Step Up Selection Process
The Washington DC Chapter of Children's International Summer Villages has a Selection Committee who is responsible for determining which children and adult leaders will represent our community and our nation each year.
Our task is to select delegates who (1) are representative of a cross-section of our community, (2) will be cohesive, and (3) have personalities and strengths which are complementary. The selection process is FUN for the children, with numerous games and activities typical of the CISV Step Up environment.
The primary qualifications and attributes considered by the Selection Committee are that the candidate:
- Must be the age specified by the Step Up invitation on some date between June 1 and August 31 of the year of travel
- Is physically and emotionally healthy, and demonstrates self-discipline
- Is able to be separated from family and friends for three weeks
- Is responsive to authority
- Makes friends easily and is readily accepted by others
- Communicates effectively with adults and peers
- 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
- Is able to commit significant time (March-June) in preparation for the Step Up experience (at least 1 weekend each month)
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 Village delegation leaders, recent Village parents, Village staff members, and members with prior Selection Committee experience. Both men and women are included, representing teachers, counselors, professionals, and parents actively involved with youth. In addition, experienced Junior Counselors (16 and 17 year olds) are actively involved in the selection process.
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 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 Step Up. 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!
- Parent Involvement — Parents should be ask questions about CISV and learn all pertinent information about the commitment required for participation. The Selection Committee will learn more about the child, the family, and the family's willingness to support the Chapter's efforts through attendance at local events and volunteer assistance with recruiting, serving on committees, etc. The DC Chapter asks that parents commit to at least 2-years of volunteering locally with CISV DC if their child is selected for the Step Up program.
- January Mini-Camp (see calendar) — A carefully-structured and supervised "mock" Camp 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.
- 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.
Using the preceding selection criteria and selection process, delegations are formed based on the best judgment of the Selection Committee. Parents are informed of selection results by mail, email, and a follow-up phone call, within a few days of the Selection Interviews.
The number of applicants varies from year to year, but there are always more highly qualified applicants than there are delegate positions to fill. For this reason, we hope applicants and families realize that CISV offers much more than just the Village Program. There is a very active Junior Branch youth group that plans CISV-related activities throughout the year. Other programs are available for youth, such as Interchange for ages 12-15 and Seminar Camp for 17-18 year olds. Families also become involved in many local activities that further the ideals of CISV. We encourage all families to get involved and experience the many positive aspects of CISV. We especially hope that applicants who may not be selected as a Village delegate will continue their interest and pursue other CISV program opportunities.
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.