European Camp Staff Program
Through the European Camp Staff program, young leaders from the Boy Scouts of America have the opportunity to learn more about Scouting in Europe by working at a European Scout center.
The aim of the European Camp Staff program is to assist young people in developing their leadership skills and to encourage intercultural learning. This is achieved by providing the individual with a residential experience as a volunteer staff member at a Scout center in another country.
Framework of the Typical European Scout Center
Scout centers in Europe do not operate in the same way that BSA camps do. The staff members of a typical European Scout center are usually involved in many different aspects of operating the center rather than specializing in one particular area. This is different from the situation in a BSA camp, where staff members are usually assigned to a particular activity or skill with which they work for the majority of their time at camp. In addition, Scouting in Europe normally operates on a coeducational basis, with males and females having the opportunity to be equally involved at all levels.
How to Apply
All participants in the European Camp Staff Program must be between 18 and 30 years of age and must be volunteers registered with the Boy Scouts of America. To ensure that the experience is worthwhile, participants should be prepared to commit themselves to work for a minimum of six weeks.
Before applying, you should be certain that you wish to take part in this program. If you are accepted by a site and then ”drop out,” that could cause problems for that particular site, as it will prevent other youth from having the opportunity to take part in the program.
For information regarding available centers, please visit http://rovernet.eu/rovernet/?option=com_content&task=view&id=48&Itemid=151. Do not apply directly through the European center. Interested participants should obtain an application from the International Department, complete the application, and submit it to their local council for the Scout executive’s approval. The application should then be mailed to the International Department for processing.
Because the European Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement administers the European Camp Staff program, the Boy Scouts of America plays a support role only. The BSA's International Department will forward approved applications to the European Region for further processing.
The European Region forwards applications to the host centers for their selection. Once the host centers have selected their participants, applicants will receive all information pertaining to voluntary employment.
What to Expect From the Host Center
After an applicant has been placed, it is the responsibility of the host center and the participant to contact each other and organize all practical details. These will include the exact dates of attendance, travel arrangements, equipment required, and any other information necessary to ensure the placement is a success.
Each host center will aim to provide a worthwhile placement for young leaders from the Boy Scouts of America. A major priority will be the full integration of the participant into the Scout center's staff team. The host center also will endeavor to allocate a suitable amount of time for the participant to experience the culture of the host country through a number of social and tourist activities. As a minimum, appropriate accommodations and full board will be provided for the participant for the duration of the placement.
Travel Costs and Insurance
Well before traveling, make sure that you have a valid passport for your time abroad. Visit the passport section of www.travel.state.gov for information on how to obtain or renew your passport. You should also check whether you need a visa to volunteer in the country where your site is located. You can visit the international travel section of the same website for country-specific visa information. It is of the utmost importance that you secure these travel documents early, as it can take several weeks to months to obtain them.
It is the responsibility of the participants to pay for their own travel to and from the Scout center; however the European Scout Region offers a travel reimbursement at the end of the camp assignment. According to each year's budget, the amount that will be reimbursed can vary, but as a general rule, they aim to cover a minimum of 30 percent of the overall travel costs. The reimbursement will be made in the fall, once the assignment is complete and the participant has returned home.
The BSA provides each participant with camper's accident and sickness insurance.
In the United States, the European Camp Staff Program is administered through the International Department of the Boy Scouts of America. The address is:
Boy Scouts of America
European Camp Staff Program
International Department, S221
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
P. O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079