CISV DC

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Programs

Adult Leader for Step Up

Objectives of the Program

CISV strives to promote peace and cooperation among nations. It does this through the development of international understanding among people, focusing on youth. This overall goal is pursued with different programs for youth of various ages. The Step Up Program is specifically designed for youth who are 13, 14 or 15 years old and their leaders. Its immediate objective is to develop in the participants an understanding that people of different cultures can work and play together amicably. Another objective is to stimulate interest and learning about other cultures, as well to create lasting bonds of friendship among members of different countries.

Specific objectives of the Step Up Program are:

  • To provide an experience where participants can learn the values of consideration for and cooperation with their fellow campers
  • To provide an environment where youth can learn to take the initiative toward leadership and program responsibilities
  • To use the camp as a place to learn how to overcome prejudices, to help build self-confidence, and to stimulate critical thinking

How the Program Works

The Step Up program consists of a "camp" experience, lasting for 3 weeks, in one of the CISV member nations. Delegations, each consisting of 2 boys, 2 girls and an adult leader come together from 9-12 different nations. Activities include games, music, arts and crafts etc. In addition, each delegation prepares a program or activity where they present information and share something of their culture with the others.

Each Step Up is developed around a theme chosen by the host chapter (i.e. ecology, peace, recycling). The youth delegates are responsible for planning and leading all camp activities after an initial orientation by the leaders and staff. Leaders and staff act as facilitators only. There is usually a brief home stay with a family upon arrival at the Step Up, depending upon flight schedules.

During the time between selection and the start of the Step Up, the delegation will prepare for the experience ahead. Initially, this can be achieved by meeting together to determine how they will plan for the theme of the camp. Meetings will help the delegates develop knowledge of the camp theme as it pertains to their own country. Finally, materials should be developed for the camp program. Sessions will also explore personal attitudes and values, cultural awareness, communication skills, leadership skills, and group dynamics. While participating in the Step Up, delegates will be required to work jointly with all other delegates in planning and leading activities. This includes day-to-day functioning of the camp as well as activities related to the theme.

Of course, throughout the camp there will be ample opportunities for making friends and having fun. Step Up is a unique opportunity for youth to learn and share, in an international environment.

Check the Program offerings for this year to see what the age specifications are for the invitation we have received this year. The host country will specify either age 13, 14 or 15 for the Step Up. Delegates to the Step Up must be the appropriate age at some time between the dates of June 1 and August 31, in the summer of participation.