Time Off...does it exist?

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CounselorToBe
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Time Off...does it exist?

Postby CounselorToBe » Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:47 am

Hey.

I'm currently teaching English in China (one year contract ends this August). Anyways, I'm considering working as a counselor starting this spring. I'm a college graduate and I've spent the past year teaching English to Chinese children from 7-18 along with adult classes. I'm also a double alumnus of SA and ASA (though it was a while back since I'm an old man at 23 now...:wink:). Should I feel pretty good about my chances for getting hired?

My other question is...is it possible to get time off during the job? If I were to work there from Jan/Feb '07 until August, I would probably want to have maybe three weekends off because of some previous commitments. How feasible might that be? If I know the dates when I'm being hired, would it be easier to get some time-off? Or is time-off just a big no-no that I shouldn't expect from a "temporary" job?

Thanks for any information you guys can provide!

-Brad
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Postby Vincent » Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:41 am

I can't imagine it would be a problem!

You just have to submit the requests a few weeks in advance to make sure they don't schedule you to work during those times. Since you know the dates, that shouldn't be a problem.

Now, there is a small chance that they might try to claim that they're too busy that weekend and they need you. In the unlikely event that they don't approve your request for time off, you may have to scramble to find someone to cover for you. Usually that isn't a problem, either.
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Postby CounselorToBe » Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:09 am

Thanks for your quick response! :-D

I'm going to be running in some road races (two in Atlanta and one in California) and I'll probably already be registered for the races when I would start work (if/when I'm hired). I just wanted to be sure that I could buy plane tickets with confidence when the time comes!

Thanks again...and BTW...this site is great and a terrific resource! :-D

-Brad
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Postby Vincent » Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:11 am

We aim to please! :D
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Postby CounselorToBe » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:02 am

While you are answering my questions...

I have a couple more.

I saw on the site the new (I think) pay grades for counselors of around $8-9/hr. But also, someone mentioned that there was a new pay package that could increase previous earnings by 50%. I won't be doing this job for the money, but I would like to have some idea how much I'd be making for planning purposes. How many hours are normally worked per week? What other bonuses/incentives are counselors eligible for?

And one last thing...what does their "supplemental health insurance" entail? I am no longer on my parents' plan and I'm going to need some sort of health coverage (though nothing too major).

Thanks again for your help! You are very quickly answering all of my questions.

-Brad
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Postby Vincent » Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:55 pm

I saw on the site the new (I think) pay grades for counselors of around $8-9/hr. But also, someone mentioned that there was a new pay package that could increase previous earnings by 50%.

Not really...that's about it...max of $9-ish per hour for your first season...perhaps a little more in the Summer (depending on training options. Everything is outlined at the bottom of this page.

How many hours are normally worked per week?

That depends on if they under-hire or over-hire. If they over-hire, you're probably only going to average 25-35ish. If they under-hire, you could regularly see 80 hour weeks (if you're a "Counselor III"). But figure somewhere between the two.

What other bonuses/incentives are counselors eligible for?

You get a discount at the gift shop! And the satisfaction of shaping young minds!

what does their "supplemental health insurance" entail? I am no longer on my parents' plan and I'm going to need some sort of health coverage (though nothing too major).

Uhh...If I recall (and I could be wrong), I think it's just an Aflac supplement. Definitely not good enough if you get hit by a car (or you get your head stuck in the MAT). For that, you could probably get emergency health care coverage only for $100-$150ish per month on your own (through BlueCross or something).
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Postby Repeat » Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:36 pm

for health insurance, alabama blue cross blue shield is a much better choice than the piddlance of supplemental health insurance they give here.

as for payment, it's approximately $9/$8 per hour starting with $.25 bonuses for additional trainings.

If you prove yourself as a good counselor during your first season and get trained in some of the additional programs, it's more likely that you'll make more hours - the more you know, the more you can do, the more useful you are. If you are at AC, especially if you're a good counselor, you can pull anywhere between 120-190 hours in a pay-period during the summer. Also, it depends on what part of the year we're talking about - obviously summer is busiest.

In addition to the discount on the gift shop, you also get a cafeteria discount public side. Also, after you've worked a certain amount of hours, you can get a discount on registration to one of the programs. There's also the ability to get a paid personal day after a certain amount of time. There's also five free tickets per calendar year at the museum for friends and family.

The most important thing you will come out of here with is the relationships you form - the impact you have with your campers and the friends you make with your co-workers. I've made some of my best friends here, who I will keep in touch with forever. One of my co-counselors helped me out tremendously when my dad died in the spring, and I know I have made some life-long friends. That is truly the best benefit of working here.

As for time off requests, they've gotten much better about granting those - especially if you put in far enough in advance and definitely if plane tickets are involved.
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AC MIII W 43-03 (Jolly Rogers)
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ASA W 48-01 (Tereshkova)
ASA W 48-00 (Von Braun)
AC MIII 47-00 (Gun Slingers)
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SA W 39-98 (Coke)
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Postby CounselorToBe » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:32 am

Thanks again for all the information. You guys have been great and really helpful. You've helped turn this from a vague notion into a workable plan for a few months next year!

I'm definitely not planning to get rich off of Space Camp, I just wanted to get an idea of the salary.

My main money concerns will be that I would like to live offsite in an apt and I have a small amount of credit card debt that I'd like to pay off. If I were making $9/hr 30-40hrs a week, I'd be just fine.

BTW...how many of the counselors get a place offsite? I'm not from the Huntsville area, but from what I saw, the apartments are pretty reasonable. I'm just wondering if I'd be able to live in the Hab with no internet or cable TV for six months! I'm looking forward to flipping channels once I get back to America and have more then 3 channels in English!

Finances aside, it's really just a way for me to go back to Space Camp myself!

Many thanks for all your help.

-Brad
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Postby Vincent » Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:20 pm

There's TV in the ward room (internet too), if you live on site (which I recommend).

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