The Counselor Apprentice Program is a leadership development program designed for 16 to 17-year-olds. Participants will acquire valuable skills for working at Farm & Wilderness and similar organizations.  It is a six-and-a-half-week program. Participants will have some Counselor Apprentice-specific training and will work within the Tamarack Farm community to gain skills they will use at their sites. The teens in this program will be held to the high expectations we have of all our Tamarack Farm campers and Farm & Wilderness staff with an additional level of support and on-going training. Counselor Apprentices will begin the summer following a similar schedule to other Tamarack Farm campers, but instead of moving to different skills crews they will stay in one which is the camp they are placed at.  Please note: Counselor Apprentice Campers will have less free time than other Tamarack Farm campers.  Once the Counselor Apprentices have successfully completed the program, they will have the certifications and experience we look for in our summer staff. Upon completion of the Counselor Apprentice Program, each apprentice will receive a $500 tuition reimbursement.   

Community Living 

The Counselor Apprentices are considered full members of Tamarack Farm. They take part in orientation, chores, morning and evening meals and dishes, all mandatory activities, and community programming, cabin life, one-on-one mentor-ship, and weekend work projects. Counselor Apprentices will be required to participate in the first session trip with all other Tamarack Farmers. They also get a Sunday rest day.  

Having committed to the Apprentice Program, they will have less free time and will be unable to participate in some of the activities that are specific to Tamarack Farm such as chicken harvest, fair leadership positions, and much of the fair prep as well as some other activities. It is important that Counselor Apprentice candidates understand this as they enter the program.  

Structure  

The first two weeks of camp will include an orientation with all Tamarack Farm campers and some small individual training with the other Counselor Apprentices. There will be opportunities for Red Cross Lifeguard certification (for those who are able) and Red Cross First Aid.  Those who participate in the Lifeguard course will not participate in some camp activities.  All Counselor Apprentices will participate in a trip during the first week or so of camp. This is an opportunity for campers to connect outside of the camp setting, to bond with those they have not spent as much time with, to learn skills which they will need as staff, and to experience a “camping experience.”  

Staff from Indian Brook, Timberlake, and the Barn Day Camp will lead trainings focusing on their camp expectations and structure. Counselor Apprentices will visit each of the three sites together. Each Camper Apprentice will be matched with a staff mentor and receive ongoing, on-the-job training. 

Counselor Apprentices will begin to spend part of their day at the camps they will be apprenticing within a week of arriving at Tamarack Farm. They will begin by spending mornings at their sites while the rest of Tamarack Farm is participating in skills crew. As we move into week three and four, Counselor Apprentices will ramp up to spending full days at their sites  

Counselor Apprentices will participate in all morning chores, pre-dinner check-ins and evening activities, first session trips and all weekends at Tamarack Farm.  

Completion 

The Counselor Apprentice Program culminates with a celebration of all Tamarack Farm campers for their service to the community. Within a few weeks of camp ending, each Tamarack Farm camper will receive a written evaluation that will include praise for their hard work with specific details on their accomplishments and some areas of improvement from their site. Should Counselor Apprentice Program participants choose to apply to Farm and Wilderness in the future they will be given a strong chance of hire and a boost in salary because of their participation.   

How to Apply

This opportunity is for full-session campers who are 16 & 17 years old. Potential Counselor Apprentices will apply to Tamarack Farm. During the registration process, an option will come up asking if you are interested in the Camper Apprentice Program. Check the box to indicate your interest, and we will contact you with a follow-up interview to determine whether the program is a good fit for you. If you have questions, contact Tamarack Farm Director Andrea Breen andrea@farmandwilderness.org or call admissions at 802-422-3761

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