Concordia Language Villages’ summer Russian immersion program “Лесное озеро” is actively recruiting a diverse pool for positions as counselors, high school credit teachers, and culinary arts staff in our residential program for kids ages 11-18, for July 19 – August 22, 2021, in Bemidji, MN. This summer’s program will follow the American Camp Association’s recommended Covid health and safety protocols, such as masks, distancing, testing, and increased time outdoors.
Counselors teach Russian language and culture in an informal program with extensive mentoring and support, and also lead “camp”-type activities (canoeing, art, etc.) and supervise cabins. This summer, they may also have some responsibilities for leading online activities in our Virtual Villages. These positions do not require teaching experience, as they expect to provide these staff with intensive training, a very thorough curriculum, and in-service support. These positions are appropriate for those with abundant energy and dedication to and background in work with children and teens. They anticipate that thaty have a particular need for applicants with experience in outdoor skills, nature/ecology, folk art, Central Asia, and/or the Caucasus. Counselor positions require a comfortable command of informal spoken Russian, as counselors are expected to use Russian to communicate both in staff meetings and with campers in all daily life situations. Most successful counselor applicants are native speakers, heritage speakers, or L2 speakers who have already spent at least a year in a Russian-speaking country.
High School Credit Teachers teach a year of high school Russian in four weeks, independently planning lessons to follow a curriculum outline set by the Russian village, assessing student learning, and providing grades and progress reports. Credit Teachers also supervise cabins, offer occasional cultural activities, and share responsibility for campers outside of language class. Credit teachers should have a bachelor’s degree or international equivalent, either teaching licensure or an advanced degree, and language teaching experience. Most successful High School Credit Teacher applicants have experience teaching Russian as a foreign language to novice-intermediate learners at the high school or college level.
Culinary Arts Staff positions include a village chef, who supervises the menu, orders food, and oversees the kitchen; village cooks, who prepare meals under the supervision of the chef; kitchen helpers, who prep and clean; and a baker. Culinary Arts Staff do not need to demonstrate Russian proficiency, although some command of the language is helpful to participate in village life. While Chef positions require experience and skill in culinary management, and Cook positions are best for those with some background in food service, Kitchen Helper positions are great for first- or second-year students without specific food service experience, but with a strong work ethic, who want to experience a Russian language environment but also need a summer job. Students who need work for the whole summer can indicate availability for one of the languages that runs in June, as well as the Russian village, for a full summer of employment.
This is a summer camp experience in cabins in the woods, so prospective staff should enjoy rustic living, physical exertion, and sharing responsibility for maintaining communal spaces. Ability and willingness to undergo Red Cross lifeguard training is a plus!
Due to the current suspension of the J1 Camp Counselor visa program, they are unable to sponsor visas for international staff at this time. However, they welcome applications from all, and they plan to sponsor visas again whenever the suspension is lifted. They also continue to be able to employ international students on F1 visas through OPT/CPT with approval through their universities – visit your DSO to find out if this is an option for you. If you have other questions about visa status eligibility, you may find the answers here.
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