What role will I play as a counsellor?
The role of counsellor is as a friend, facilitator and support person. You may be asked to perform different roles depending on the need of the competitors. These may include providing personal care as needed and responding to behavioral challenges.
You will be expected to be with the competitors at all times, not only for the safety of the competitor, but also to provide an opportunity to build friendships in a supportive environment.
What time commitment is required?
Full-time counsellor: assigned to one or more out of town competitors. The team will be together day and night from 3:30 pm Friday to about 2:00 pm Sunday. Accommodation and meals are provided.
Day counsellor: hours are roughly:
- 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm Friday
- 8:00 am to 11:00 pm Saturday
- 8:00 am to 2:00 pm Sunday
Generally, day counsellors are assigned to one group for the entire time. Meals are provided.
Part-time counsellor: assigned to one or more competitors on a temporary basis as needed. Part-time counsellors can participate at OT for pretty well the entire weekend or for as little as a four-hour shift. Meals are provided.
What skills do I need?
Operation Trackshoes counsellors come from all walks of life and age categories. The general skill you will need is the ability to treat all people with compassion and respect. Competitors at OT are the main focus, the more time and energy you put into getting to know your competitors, the more effective you will become at facilitating their safe and full participation.
Additional skills such as sign language, experience in working with persons with disabilities, First Aid, behavioral management intervention, and experience with symbol systems are an asset but not a requirement.
OT offers new and returning counsellors opportunities to participate in pre-event courses such as Augmentative Communication Skills, Supporting Competitors Health and Well Being, First Aid/CPR, Autism Spectrum Disorders. As well, returning counsellors are offered Beginner Sign Language and Crisis Intervention & Behavior Management.
Will I have support?
Operation Trackshoes counsellors are fully supported with nurses, senior counsellors, event officials, coaches and escorts and the support team, a group of experienced individuals who provide security, communication services and general support as needed.