FAQs About Counseling
We are blessed by your interest in the ministry of Camp Alandale. Below you will find many questions and hopefully many answers concerning counseling at camp. If you have more specific questions than the ones below, please feel free to email your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love for you to join us in this ministry to abused children.
What is camp like?
The uniqueness of this camp is focused on giving children a real outdoor experience with lots of opportunity for one-on-one interaction with counselors. Our camper-to-counselor ratio in the summer is 2:1 and in the winter 1:1. During the summer, as many as 26 campers attend and sleep in tents, cook their own food over a stove, and serve each other. They learn practical Christian servanthood and love for each other through crafts, hiking, swimming, games, campfires, singing, and of course Bible studies, stories, and lessons. During the winter, all campers who attended a summer camp are invited back for a weekend. Only 10-12 campers attend each weekend, which allows for a more informal program and a more intimate, family-oriented setting.
What do counselors do?
During the summer, counselors are invited to attend anywhere from one camp to five camps. A counselors primary focus is his or her campers. Counselors attend camp to invest in, love on, and get to know the campers that they are put with. Throughout the week, however, counselors are there for the supervision of all the campers during group activities. There will be opportunities to use many skills such as leading crafts, hikes, or Bible studies. Counselors will also be able to participate in skits, supervise the cooking at meals, and listen during Scripture recitation times. The best opportunity for counselors to get to know campers is during the daily One-on-One's with each of their campers.
What are the qualifications to be a counselor?
In order to be a counselor at Camp Alandale you will need to:
- Be a Committed Christian - We require our counselors to be committed Christians with a personal testimony of Jesus Christ's work in their life. They must have the desire and ability to lead a child to faith in Jesus Christ.
- Have been a believer for two or more years - It has been our experience that the pressures of counseling for five or six days straight is a heavy burden for a new believer to handle. Because of this, our desire is that all counselors have been Christians for at least two years.
- Be at least 21 years of age - All counselors must be at least 21 years of age for the safety of the campers. If you are not 21 years old, you should consider applying to be a Junior Counselor.
- Complete and send in a Counselor Application - You must fill out and send in a Counselor Application, which can be downloaded. You must have three references, a personal interview, and a background check.
- Commit to completing the Counselor Training - We ask all counselors to commit to reading the Counselor Training Handbook (available for download here) and attending the two Counselor Training Sessions in the spring. Learning to be a counselor comes mostly by experience, but the training is a tremendous help in preparing for the first counseling experience.
- Have a sincere heart and desire to serve abused children - The only additional requirement is a sincere desire to work with these hurting children. It is not enough to need to sign off on community service or to want to "feel good" about having helped someone in need. These children are special children whom God loves so much that we only want counselors with a sincere heart and desire to work with our campers.
What is the purpose of Camp Alandale?
The purpose of Camp Alandale is to provide a Christian camp experience to children who have been abused. Our program is designed so that children will build relationships with other campers, the counselors and staff, and most importantly with Jesus Christ, through whom they will experience healing, direction, and purpose in their disrupted lives.
What is the camp program like?
Our program incorporates principles of evangelism and disciple-making. It is designed to introduce and lead an unbeliever to saving faith in Jesus Christ and to help them commit his or her life to following Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit in everything they do. We emphasize prayer, Bible study, and asking difficult questions about life. Because of the 2:1 camper-to-counselor ratio, there are lots of opportunities for individual counseling. The success of the camp program falls on the relationships that are built between counselors and campers, for it is in relationships that trust is built where a camper is able to open up his or her heart the love of the Jesus Christ.
What does it cost to attend Camp Alandale?
We are able to provide this program for foster children at no charge. The only cost for a camper is a $5.00 registration fee, but the remaining cost of camp is covered by donations from individuals, churches, foundations, and companies. There is no cost for volunteer counselors.
Do counselors get paid?
All of our counselors are volunteers. The only exception are staff counselors, who have been invited to be on summer staff and are being paid for the summer.
Can a counselor stay at camp on a week in between camps in the summer?
The camp facility does not have room for counselors to stay at camp between programs. We ask counselors to come only during the camp programs in which they are signed up to counsel. If this is a problem, please let us know on the last page of the counselor application.
Can I bring my child to camp with me?
We have no way of accommodating counselors who might want or need to bring their children to camp. If this is a problem, please let us know on the last page of the counselor application.
When are summer camps?
Our summer programs typically begin in the middle of June and run through the middle of August. We have five days camps, Monday-Friday, for 4th-6th grade and 7th-9th grade. For 10th-12th, camp weeks run for six days, Monday-Saturday. You can look at the calendar for this year's camp dates.
Can I counsel multiple weeks in a row?
We do not recommend that you sign up to counsel multiple weeks in a row. One week at camp is stressful and tiring enough, which is why we ask that if you desire to counsel multiple weeks in the summer that you sign up for camps with a week off between each.
When are winter camps?
Winter camps typically begin the first weekend in January and run through the end of March. All winter camps are weekend camps and run Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.
Where is Camp Alandale located?
Camp Alandale is located near Idyllwild, CA in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains at an elevation of 6,000 ft. You can view a map and see the location and address of camp by clicking here.
Will there be a background check?
Yes. All of our counselors have to fill out a Background Check Authorization form. This is to insure the safety of our campers.
What happens after I send in my application to be a counselor?
After receiving your application one of the staff members will contact your references and then call you to set up a personal interview.
Do I need to attend the Counselor Training before I can be a counselor?
No, you don't need to attend the Counselor Training before you come to camp as a counselor. However, we do want you to attend the Counselor Training that is scheduled in the spring. If you apply after the training you can still be a counselor. We ask that you attend the two-part Counselor Training session within your first year of counseling.
Is there anything else that I should consider while deciding if I want to become a counselor?
Before you decide, it might be helpful to Read Counselor Testimonies and check out a few of our Newsletters. It would also be helpful to read through the stories under the About Us tab to get an idea of who we are and where camp came from. Most of all, we ask that you prayerfully consider whether or not to apply to serve at Camp Alandale. Ask God that he would guide youth and show you if this is his will for you.