’s primary job role, all staff participate in the following:
Meal‑cleanup: Each staff member is assigned to one meal clean-up daily.
Program Support Functions: During staff training and throughout the session, administrative, program, and counseling staff (and some support staff) may be assigned to fulfill various duties:
- Monitoring an afternoon “free time” activity or offering a recreational activity (soccer, basketball, arts & crafts, helping at the pool.)
- Helping design and deliver select evening all-Village events
- Setting-up or striking set for evening programs
- Moving equipment and supplies, setting up for picnics, campfires, special festivals
- Trips off campus for people attending church, or to the airport or train station
- Helping create back drops of posters for special events
- Assisting kitchen, housekeeping or maintenance staff
- Being part of staff team that goes to Washington, D.C. for international arrivals & departures.
At the close of the season:
- Evaluating programs and procedures;
- Cleaning cabins and workshop spaces; preparing equipment and supplies for winter storage;
- Completing inventory reports, summaries, etc.
The summer starts with a 8-11 day training program for all staff. Legacy’s year round planning team share signature methods for program design, group building, and lesson planning.
Staff training also includes:
- Human Relations: communication and counseling skills, monitoring and addressing group dynamics, facilitation, problem solving, and conflict management skills;
- Intercultural Relations: principles of intercultural relations, daily life in a multicultural “village,” discussions addressing global issues; promoting appreciation of cultural values and traditions.
- Professional Skill Development: global education, experiential education; leadership development
- Other Components: facility set-up, curriculum planning, risk management, health care, and orientation specific to individual responsibilities.
During summers when we offer more then one session, staff enjoy some much needed time off in between the sessions. There is also time dedicated for the staff team to regroup, debrief the previous session, and plan activities for the next session. “Freshening up” the facility is also on the “to do” list! Select staff may travel to Washington, DC to help with arrivals and departures as well as sightseeing and other educational activities.
The surrounding areas of Bedford, Roanoke and Lynchburg offer a variety of activities. GYV is within easy driving to:
- Blue Ridge Mountains (hiking, Appalachian culture)
- Smith Mountain Lake (swimming, boating, hiking)
- New River Valley (rock-climbing, tubing, rafting)
- Cities of Roanoke & Lynchburg (shopping, theaters, museums, restaurants)
For history buffs, historical sites are abundant – Monticello, Poplar Forest (Jefferson’s retreat), Booker T. Washington’s home, Appomattox Court House, and more.
Staff have daily internet access. Yet GYV is located on the rural side of the “digital divide.” Connectivity is via satellite, with a limited bandwidth allowance each day. During summer months, when GYV has many more people accessing the internet, we need to “budget” bandwidth use. Everyone’s help is needed to do so. It takes discipline. Your wireless devices may show connectivity, but if too many people log-in the system shuts down. So everyone at the Village is on a “web diet”. Staff can access email and check Facebook (on your own devise or in the Computer Lab). However, staff are asked not to use bandwidth for voice or video chats, view YouTube videos, log onto Pandora, or download photos or other large files, unless for GYV programmatic purposes. In addition, smart phones have to be set in “airplane mode”; for phone calls only. Consider it an experiment to “unplug” for a few weeks!
- A love for youth, with a capacity to be patient; to be firm, yet kind; be interested; be fair; have good judgment; show genuine concern and interest in them.
- A love for people and the ability to feel comfortable with them and work cooperatively as a team.
- A strong sense of responsibility.
- The ability to persevere – to hang in there.
- The ability to stimulate and encourage people in physical and mental growth and in all phases of human relations.
- A capacity to work hard and maintain good health and balance.
- An ability to make a quick decision in an emergency and involve others as necessary.
- Flexibility, initiative, resourcefulness, imagination, adaptability and a great sense of humor.
Each summer, any where between 25-50% of the seasonal staff have worked here before or are former participants. These alumni play an essential role in establishing and conveying the core values and spirit of community cooperation that make GYV so transformative. If you would like to contact an alumni prior to or during the application process, we are happy to provide you with contact information of an alumni.