CISV DC

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Programs

Adult Leader for Interchange

Interchange Adult Leader Selection Process

Our task is to select delegates and leaders who (1) are representative of a cross-section of our community, (2) will be cohesive with the group, and (3) have personalities and strengths which are needed during an interchange.

The primary qualifications and attributes of leaders considered by the Selection Committee are that the candidate:

  • Must be 21 years old prior to travel
  • Is physically and emotionally healthy, and demonstrates self-discipline
  • Always holds the children's safety as priority number one
  • Communicates effectively with adults and youth
  • Assumes responsibility and work within a group
  • Has a positive, flexible personality - able to adjust to differences in schedules, activities, cultures, foods, etc.
  • Enjoys playing games, singing, dancing, etc.
  • Accepts others without prejudice, regardless of race, religion, language or culture
  • Understands that during the village, he/she will be preparing and running activities
  • for the camp with the other leaders
  • Is able to commit significant time (March-June) in preparation for the Interchange experience

The Selection Committee consists of active members of the Chapter who bring various perspectives and a wealth of expertise to the task. The committee includes past Interchange delegation leaders, recent Interchange parents, Interchange staff members, and members with prior Selection Committee experience. Both men and women are included, representing teachers, counselors, and parents actively involved with youth.

The strength of the selection process lies in the strength of the dedicated members of the Selection Committee. Their experience, expertise and variety of perspectives assure us that the delegations selected will represent our community, Chapter and nation well.

The selection process involves several important factors. No single factor is necessarily more important than the others, but all are considered together in the committee's decisions:

  • Application and References
  • Attendance at one (preferably BOTH) of the two "CISV In a Day" events (see calendar)— These days are three hours on a Sunday, involving games and other activities similar to those experienced in the Interchange. These days give the committee opportunities to observe the children, the adult leader, and junior counselors (all applicants) while they play games and interact with each other. While the children are participating in activities, parents will have a chance to learn more about CISV and ask questions!
  • January Mini-Camp (see calendar) — A carefully-structured and supervised "mock" Interchange environment during which children relate to their peers and adult leaders in CISV games, songs and activities. This will start on a Friday night and ends Sunday morning. Leaders should plan to attend the entire event.
  • Selection Interview (see calendar) — An opportunity for the child to express his/her feelings about the CISV experience and to ask any questions he/she may have.

Adult Leaders in CISV are volunteers, age 21 or older. The participating families pay the leader's airfare, but leaders receive no monetary payment for their time. Leader applicants are screened carefully, including a criminal background check, through a selection process designed to ensure they are well-qualified and well-suited to lead the CISV Interchange Delegation during the preparation phase as well as during the four week Interchange. CISV selects leaders who will be responsible, caring and whose top priority is always the children's safety and well-being. Volunteer leaders may be parents, teachers, counselors or others who have the willingness and ability to work well with children and who will carry out their responsibilities in accordance with CISV policy. Many leaders were CISV Interchange participants when they were eleven, and want to participate in the Interchange experience again as leaders.

Using the preceding selection criteria and selection process, delegations are formed based on the best judgment of the Selection Committee. Leaders are informed of selection results by mail, email, and with a follow-up phone call, within a few days of the Selection Interview.

All CISV leaders undergo a thorough training process, starting at the local Chapter level and continuing through a mandatory CISV-USA regional training seminar. Training includes the basics of CISV philosophy, program content, potential problem recognition, cultural awareness, risk management and conflict resolution.

The number of applicants varies from year to year, but there are frequently more highly qualified applicants than there are leader positions to fill. For this reason, we hope applicants realize that CISV offers much more than just the Interchange Leader Position. There is a very active Junior Branch youth group that plans CISV-related activities throughout the year, and this group always benefits from adult participants in an advisory role. Other programs are available for adult leaders, as well. Adults also become involved in many CISV local activities that further the ideals of CISV. We encourage all applicants to get involved and experience the many positive aspects of CISV.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is typically the end of January. Please check the calendar for more information. If you are past the deadline, please contact us, to see if applications are still being accepted.

Remember, Interchange leader applicants should plan to attend local events listed on the calendar!