"Freedom Camp is such an amazing experience, not only for the campers to have a safe space to practice using their brave voices, but also for counselors to learn how best to support the children on their journeys. Throughout the week, counselors and campers work together as a team to find the optimal ways to both support and challenge campers. As a counselor, I have found this process to be so fulfilling. Everything at Freedom Camp is kid friendly, from the exciting field trips to the ice cream sundaes, which creates an amazing environment in which to work. Even though the campers are working extremely hard, they are having a blast! It is astounding how much growth and progress can occur after one week of intensive treatment and I wish all the children and families the best for the future." -2018 Counselor
Camp Counselor volunteers will have the opportunity to work with children to help them overcome their fear of talking. Currently, there are only a small number of similar camps nationwide. This is a phenomenal free training opportunity for graduate student level applicants, including but not limited to psychology graduate students, social work graduate students, medical students, speech and language therapists, and psychiatry residents. Teachers, professionals and advanced undergraduates in related fields are also encouraged to apply. Camp Counselors will be trained in the evidence-based treatment of selective mutism, using the concepts of desensitization and exposure therapy, and learn to apply these concepts to the camp setting. Counselors will also learn to use reward systems to support children in using their voices during camp. Work will include developing a positive relationship with the children, creating and managing a reward system, supporting the kids in one-on-one, small group, and large group settings through the tools and strategies learned in training. Counselors will also record information that will be provided to parents as feedback on their child’s experience at camp.
Junior Camp Counselors:
This year we have 6 positions for Junior Camp Counselors. This is a wonderful opportunity for undergraduates who love working with children and are considering a career working with children. Jr Camp Counselors welcome campers as they arrive, help with check-in and sign out, set up and orchestrate craft activities, and chaperone field trips at the PruneYard Shopping Center.
What to Expect:
1) Independent study-
You will have access to self-paced study material covering the understanding of selective mutism, and empirically validated treatments for selective mutism.
2) In Person Camp Counselor Group Training- Saturday, May 18
3) Lead in Sessions with Live Feedback:
In the weeks before the camp, Camp counselors will meet with the children attending the camp and use the techniques learned in the self-paced course while receiving support and live supervision. This will assist counselors in establishing speech with the children. Lead in sessions (approximately up to 2 hours in duration each) will be scheduled according to Counselor and camper availability. Children may need 1 or more Lead In Sessions.
How to apply:
Please submit a CV and a Letter of Interest (highlighting why should we consider your application for 1 of 24 Camp Counselor positions -or- 1 of 6 Junior Camp Counselors) by clicking on the Apply Here button below.
Following submission of your CV and letter of interest, you will have the opportunity to schedule meetings with camp organizers, Catherine Eckel, Ph.D., and Dr. Agredano. Currently, their schedules do not overlap, and they are offering separate meeting times. Camp Counselors are accepted on a rolling admission basis after meeting with both camp organizers.
Selected applicants will need to complete the Live Scan fingerprinting and provide proof of tuberculosis clearance before working with the children.