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.
The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love
Leading a VISIONS summer community service program is challenging and a lot of hard work but also exceptionally rewarding.
You and your team are responsible for facilitating a fun, engaging, impactful and safe experience for a group of diverse teenagers far from home. You are their role model as you help them process their experience and make it successful according to VISIONS core values. To do this, you must be culturally sensitive, flexible, patient, kind and hard-working.
As a VISIONS leader, you are the continuation of many years of programs in our locations. These communities look forward to VISIONS returning year after year. We need you to uphold our reputation and relationships with host communities and be a positive ambassador. You will need to treat community members with respect and regard for their cultural norms and follow certain parameters during the program, including a modest dress code.
Team Structure: Each program team has one director and a group of leaders (2 – 4). Sometimes there may be 2 co-directors working together. The director is in charge of the budget, group meetings and scheduling. The director has the final say, and the rest of the leaders operate on the same plane. There will most likely be 15 to 25 kids on the program, and we maintain an average ratio of 1 leader to every 4 or 5 kids.
Honcho Roles: Each team has a med, photo and food honcho (established during leader training).
- The Med Honcho is responsible for distributing prescribed medications and serving as a health resourcer for participants. We rely on local clinics and hospitals for anything significant or in question.
- The Photo Honcho is responsible for taking and sending photos to the office during the program. They also organize and compile participants’ photos at the end of the program.
- The Food Honcho role varies based on the program location but is generally responsible for planning meals and grocery lists, coordinating with our dinner cook and ensuring that everyone is well fed and satisfied with meals and healthy snacks.
Living Situation: You will live with the kids and leader team 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.
Our lodging is not fancy. It’s clean and comfortable but basic. Boys and girls are separated into different sleeping spaces and leaders sleep nearby—sometimes in an adjoining room and sometimes in the same space. There are bathrooms, showers, electricity and running water, although resources can be intermittent at some sites and showers are not guaranteed every day (minimum every other day, we promise).
Driving: In some locations, you and the other leaders will be the primary drivers of the group. This requires skillful and careful driving. Driving is a primary safety concern, and leaders are expected to drive lawfully and prudently.
Language Requirement: If you are interested in working in a Spanish-language location, you must be proficient in the language and ready to speak it with the local people and with the kids.
Overview of the job from start to finish
Training at HQ: Mandatory training takes place in Bozeman, Montana, over four to five days. You learn the blueprint of VISIONS programs, our values and how they play out during the summer, how to implement a safe experience, how to deal with conflicts and various scenarios, and how to become an effective leader team.
On-Site Training: After training in Bozeman, you will have about one week at your program location before the kids arrive. This is time for ongoing, site-specific training and program setup. Among other tasks, you will clean and arrange our homebase (set up bunk beds, kitchen, et cetera), finalize activities, check out the worksites, meet with local contacts, shop for food, memorize participant information, arrange a pickup and drop-off schedule and mesh with other team leaders. This is a jam-packed week of full days and evenings.
Program: You will work six days a week, with one day off per week. For those six work days, you will be constantly interacting with the kids, other leaders and community members. Most Mondays through Fridays will be at a worksite where you are expected to participate and model a strong work ethic. 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 also participate in scheduled activities during the afternoons and weekends. Read more about typical daily life on a VISIONS program here.
Wrap-Up: At the end of the program, the leader team typically has three days for cleaning and packing up the homebase, completing evaluations of the program and all participants, composing a projects write-up, doing an inventory of supplies and updating program documents.
Final Job Notes
It is rewarding to see the impact that a VISIONS program has on the participants. Leaders are a crucial component of that positive experience. If you feel you would be a good fit for our programs, please complete the application.
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.