AWAC Program

So you want to be an AWAC? Great!

Hidden Valley's AWACs are "Awaiting Work As Counselors." These teens apprentice the experienced professional counseling staff who work with HVC's youngest campers (ages 8-10). AWACs gain counseling and teaching skills and become respected and beloved "older siblings" to their campers. The seven to nine AWACs each month are involved in daily training sessions, assist in two classes, and take one or two classes as well. In order to become an AWAC, one must be a former camper and complete the same selective application and interview process as all HVC staff. More information about the application process here.

NOTE: To be considered for the AWAC program, you must be a former Hidden Valley Camper.


A Note to All Applicants

Every fall, we receive a great deal of interest in the AWAC (Awaiting Work As Counselor) program. This program is not for everyone. The hours are long, and there are many demands made upon you; 8, 9, and 10 year-olds want lots of attention and need thoughtful guidance in order to be happy at camp and achieve their goals for the summer. And though there will be other amazing AWACs, the group is small. You are neither campers nor counselors; rather, you occupy a challenging "apprentice" position somewhere in between. All that said, we know — based on what we've heard from young people over the years — that AWAC'ing can be the experience of a lifetime. The responsibilities are real, and the opportunities to learn about children and about yourself are plentiful.

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Phone Interviews

Once we receive your application, we'll stay in touch with you and plan a phone interview. It will take us some time to schedule all of our interviews and make decisions. We plan to make decisions regarding AWACs by mid-December.

We understand that people prefer in person interviews, but given the geographically diverse applicants this will not be possible. Take some time before the interview to think about why you want to be an AWAC and what you think you will bring to the role. Then, take a deep breath and find a quiet and private spot to take the call.

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Important Information About Decisions

These decisions are often very difficult to make and are made by Peter, Meg and PD's.

Decisions are made using the same values and analysis that we employ to make our staff hiring decisions. We will consider applicants' applications and interviews as well as our knowledge of each individual as a member of the camp community.

There is, as always, a great deal of interest in a small program. We will have approximately 7-9 positions to fill for the coming summer and we anticipate a greater number of applications. It is possible that we will not be able to find room for candidates of whom we are quite fond. The hiring process is one that is between Hidden Valley and the potential AWAC. All of our correspondence, including any conversations after decisions are made, will be with applicants only. Parents with questions: Please contact [email protected]

Application Timeline

Completed Applications – Due Oct. 21st
Phone Interviews – Nov. 1-21
Decisions Made – By Dec. 1st

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A Brief Look at the Program

  • AWAC's live in cabins with the youngest campers and 2 to 4 adult staff. They assist with daily living, counseling, and adjustment issues, and occasionally supervise this group.
  • AWAC's assist in 2 or 3 classes daily in areas in which they feel comfortable. AWACs take 1 class daily, and spend 1 class period in a training class with the other AWACs and ARPs (Counselors who supervise the AWAC program).
  • Other AWAC responsibilities involve evening and lazy day event preparation and participation, mail sorting, dining hall supervision, etc.
  • Training: The AWAC group meets with key staff and directors on a daily basis for feedback, discussions of counseling issues, etc.
  • Details: AWACs come to camp 2 days early and pay reduced tuition.

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Newspaper Fashion Show

Each session, cabins design fantastic clothing out of newspaper, and employ their AWAC to model it on the runway at our Newspaper Fashion Show!

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