Tag Archive

Camp for the Blind

Camp Counselor

Position:                   Camp Counselor

Reports to:              Enchanted Hills (EHC) Camp Director

Classification:         Non-Exempt 

JOB PURPOSE: 

Counselors are responsible for the overall provision of a traditional camp experience to all blind and visually impaired campers at Enchanted Hill Camp in Napa, CA. This includes but not limited to: inventing new blind-friendly programming, motivating campers to use non-visual techniques, adapting all activities so that all campers can participate fully regardless of their level of vision. Counselors should encourage active participation in camp meals, clean-up and other daily functions through fun activities. Counselors provide supervision to recreational activities, create educational experiences, promote independence and supervise the health and safety of children and adults. Applicants must also have the ability to work with campers that have secondary disabilities (developmental, hearing impairments and/or mobility restrictions).

Qualifications:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • High School graduate
  • Some college education preferred
  • Current First Aid and CPR certifications
  • Previous work in a camp, school, or community service setting
  • Experience working with individuals who are blind/visually impaired preferred
  • Knowledge of Braille and/or sign language preferred

Examples of Duties:

  • Assist in the direction, supervision, and organization of campers in their living unit, within activities and throughout the camp in order to meet the intended camper outcomes
    • Apply basic youth and blindness development principles in working with campers through communication, relationship development, respect for diversity, involvement and empowerment of youth
    • Assure campers are properly supervised at all times
    • Be aware of and implement safety guidelines
  • Participate in the development and implementation of program activities for campers within the mission and outcomes.
    • Responsible for leading and assisting with the teaching of activities.
    • Actively participate in all program areas as assigned.
    • Provide for the progression of activities within the framework of individual and group interests and abilities.
    • Assist in program areas such as waterfront, nature, all camp activities, and arts and crafts as directed.
  • Maintain high standards of health and safety in all activities for campers and staff.
    • Provide the daily care of each camper within your supervision including recognition of personal health needs.
    • Ensure that campers receive their medications as directed by health care manager.
    • Be alert to campers and staff needs and assist them with personal and/or health problems, and discuss with camp health manager and/or resident camp director when appropriate.
    • Be alert to equipment and facilities to ensure utilization, proper care, and maintenance is adhered to; report repairs needed promptly to camp director.
  • Be a role model to campers and staff in your attitude and behavior.
    • Follow and uphold all safety and security rules and procedures.
    • Set a good example to campers and others in regard to general camp procedures and practices including sanitation, schedule, and sportsmanship
  • Contribute to verbal and written evaluations and communication as requested
  • Participate enthusiastically in all camp activities, planning, and leading those as assigned
  • Participate as a member of the camp staff team to deliver and supervise evening programs, special events, overnights, and other all-camp activities and camp functions
  • Stay current on best practices by reading/viewing instructional media and active participation before and during camp
  • Attend and participate in weekly staff meetings
  • Other duties as assigned

Physical Aspect:

  • Must be willing to live on camp premises
  • Must be able to lift 70 pounds
  • Ability to enforce safety and emergency procedures
  • Ability to identify and respond to environmental and other hazards related to the activity
  • Physical ability to respond appropriately to situation requiring first aid
  • Must be able to assist campers in an emergency (fire, evacuation, illness or injury)
  • Possess the endurance required to maintain constant supervision of campers

Agency Expectations of Employees:

As employees, we should:

  • Read, understand and adhere to all agency policies and procedures
  • Conduct ourselves in a professional manner on and off the job, knowing that we are representatives of LightHouse
  • Perform all job responsibilities
  • Maintain a positive and respectful attitude toward everyone
  • Communicate regularly and appropriately with our supervisors and colleagues within our own departments
  • Able to effectively communicate orally and in writing
  • Demonstrate efficient time management and the ability to prioritize our assignments
  • Consistently report to work on time and be ready to begin performing our assigned duties and responsibilities
  • Work productively
  • Continue to learn and communicate a blindness-positive philosophy based on current best practices in the field
  • Maintain the confidentiality of campers and staff relating to issues such as health, behaviors, and other situations that may arise
  • Be culturally sensitive

Working Conditions:

LightHouse provides equal opportunity to all, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, or sexual orientation.

All employees at LightHouse are hired for an indefinite and unspecified duration and consequently, no employee is guaranteed employment for a specified length of time. Employment is at the mutual consent of the employee and LightHouse. Accordingly, either the employee or LightHouse can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause (“employment at will”).

TO APPLY:

Please submit a cover letter and résumé as Word attachments (no .PDFs please), to hr@lighthouse-sf.org, including the job title in the subject line. We will not consider videos or hyperlinks to online profiles. Due to time constraints we will only respond to complete submissions in which there is serious interest; thanks for your understanding.

A New Gathering Place: EHC’s Redwood Grove Theater

Over the weekend, Enchanted Hills Construction Manager George Wurtzel placed the last screw in the final hand-constructed and carved redwood benches that are the signature seating of Enchanted Hills’ new 120-person Redwood Grove Theater. It’s a project that has come to fruition over the last 10 years through patience, perseverance and unrivaled community support. And it’s ready just in time for our annual Music Academy Concert on August 12.

RSVP for our Summer Music BBQ this Saturday, 4 p.m. at Enchanted Hills in Napa.

The idea for the theater was born out of a piece of Enchanted Hills’ history relayed to us by longtime Enchanted Hills friend, counselor and historian Hope Sinclair. Hope’s father, Philip Webster, bought the land in 1927 and operated a boy’s camp there for more than 20 years. Hope herself spent much of her childhood at camp in the 1930s and 1940s and developed a detailed love for the nature and history of the place.

From conversations with Hope about the site’s history, Camp Director Tony Fletcher learned that a section of lower camp was often used for meetings and talent shows during its time as a boys camp, due to its natural acoustics. When new CEO Bryan Bashin toured camp in 2010 he instantly saw the potential to restore the disused and junk-filled natural bowl into an outdoor space of unparalleled beauty and usefulness: an outdoor theater area to host concerts, movie nights and large gatherings that would be shady in the summertime and make the most of the area’s fantastic acoustics.

Listen to this video from an impromptu performance in the theater to hear the breathtaking natural acoustics.

It was in keeping with EHC’s mission and the spirit instilled in camp by founder Rose Resnick, who was a talented musician and former concert pianist who helped make music and performance the part of everyday life at EHC that it remains today.

Starting in 2007 with the EHC fire abatement plan, a bowl started to appear as  a troupe of goats hired to clear brush in lower camp. EHC then wrangled various volunteer groups including California Conservation Core, 4H Club and the Greater Napa Kiwanis Club to help clear the area even more, and over the next 10 years the project was brought to completion with the care and collaboration of Bill Cinquini, Alan Butler, Tim Gregory Construction and George Wurtzel, EHC staff and a successful 2015 Indiegogo campaign.

“Getting the Redwood Grove built was a little bit like the LightHouse in microcosm,” says LightHouse CEO Bryan Bashin. “Waves of volunteers, AmeriCorps, metal recyclers, architects, the Kiwanis club, donations from Adobe Lumber, and of course our blind  camp construction manager, George Wurtzel, who built the benches with his own hands—this is the community and cooperation I find as beautiful and harmonious as the music you’ll hear on Saturday.”

And Tony doesn’t see the project as totally complete—yet. “This project took the creativity and commitment of many many people. I’m most satisfied to think about all the different folks who have had something to do with this. And I don’t see it as done. The theater could ultimately hold as many as 499 people, so I see it as an evolving process. Hopefully it will continually grow and develop over decades to follow.”

Thank you to the many organizations and individuals who helped bring the Redwood Grove Theater into being. We hope you’ll visit us up at camp on August 12 to witness the beautiful and one-of-a-kind fruits of our labors. Learn more and RSVP for the Music Academy Concert here.

The terraced seating and stage of the Redwood Grove Theater surrounded by lush redwoods.
The terraced seating and stage of the Redwood Grove Theater surrounded by lush redwoods. Photo by Marilyn Bogerd.
A view from behind the stage of the Redwood Grove Theater.
A view from behind the stage of the Redwood Grove Theater. Photo by Marilyn Bogerd.
A side view of a crowd listening to music in the Redwood Grove Theater.
A side view of a crowd listening to music in the Redwood Grove Theater. Photo by Marilyn Bogerd.
A closeup of the redwood benches, which were individually designed and hand carved by EHC Construction Manager George Wurtzel.
A closeup of the redwood benches, which were individually designed and carved by EHC Construction Manager George Wurtzel. Photo by Marilyn Bogerd.
A detail ivy pattern carved into the back of one of the benches.
A detail ivy pattern carved into the back of one of the benches. Photo by Marilyn Bogerd.

Everything EHC Podcast: A Peek into our Camp’s Day-to-Day

Enchanted Hills Camp’s Enrichment Area Leader Masceo Williams is putting a fresh spin on Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa, California through his new podcast, Everything EHC.

“Years from now, I want people to be able to look back and see what we were doing in the past. There are so many interesting people here, and I want to be able to capture their stories through the podcast,” says Masceo (pronounced May-cee-o).

Masceo, who is blind, got involved with camp in 2014 as the nature area leader and has continued being an active member of the EHC community. He started the podcast to raise awareness about the camp within the blind community, and show what camp has done for the diverse group of both blind and sighted individuals who come back year after year.

Though LightHouse can’t take any credit for producing the podcast, LightHouse and EHC employees have featured in numerous episodes. As Masceo said in his first episode, the podcast is “recorded at EHC, by EHC, and for EHC.” The 30 episodes recorded so far, with the promise of many more to come over the summer, cover everything from camp history to band and movie reviews. In each episode, Masceo interviews a featured guest and collects a wide variety of perspectives on camp. He has featured camp director Tony Fletcher, camp counselors and other leaders, and both campers and parents during the summer’s first session of family camp.

By speaking to so many individuals, some who are new to camp and others who are very familiar with EHC’s charm, he conveys the true enchantment and beauty found there. EHC is a place where blind campers—adults and children—can find independence and lifelong friends all in the space of a few days. The property is also rented out during the off-season, allowing others to partake in its mystique while simultaneously benefitting the blind community.

Listen to a few of our favorites:

Episode 1: Get to know Camp Director Tony Fletcher

Episode 12: Chilling with Camp Counselor Nasir & Volunteer Vinay

Episode 18: With Camp regular Ken Rossi

Directions to EHC

Enchanted Hills Camp is located atop Mt. Veeder in Napa, CA. The address is 3410 Mt. Veeder Rd., Napa, CA 94558.

On Public Transit

Downtown Napa may be reached by a number of busses, namely the Napa Airporter or the #29 Vine bus originating at the El Cerrito Del Norte BART station in the East Bay. Once dropped off (at Justin Sienna High School), traveler must arrange for a driver to ferry them to 3410 Mt. Veeder Rd., Napa, CA 94558.

Driving Directions

With no traffic, EHC is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from San Francisco and the East Bay.

From San Francisco and the Peninsula

  • Take Hwy 101 North across Golden Gate Bridge
  • Go 20 miles to Hwy 37 exit toward Vallejo and Napa
  • At Sears Point, take Hwy 121 exit to the left
  • At Big Bend, turn right to stay on Hwy 121-12 to Napa
  • Hwy 121-12 will run into Hwy 29
  • Turn left onto Hwy 29 North to Napa
  • Take Hwy 29 North to Napa
  • Exit Redwood/Trancas, turn left onto Redwood Road
  • Go 4 miles to where Redwood Road veers right and becomes Mt. Veeder Road
  • Go 6 miles on Mt. Veeder Road
  • Retreat driveway will be on your right at 3410 Mt. Veeder Roa

From East Bay, Oakland or Vallejo

  • Take Interstate 80 East past the Carquinez Bridge & Vallejo
  • Take Hwy 37 exit to Napa
  • Go past Six Flags to Hwy 29 North to Napa
  • Take Hwy 29 North to Napa
  • Exit Redwood/Trancas, turn left onto Redwood Road
  • Go 4 miles to where Redwood Road veers right and becomes Mt. Veeder Road
  • Go 6 miles on Mt. Veeder Road
  • Retreat driveway will be on your right at 3410 Mt. Veeder Road

From Sacramento Area

  • Take Interstate 80 West toward San Francisco
  • Just after Fairfield, take Hwy 12 West
  • Turn right onto Hwy 29 North to Napa
  • Take Hwy 29 North to Napa
  • Exit Redwood/Trancas, turn left onto Redwood Road
  • Go 4 miles to where Redwood Road veers right and becomes Mt. Veeder Road
  • Go 6 miles on Mt. Veeder Road
  • Retreat driveway will be on your right at 3410 Mt. Veeder Road

From Northern Napa County

  • Take Hwy 29 South toward Napa
  • At Oakville, turn right onto Oakville Grade
  • Oakville Grade intersects with Dry Creek Road
  • Turn left onto Mt. Veeder Road
  • Go about 2 miles on Mt. Veeder Road
  • Retreat driveway will be on your left at 3410 Mt. Veeder Road

From Santa Rosa Area

  • Take Hwy 12 East
  • Past Kenwood, turn left onto Trinity Road
  • Trinity Road turns into Dry Creek Road at the down grade
  • Turn right onto Mt. Veeder Road
  • Go about 2 miles on Mt. Veeder Road
  • Retreat driveway will be on your left at 3410 Mt. Veeder Road

From the Sonoma Area

  • Take Hwy 12 East
  • Turn left onto Hwy 121-12
  • Napa Hwy 121-12 will run into Hwy 29
  • Turn left onto Hwy 29 North to Napa
  • Take Hwy 29 North to Napa
  • At first light, turn left onto Redwood Road
  • Go 4 miles to where Redwood Road veers right and becomes Mt. Veeder Road
  • Go 6 miles on Mt. Veeder Road
  • Retreat driveway will be on your right at 3410 Mt. Veeder Road