To be eligible to apply to serve as a Ponderosa RYLA Counselor, you must have been a RYLA Delegate in 2016, 2017 or 2018 at either the Pinerock or Ponderosa RYLA. All counselors must still be enrolled in high school on the last day of Ponderosa 2018 RYLA, April 8, 2018.
A total of 16 counselors will be selected. General counselor duties at Ponderosa RYLA camp include participating in and speaking at all-camp events and sessions, including at meals; attendance at all team counselor or program counselor meetings; serving as judges for competitive events; supervision and leadership of dormitories; and a host of other duties. Counselors attend the morning coordinating meeting at 7:30 am in the dining hall before breakfast. Serving as a Ponderosa RYLA counselor necessitates strong leadership, problem solving, flexibility, planning when unexpected things occur, empathy, and reliance on the 4-Way Test in making decisions. Counselors may be assigned to research and make a presentation on one of the six Rotary International Areas of Focus, or other topic, during meals. There are two types of counselor assignments, with several of the Program Counselors selected to be alternate Country Team Counselors:
8 Country Team Counselors: direct, hands-on, 24/7 leadership of a team of 10 to 12 Delegates, who may be older than the counselor. One of the team members is a Rotary Youth Exchange student from abroad. Each Country Team Counselor is partnered with a young adult Mentor, who assists the counselor as needed, coaches and mentors, and serves as the direct leader when the team is split up for any reason (ex: accompanying a Delegate to the first aid area in event of an injury or illness). Country Team Counselors are with, and responsible for, everything the country team does or does not do, and stay with their country team at all times except for the Country Team Counselor meeting with the Senior Counselors 15 minutes after lights out in the dormitories, for a maximum of 30 minutes.
8 Program Counselors: direct control of Delegates at scheduled activities such as Confidence Course, Challenge Course, and serving as the presenters for indoor classes. Program counselors serve in a team of two Program Counselors and one Mentor, and are assigned specific activities as a team during the day and evening. They are responsible for supervision in the dormitories. Program Counselors meet with the Senior Counselors each morning during breakfast.
There are three required events that counselors must attend, from start to finish:
Counselor interviews Saturday, March 10; Sunday, March 11; and if needed Monday evening, March 12: Interviews are to select country team (and alternates) and program counselors are by telephone or video conference. Counselor applicants selected for interview will be assigned interview day and time based on preference wherever possible. Your preference of day/time will be honored as much as possible for a 20-minute telephone or Fuze interview.
Staff training Sunday, March 25, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, in the Phoenix metro area
Ponderosa RYLA, Wednesday, April 4 – counselors leave from Fountain Hills Tractor Supply Co; through Sunday afternoon April 8 when they return to the same locations.
Application deadline is midnight Wednesday night, March 7. No applications will be accepted after that date.
On-line applications only are accepted.
You are required to complete a health history form, the same one as for Delegates. This health history form follows the Counselor application form.
If you are 18 years of age, or will be 18 before or during Ponderosa RYLA, an adult background check on line form is required. The link to this form will be sent to those selected who are or will be 18.
Attach a current JPG picture where indicated, labeled with your name. Please submit a picture only of yourself, not a picture of you with your friends, neighbors, etc.
You should receive an email copy of both your completed application and health form. Please save this for possible future reference.
You will be contacted email by the end of February to schedule your on line interview time.
Please check your email regularly and reply in a timely manner – all communications related to Ponderosa RYLA are done only by email. If you do not respond to email requests, we will assume you are no longer interested in being considered for a counselor position.
Following your interview, applicants selected to attend RYLA as a team or program counselor will be notified via email.
If selected to serve as a Ponderosa RYLA counselor, you commit yourself to:
Attend the full day of staff training on Sunday, March 25, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, in the Phoenix metro area
Attend the entire five day Ponderosa RYLA, starting Wednesday afternoon April 4, and ending Sunday late afternoon April 8. Note that counselors arrive at RYLA one day earlier than Delegates.
Arrange your own transportation for both the all day staff training on Sunday, March 25, prior to RYLA, and Wednesday, April 4, to the Fountain Hills pickup point at 3:00 pm (or to the restaurant in Payson at 5:00 pm). You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the staff training day, and to and from the pickup points on Wednesday before RYLA starts and the Sunday it ends.
If you cannot be present for all of both the staff training and the five days of RYLA, or arrange transportation to both, please do not apply.