September 2017 Newsletter

Support Summer Work Travel and J1 Visa programs

For generations at FLC we have been welcoming staff from all over the world. Having international staff enriches our camp community in countless ways. These staff are hired through a J1 Visa camp counselor program, unfortunately this program is currently at risk. We would love your help and support to ensure the continued tradition of having international counselors on staff.  Please take a moment to read the below communication.

Earlier this year, the US administration signed the Buy American and Hire American Executive Order.  As this Order begins to take shape, it may target the Summer Work Travel and J1 Visa programs.  Almost 23,000 international participants are placed as camp counselors every year across the US.  The American Camping Association is closely monitoring the situation and remains committed to aggressively advocating for the critical importance of these programs to camps across the nation.

J1 Visa programs help increase the diversity of our staff.  At FLC, we strive to create a microcosm of the wider world, where campers and staff are represented from all across the globe. By sharing this cultural diversity, we help increase cultural empathy and understanding in our camp community.  In addition, our J1 staff almost always go on extensive vacations throughout the US following their time at camp, traveling to the western National Parks, NYC, Florida, and Chicago.  These experiences are brought back to homes in Germany, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. One cannot put a price tag on this type of positive cultural exchange.

There is a way you can help us advocate for the value of Summer Work Travel and J1 Visa programs.  We have attached a link to the ACA’s advocacy page. Please take a moment to join our efforts by visiting the page and clicking on the link ‘Take Action’ – and ensure your voice is heard today!

https://www.acacamps.org/resource-library/public-policy/j1-visa-update