VISIONS is currently hiring a full-time Marketing Operations Director. Please see the job post here.
VISIONS summer leaders are the backbone of our successful teen community service programs. We seek exceptional people who are hard-working and spirited for our international community service program summer jobs. Our leader teams are comprised of individuals who are respectful of other cultures, have good judgement, and are positive role models for teenagers. Typical teams include teachers, graduate students, returned Peace Corps Volunteers, outdoor educators, carpenters and adventurers.
A VISIONS leader is a team player first and foremost. We maintain a 1 to 4 or 5 leader to student ratio, including the Program Director. We place leaders in VISIONS program locations where their skills are the best fit, and also keeping in mind complementary leadership styles for a well-rounded team.
Most VISIONs summer leaders are mid-20s to mid-30s, with a minimum age of 22 and no upper age limit. Some leader teams may include one junior leader who is either an alumni of a VISIONS program or who holds special, advanced medical or construction credentials that make them an excellent addition to our well-rounded teams. Leaders must be First Aid and CPR certified before employment begins (but not before applying), and more advanced medical certifications can bolster an application. VISIONS also hires carpenters for several of our sites. Solid Spanish skills are required for our Spanish immersion locations.
Being a leader on a VISIONS program is rewarding, challenging, and a lot of hard work. As a leader, you and your team are responsible for the safety and well-being of a group of teenagers far from home, be it in the US or abroad. These participants come from all different backgrounds, socioeconomic classes and life experiences. You are expected to be a role model for these teens, while helping them to process and make sense of their experience. You will be respected by the kids, and you will respect them in turn. You will become their trusted leader, and their friend. You are also expected to be culturally-sensitive, flexible, patient, kind, firm and hard-working.
As a VISIONS leader, you are the continuation of many years of programs in our locations. These communities expect and look forward to VISIONS returning year after year. As such, you are expected to uphold our standing reputation with our host communities, and to be a positive ambassador of VISIONS. You will explain cultural norms and expectations to the participants, and expect respectful behavior from them. You will interact with and work within the community in a respectful and kind manner.
Structure of the team: Each program leader team has one director and a group of leaders (from 2 to 4 people). Sometimes there may be 2 co-directors working together. The director is in charge of the budget, Circle, and scheduling. The director has the final say, and the rest of the leaders operate on the same plane. There will most likely be between 12 and 25 kids on the program, and we maintain an average ratio of 1 leader to every 4 or 5 kids.
Honcho roles: Each leader team has a med honcho, a photo honcho, and a food honcho (established during leader training).
- The med honcho is a leader who will check in with each kid about their health form on the first day of the program. He/she is responsible for distributing any prescribed medications that the participants have. He/she may also be the primary person that participants come to in case of a minor injury (though any leader may be asked for help).
- The photo honcho is responsible for documenting the program and sending photos back to the office during the program. He/she will also organize and compile participants’ photos at the end of the program.
- The food honcho role varies based on program location. In some locations, the food honcho is responsible for planning and shopping for meals. In others, he/she has a less central role due to a hired cook. In all locations, the food honcho is the person who assures the kitchen/pantry is stocked. Participants come to this honcho if they have a question about food, or if they feel they aren’t getting the nutrition they need.
Living situation: You will live with the kids at our homebase. VISIONS lives in local neighborhoods within the community, not resorts or hotels, and we value the interaction and authentic experience that comes from this living situation. That being said, our lodging is not fancy. It is clean and comfortable, but will most likely be more rustic than what you’re used to. Electricity and running water are available at all of our sites, though they are often unreliable.
Driving: In some locations you and the other leaders will be the primary drivers of the group. This requires very skillful and careful driving, especially in foreign countries. Driving is the number-one safety concern in many places. In some locations, being able to drive a manual car is required.
Language requirement: If you are interested in working in a Spanish-language location (Dominican Republic, Ecuador & Galápagos or Peru) you must be proficient in Spanish and ready to speak the language with the locals and with the kids.
Overview of the job from start to finish
Participation in leader training: Training takes place in Bozeman, Montana. It is a week-long event in which you learn the mission, rules, and expectations of VISIONS. You will learn how to implement a safe program, how to deal with conflicts and various scenarios, and how to become an effective leader team. This training is mandatory. At the end of training, you will head directly to your program location.
Arrival at the program location: After training you will have about 5-7 days in your program location before the kids arrive. During this week you will set up the program on the ground. Among other tasks, you will clean and physically arrange our homebase (setting up bunk beds, the kitchen, etc), finalize activities, check out the worksites, meet with local contacts, shop for food, memorize participant information, arrange the pickup and drop-off schedule and become part of a cohesive leader team.
During the program: You will work 6 days a week, with one day off per week. On your day off, you are free to do as you wish, and should not have any responsibilities during that time. For those 6 work days, you are “on” 24/7, which means you will be constantly interacting with the kids, leaders, and community members. Most days you will work at the worksite with the kids, and you are expected to fully participate and model a strong work ethic for the kids. One day a week, you will stay back at homebase with your homebase crew (a group of participants), and you will clean the homebase and cook meals for the group. You will participate in the scheduled activities in the afternoons and on weekends, unless you are on your day off.
A typical day: On the weekdays, wake up and have breakfast with the group. Head to the worksite, and work alongside the kids (could be carpentry, running a day camp, doing trail work). Eat lunch at the worksite. Mid-afternoon, head back to homebase. There will be a scheduled afternoon activity — it could be an artisan workshop, soccer game with locals, etc. Eat dinner after that. Then there is an evening activity (every other night it will be Circle, on other nights it could be a salsa class, game night, stargazing…). Weekends are for longer excursions (camping, ice climbing, ruins, temple visits).
Finishing the program: At the end of the program, you are responsible for cleaning and packing up the homebase. You will fill out evaluations of all participants, compose a write-up of your projects, a program debrief form, inventory lists, and updates to manuals and program documents. You will fly or drive from your program location back to your home.
Final Job Notes
It is truly rewarding to see the impact that a VISIONS program has on the participants, and you will be a crucial component of that positive experience for them. If you feel you would be a good fit for our programs, please fill out the application on our Jobs page, and we will get in touch with you. Thank you!
Leader training begins June 15th, 2019 in Bozeman, Montana, and leaders are responsible for their own travel to Bozeman. VISIONS then flies leaders from training to their program sites on June 20th or 21st. On-site training and preparations continue for at least one week until the participants arrive. Employment ends late-July to mid-August, depending on the site.
You may apply at any time. Our first interviews typically take place in January through in-person or video calls, and the next interviews take place in early March if positions remain available.