Returning Staffer Questions

Returning Staffer Questions


Frequently Asked Questions about Veteran Counselor


When am I considered a "Veteran Counselor"? 

The status "Veteran" is automatically applied to any seasonal staff member when s/he is rehired for employment during a second calendar year. The years do not have to be consecutive.  For example, I worked in summer 2017 and am rehired to work spring 2018, or 2019, or 2020 = I am a veteran.


Do I have to reapply using the online application?

Absolutely! The "Veteran Counselor" application asks specific questions about your past AmVil Experience. Also, it is incredibly important that you update ALL information - contact information, diplomas, languages, diplomas...

  • If you hope to be rehired for an additional employment period in the same year, please submit an additional online application. When a position becomes available, we immediately consult applications received online. 


What is a returning counselor's rehire based on?

A veteran counselor's application review is based on a variety of factors , including :

·  The quality of your Veteran application : update your CV, indicate what experience you have gained since last  working with us. Clearly explain your motivation, what you'd like to improve or add the next time you'd work at our camps.

·  Your veteran interview.

·  Job performance reviews from direct supervisors, on-site staff, and program directors.

·  Respect of company rules and regulations during past employment.

·  Organisation, reliability, professionalism, and responsibility in administrative hiring procedures during past employment.


Why are Veterans paid more than 1st year counselors?

The difference in salary between Veteran et 1st counselors is directly linked to their role guiding and helping the new seasonal staffers understand general program content. We expect veteran counselors to bring a lot of energy and understanding to the team. A veteran counselor should embody our Core Values. Veterans should help both, new counselors and new directors.

This can relate to a slightly larger workload, which is why the veterans are paid more. However, all counselors are equal in terms of rights and responsibilities. 95% of all counselors contracts and responsibilities defined at the time of hire are exactly identical, regardless of the title (Daily life counselor, Language counselor, Veteran Language counselor & Veteran Daily Life counselor). 


Which employment documents are required for a Veteran counselor upon hire?

A criminal background check is required every year. You must also update any documents that have expired, or that may have changed, including new diplomas or an updated passport. 


Can I make special requests at the time of hire (location, camper age, colleagues) ?

We do not give preferential treatment to returning counselors or returning directors. Just like your first year, you can submit a location or colleague preference to us on the Counselor Administrative Sheet. If you think you are well-suited to a specific program (Original, Adventure, BritVil, etc) you should explain why in your online application.

  • Note : Be sure to complete the Counselor Administrative sheet document quickly and return it to us. We work on assignments 4-5 weeks before hire. Please remember that all locations are not open at all times of the year. You can see which locations are open by month by reading your Counselor Handbook.


How do I apply to be a Head Language Counselor during the vacation camps?

Simply complete the designated section on the Veteran Counselor application, and update your letter of motivation to reflect why you should be selected to be a leader on the team. Should you be selected for a veteran interview, we will ask you more questions about the HLC position.

  • We expect HLCs to be model veteran counselors who work towards bridging gaps amongst all team members - the director, the Daily Life Counselors, and the Language Counselors. 
  • HLC is a great role for a strong leader on the team who does not necessarily speak French, but who knows how to work under a manager. Cross-cultural awareness is essential for this position.
  • The HLC's main role is to organize and guide the other counselors while the director is busy with a wide variety of bureaucratic and administrative duties inherant to French childcare providers. 
  • The HLC will absolutely be on the Activities team, s/he may not be an ESLer for any session. S/he does have a few administrative duties (will be clarified in 2020). 
  • This will relate to a larger workload than other counselors, which is why the HLC is paid more.  


Who selects the Head Language Counselors?

As often as possible, we prefer that the site director selects his/her Head Language Counselor. 

  • When camps are back-to-back, we ask the director to select the person s/he bests sees fit for the role (example : spring break camp is generally between school group sessions).
  • When camps are not back-to-back, Amanda selects the HLC in advance, then assigns him/her a camp.


How can I apply to be a director?

Many veteran counselors who are fluent in French have become AmVil directors. This job is bilingual. Detailed information is available on the Director Job Posting Page

Here is a quick recap :

  • If you do not live in France permanently, and/or do not already possess the BAFA or BAFD certification, but do possess relavent work experience, you can apply to be a School Group Camps Director (Directeur hors BAFD).  


How can I obtain a professional reference from American Village post-employment?

To request a standardized confirmation of your employment in English, contact American Village at amvil.counselor@nacel.fr after your employment. When requesting, please state :

- Your full name

- What year(s) you worked for American Village

If you require more than a standard confirmation of employment in PDF format, you must ask your direct supervisor (your village director) to become one of your professional references.

It is impossible for the camp administrators to become your direct professional references – we have not worked with you directly and cannot answer detailed questions about your work.


Last things to keep in mind before applying to be a Veteran

  • Veteran counselors must be enthusiatic about working with new staffers (new counselors AND new directors). 
  • Veteran counselors should not simply repeat the same activities over and over again. They should be a source of creativity, DO NOT program the same 10 activities every session. Campers come back and want new activities.
  • Veterans are responsible for reading and understanding the current edition of the Counselor Handbook, and all employment documents, just like first year counselosr. Please do not repeat old information to new staffers, as it can lead them to confusion and frustration.
  • Veteran counselors do not receive any preferential treatement, all policies and procedures apply equally to all employees.



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