Why choose Village?
Just as in many camps available to young people today, Village offers a mixture of camp activities such as arts, crafts, sports, singing, and dancing. The one thing that sets Village apart from camps offered by other organizations today is the opportunity to share a month with children from all over the world, learn about their cultures, the likenesses and differences, and learn leadership skills.
What is the Village Experience?
No matter where the location of the Village program, the actual experience will be the same. The Village participants spend the majority of their time at the Village site (which might be a school, college, or camp facility), just like they would at a domestic summer camp. However, the participants do have several very exciting opportunities to explore their camp’s host country.
When the children arrive at their Village destination, they spend the first weekend with a CISV host family while the delegation leader moves into the Village site for orientation. The host families are CISV volunteers just like the ones you’d meet here in the New York chapter, and their children have participated in CISV activities too. The host families give the delegates a taste of home life in that country, and also take them to see some of the sights in their community. After the second week, the children have a second host family weekend, except this time they will spend the weekend with another child from the Village who’s not from their own country.
The Village staff also arranges a few sightseeing excursions into the local community as well as a shopping day where the kids can purchase souvenirs to take home to their families, if they wish.
What if a youth applicant can’t afford all the fees, preparation and travel expenses?
CISV is the greatest bargain imaginable for such a memorable, educational and culturally enriching experience. Regardless, the total cost can be difficult for some families. CISV encourages participation from the entire Jacksonville community, without regard for race, religion or economic circumstances. To that end, our Chapter has limited scholarship/financial assistance to those who have true need. The number and amount of financial assistance grants varies from year to year based on the number of applicants, the degree of need, and the amount of financial assistance funding available. For more information see the Chapter Information/ Scholarship section of the website. All information regarding applications and financial assistance awards is kept strictly confidential.
How can CISV operate these complex programs as an all-volunteer organization – who does the work?
Volunteers like you and me! Thousands of dedicated people devote many hours to CISV programs around the world because they have experienced the special, rewarding feeling that comes from making new friends around the world and learning about other cultures and ways of life. These volunteers want others to experience the same feeling, and they want to give something back to the organization that means so much to them and to their children.
If I apply for the Village Leader program, must I first be a chapter member? Is it an advantage in the selection process to have previous membership or CISV program experience?
You are not required to be a Chapter member to apply for the Village Leader Program. If you are selected, Chapter membership is a part of the participation fee.
The goal of the Selection Committee is to choose Delegates and Village Leaders who form the most compatible, cohesive and representative delegations. The primary focus is on the interaction between the youth and with the adult leader.
Can parents contact children during the Village Camp? What about international phone calls?
We encourage frequent letters and cards from families to and from the delegate. Phone calls are not allowed except in the case of family emergencies. There is always a phone number provided for emergencies, and the policy is to contact your delegation leader should a need exist to contact your child. Phone calls usually create or intensify homesickness. Many years of experience have taught us that this is the best approach.
How are travel plans arranged?
The Chapter selects a single travel agency to coordinate all travel plans. The agency will understand CISV requirements, rules and regulations regarding safety and direct travel to and from the Village host country. We are assured that we benefit from negotiations for the best available airfare for which we qualify.