Ready to apply to be a junior counselor?
The Junior Counselor program is administered through PBHA’s Leaders!, a year-round community leadership program for high school students in the Boston area. The Leaders! program provides 95 teens from Boston and Cambridge with full-time teaching and mentoring for 10 weeks during the summer and engages 25 of those same teens in intensive college access, mentoring, and leadership development during the school year.
During the summer, Leaders! teens work as Junior Counselors at PBHA’s Summer Urban Program.
“I like working with my community because I get a chance to make a difference…I learned that I really do have a big impact in my community.” – Junior Counselor, Roxbury Youth Initiative
Each Junior Counselor works with groups of children for seven weeks during the summer, implementing a self- designed curriculum.
Junior Counselors work with college-aged Senior Counselors. Junior Counselors are expected to keep in close contact with parents and community members to ensure the best possible camp experience for the children they are serving.
Further, Junior Counselors are an integral part of camp fundraising and operations and are expected to work as part of a team to ensure that the program runs well. Junior Counselors are encouraged to limit outside commitments, as community involvement and program preparation are vital to this leadership experience.
All Junior Counselors are expected to work for one week of staff training, seven weeks of camp, and one week of training after camp is over. You must commit to working from July 1 to August 18, and will have the option of working for an additional week before and after for additional pay. All Junior Counselors will be paid $9.00 per hour.
Junior Counselors participate in a mandatory one week training prior to the beginning of camp. This training provides skills in curriculum development and classroom strategies as well as community leadership skills. Counselors are also expected to attend any trainings and retreats designed by directors throughout the summer.
II. Camp Administration
For most programs, Juniors Counselors, along with their Senior Counselors are expected to participate in general camp administration including but not limited group decisionmaking, general camp operational tasks such as lifeguarding, as well as taking an active role in fundraising for their program
For most programs, Junior Counselors are expected to:
1. Along with their Senior Counselor, develop a curriculum that fits the needs of their particular group of children, meet with families regularly to discuss their children’s progress, and share curriculum plans with parents and ask for feedback
2. Design at least 1 hour of own curriculum a week
3. Take an active role in leading classroom activities and co-teach with the Senior Counselor
4. Discuss and share curriculum ideas with directors, senior counselor, and Leaders! Coordinator
5. Serve as a mentor to the children in the camp
6. Take an active role in modeling community building and leadership during camp collaborations
7. When appropriate, invite parents on field trips and into the classroom
Each week Junior Counselors will meet with their Leaders! Director for one hour of workshops on leadership, activism and community organizing skills as well as reflection on their service experience. During the JC Weeks, the Junior Counselors from every camp will have opportunities for further leadership training, community building and ways to bring what they have learned over the summer back to their communities during the school year.
V. Midsummer Celebration
All Junior Counselors will be responsible for planning and organizing one of Boston’s largest citywide summer events: the annual Midsummer Celebration! During Midsummer planning meetings Junior Counselors from different camps will work together to:
1. Plan a carnival featuring games and a moonbounce for the children
2. Produce and host a talent show during which we recognize community leaders
3. Promote the event using media strategies and community organizing techniques
4. Ensure the professional execution of the event by managing the logistics
5. Build community unity and make a positive impact in Boston
Support for Junior Counselors
The Leaders! Program is committed to ensuring the Junior Counselors feel sufficiently supported, capable, and trained to undertake the intensive summer experience of community leadership that is expected of them. There are, therefore, multiple lines of support for each Junior Counselor.
Senior Counselors: Each Junior Counselor will partner with a Senior Counselor in the classroom. While maintaining a professional relationship, Junior Counselors can look to their Senior Counselor as a mentor and friend.
Leaders! Staff: Leaders! Directors (LDs) are college-age students who work very closely with the Junior Counselors from 2 or 3 camps to ensure that their experience with SUP is enriching. Leaders! Directors provide weekly Leadership training for their Junior Counselors and support their curriculum development and, teaching, Midsummer Celebration planning and collaborations. By serving as a liaison for the Junior Counselors to the Senior Counselors and Directors, Leaders! Directors advocate for Junior Counselors to their camp communities, as well as the Leaders! Program. They also coordinate payroll, internal communication, and conflict resolution along with the camp directors.
John Hancock MLK Scholars Program
We are proud to be part of John Hancock’s MLK Scholars Program which, for the past 11 years, has annually funded over 600 summer jobs at nearly 70 local non-profit organizations — the largest
program of its kind in the country. Each year, about a dozen junior counselors in PBHA’s Summer Urban Program are John Hancock MLK Scholars.
Ready to apply to be a junior counselor?