Dear Counselor Applicant and Parent,
While the warmth and fun of the summer months seems light years away, it is nevertheless time for us to begin planning for the 26th annual Camp WOW on Friday, June 9th through Tuesday, June 13th, 2023. New this year, counselors will arrive on Friday, June 9th for a DAY OF FUN for COUNSELOR DAY!!!!
Camp WOW is a four day middle school summer camp for students from several local area parishes, including St. Mary’s in Sycamore, St. Gall in Elburn, St. Mary’s in Huntley, St. John the Baptist of Somonauk, Newman in Dekalb, and St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake. It is the joint effort of these participating parishes that makes our camp so successful! More specifically, it is the leadership and guidance provided by the high school camp counselors that makes camp both a significant social and spiritual experience for middle school students. Therefore, it is at this time that we are beginning the volunteer camp counselor recruitment, interview, and selection process.
IMPORTANT: This year, we are expecting dozens of students to apply, but we only have a limited number of counselor positions. While it’s exciting to have so much interest in the camp, we are saddened to realize that many cannot be accepted due to our limited camp capacity. Therefore, it is important to note that, due to the extraordinary number of candidates applying for counselor positions, we will continue using a TWO-PHASE application process. During Phase One, the youth ministers from all parishes will review all student applications and determine a select number of candidates to proceed onto Phase Two of the application process: Counselor Interviews. Therefore, it is possible that not all students who apply to be a counselor will be granted an interview. In the event a student is not asked to enter Phase Two of the applicant process, he/she will be invited to continue their participation in their youth ministry programs at their parishes and applying for a counselor position next year.
For your information, below we have listed some of the criteria we will use as we interview, discern, and select counselors for Camp WOW 2023. Specifically, we will focus on:
A student’s ability to work within a group;
A steady pattern of involvement in spiritual activities including praying, reading of scripture, attending Mass every Sunday, and participation in Reconciliation;
Active involvement in parish youth ministry events;
Having previous retreat and/or camp experience;
Availability for all training sessions (the Overnight Retreat is Mandatory)
A student’s ability to connect with and minister to middle school students; and
Age-appropriate maturity and emotional/spiritual health.
Some parents ask about whether or not their student has a better chance at being selected as a counselor if a) he/she attended camp in the past or b) he/she has already been a camp counselor. In response, while having students with previous camp experience returning as counselors is a tremendous benefit to the program, our overall desire is to grow disciples of Christ through camp participation. Therefore, previous camper and/or counselor experience does not guarantee anyone of a counselor position. As we discern camp counselors, we aim to have a balance of introverts and extroverts, as well as counselors from different grade levels with different experiences. Students applying should also be aware that turning in their completed application on time and their attendance at the counselor training sessions will be considered in our selection process. Be assured that every student who applies to be a Camp WOW counselor will be given full consideration as we value each and every one of them! They have been a blessing to our parishes and youth ministry programs!
There will be a $275 fee to counselors this year to assist in covering the cost of camp. If you need a scholarship, please speak to your youth minister. The cost to campers is $325.
If you have any questions about this process or Camp WOW, please contact your parish youth minister. On behalf of all the parishes involved in Camp WOW, we thank you for your support of our program. May God bless you and your family always!