Our 37th Summer Providing Outstanding Programs for Teens
Community Service

Costa Rica: Children’s Camp Leadership - 17 Days

Costa Rica: Children’s Camp Leadership
17 Days
$4,999

plus airfare to San Jose and from Liberia, Costa Rica.

  • Completing Grades

    9, 10, 11

  • Departure Dates
    June 29 - July 15
  • What's Included
    Price Includes

    All lodging, three meals daily, all activities listed, airport transfers in designated times, gratuities and taxes.

    Accommodations

    Hotels & Lodge

    Group Size

    Up to 24 participants

    Cultural Sensitivity

    This program requires an open mind to experience a different culture, new foods and modest hotels.

    Certificate of Completion

    A letter of completion recognizing 60 hours of service detailing the projects accomplished alongside a leadership program certificate is issued after the trip. We are a qualified Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

    Application Process

    Participants will be accepted through an application process. Please click here for further details.

Immerse yourself in the community and authentic culture of a small rainforest town in Costa Rica as you plan and run a day camp for local children in Monteverde. This experience offers a specialized avenue to work with children in a formalized role. You will develop and execute leadership skills acting as both a camp counselor and activity specialist. Outside of camp, explore Costa Rica, zip-line high above the forest canopy, whitewater raft, surf the Pacific and relax in natural hot springs.

REWARDING COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS

EcoPaz Park Day Camp

  • Organize and run a day camp for local children in the town of Monteverde. Experience being a counselor and an activity specialist planning all aspects of the day. Develop your leadership and teamwork skills taking on a variety of roles from leading sports games, arts & crafts or special theme days within the camp setting.
  • A typical camp day will be 9:00am-2:30pm, with set-up starting at 8:30am and clean-up ending around 3:00pm. This gives you time to relax by the pool at the hotel, plan for the next day and participate in other activities.
  • Travel To San Jose, Costa Rica & Return From Liberia

    Participants on this program have the option of joining us on a chaperoned group flight to San Jose. The chaperoned flight will be from either a NY/NJ area airport and/or Miami, determined in the spring once we see the cities of origin of the group. Our staff will be with you from the time you check in onward. For our many travelers from outside these areas, you can choose to join the chaperoned flight and we are happy to assist you with arranging connecting flights at suitable times. If you prefer, you may meet us in San Jose and we will help you coordinate your flight and greet you as you come through immigration and customs.

    For your return from Liberia, we offer a chaperoned flight back to the USA. You may choose to join that flight and arrange transfers (if required) at suitable times after the group has cleared customs and immigration in the USA; or you may fly from Liberia to your home city and our leaders help you to check-in and remain in the airport until flights in designated times have departed.

Rewarding Community Service

  • Children’s Camp In Ecopaz Park

    EcoPaz Park is a non-profit recreational space located in the rainforest town of Monteverde. The children of Monteverde and the surrounding villages do not have many opportunities and shared-spaces to participate in fun, organized activities. EcoPaz Park was built in hopes of creating a shared space for the children of Monteverde and the surrounding communities to come together. Our camp was created in partnership with EcoPaz Park to provide engaging programming for these children.

    Our group will be responsible for organizing all aspects of the daily logistics and activities for a 7-day camp and will take on various leadership roles as planners, counselors and activity specialists. We will plan various activities and games like sports, drama and arts & crafts. There will be about 30-40 children, ages 6-11 years old, coming to camp each day.

    Together, our group and the children will share new experiences and learn about each other’s cultures. Everyone will get to practice another language whether it’s Spanish or English. Through the magic of camp, everyone will build special bonds and develop lasting memories!

Outstanding Adventure Highlights

  • Central Valley

    Enjoy a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure! Join a Latin dance class. Taste famous and delicious Costa Rican coffee while learning how it’s grown by the comic troupe at Café Britt.

  • Arenal

    Relax in thermal hot springs and experience a thrilling zip-line adventure over the forests in Arenal.

  • Monteverde

    The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to unique wildlife. Discover some of these species as we hike through the lush forest. Challenge the locals to a game of soccer!

  • Flamingo

    Get set for surf lessons at Tamarindo Beach, you’ll be on the board in no time! Relax on the beach and kick back in the evening by a bonfire on the beach.

Central Valley

Our groups will be staying at a few carefully selected hotels in the Central Valley. Properties include Hotel Autentico, Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto, Hotel Adventure Inn, La Rosa de America and Hotel Aeropuerto. Amenities at all hotels include air conditioning, internet access and a swimming pool to enjoy.

Hotel Poco a Poco – Monteverde Cloud Forest

This hotel features incredible views of the Cloud Forest, charming rooms, Wi-Fi, a heated swimming pool and a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.

Arenal

Your group will stay at either Hotel Montechiari or Hotel La Pradera. Both hotels offer some of the best views of Arenal Volcano. Rooms are air conditioned, Wi-Fi enabled and both hotels have refreshing swimming pools.

Flamingo Beach

Our group will be staying at one of the following carefully selected hotels near Flamingo Beach: Hotel Casas del Toro Hacienda, Hotel Cabinas Isolinas or Seis Playas Hotel. Amenities at all hotels include air conditioning, internet access and a swimming pool to enjoy.

Safety and supervision, our #1 priority – no ifs, ands, or buts about it!

At Westcoast Connection nothing else comes first. From our extensive trip planning department through our management team and our leaders, it is our single biggest priority! Safety procedures, equipment – we’ve got it covered. All Program Leaders and Directors are certified in First Aid and CPR. We are extremely proud of our safety record and welcome all questions you may have in this area. Please see more under Safety First.

Trustworthy staff – leaders worth following!

Once you are on your program, you will have sensitive leaders that are caring, approachable and always there for you. Your Program Director and Program Leaders are people with incredible backgrounds including teachers, guitar players, IRONMAN triathletes, SCUBA divers, volunteers, and so much more.

Every staff member takes part in and must complete our extensive training weekends that review our philosophy and procedures to provide a well-supervised and fun-filled program.

Our Program Directors, the individuals responsible for overseeing each itinerary, take on the roles of teachers, coaches, camp counselors, mentors, concierges and hosts. They’ve been trained to provide individual attention and create an all-inclusive family atmosphere (our EACH & EVERY philosophy). There’s a definite art to building dynamic groups, and we’ve worked hard to master it! We want you smiling on day one right through to a teary goodbye at your farewell banquet.

Our leaders are non-smokers. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Summer Leaders section.

Group Dynamics & Dynamic Groups

We can’t say it too many times, this is a really incredible group experience. A great dynamic starts with our secrets for group bonding. Our bag of tricks goes way beyond traditional ice breakers. Imagine people hunts, Rock, Paper, Scissors championships, Ninja tournaments, flash mobs and so much more. We work hard to get everyone moving beyond first impressions and creating an atmosphere of total acceptance. Our staff hiring and training emphasizes social safety and establishing an inclusive culture. Many of our travelers come as individuals and we have a geographically diverse enrollment with students joining us from across the U.S., Canada and internationally. This mix helps eliminate cliques at the outset and establish an open environment that benefits you. We take great care in assembling groups to create an unforgettable social experience. Our international service programs are for up to 24 group members.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The Costa Rica: Children’s Camp Leadership program is unique as it offers a specialized avenue for teens to work with children in a formalized role. It is a perfect opportunity for future camp counselors or somebody considering a future in teaching.

Program Members plan and run camp activities from start to finish. Under the guidance of our experienced WCC staff, they take on various roles as counselors and specialty leaders. Additionally, participants take turns and orchestrate staff meetings and debriefs.

Considering the level of planning, the responsibility of running a day camp, and access to working with children, potential participants will be accepted through an application process to ensure the program is a good fit. Applicants not accepted may switch to another program or receive a full refund.

Upon enrollment, participants will receive a questionnaire to help prepare them for the challenges and rewards of this program. They will also need to provide a reference. We look forward to reviewing the thoughtful answers.

What To Expect – The Perfect Balance Of Service & Adventure

Our groups participate in well-planned and substantial community service projects in between surfing in Hawaii, snorkeling in the Galapagos, zip lining in Costa Rica, climbing to the top of Machu Picchu in Peru, or marveling at the Big 5 on a safari in South Africa. We know when to pick up the pace to get the adrenaline flowing; we also know when it’s time to chill with some downtime on the beach. The balance of service and recreation is what sets our programs apart. By integrating adventure and recreational highlights into our itineraries, we are able to maintain a high level of enthusiasm.

Typical Camp Day Schedule

7:00 AM - Wake Up
7:30 AM - 8:20 AM - Breakfast
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM - WCC Arrival (Prep)
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM - Campers Arrive / Morning Tradition
9:30 AM - 10:20 AM - Activity #1 (Sports)
10:20 AM - 10:40 AM - Snack
10:40 AM  - 11:30 AM - Activity #2 (Arts and Crafts)
11:30 AM - 12:20 PM - Lunch
12:20 PM - 1:10 PM - Activity #3 (Drama)
1:10 PM - 1:30 PM - Snack
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM - End of Day Tradition
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM - Campers Depart
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM - WCC Clean-up and Depart for Hotel
3:10 PM - 6:30 PM - Relax at Hotel
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM - Dinner
8:30 PM - 10:30 PM - Evening Activities
11:00 PM - Curfew

Work As A Team

Volunteer with experienced non-profit organizations and alongside the locals who often directly benefit from your help, as you become part of a team working towards a common goal. Everyone’s contribution and cooperation are so important to help the service projects progress as planned, so please join us with the right expectations and a positive attitude. The rewards in sharing this experience are many, such as lasting friendships, improved interpersonal skills and personal growth. You will receive a letter of completion recognizing your hours of service and listing the work you helped to complete.

President’s Volunteer Service Award

Westcoast Connection is a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award program was developed in 2003 as a way to honor and thank U.S. citizens and residents who engage in service both domestically and abroad. Presidential recognition of what you have achieved speaks to the type of person you are and hopefully inspires others to take positive action to change the world. The award requires completing 100 hours of community service within a 12 month period. Your service hours with our program qualify towards that total to earn the award.

Today’s Travelers, Tomorrow’s Leaders

As you travel to new places and experience different cultures, your journey may challenge your ideas and preconceived notions. We recognize this and strive to provide an environment where you are free to question and learn. This is nurtured by our leaders’ open and non-judgmental guidance. The opportunity for growth through service learning is endless!

Of all our summer programs, community service provides the greatest opportunity to interact with the local people and culture. Being exposed to families and children who have different customs and daily realities can broaden our perspective and raise our awareness of important issues. In a multicultural world, this education can break stereotypes and help us understand the role we play as global citizens.

Value & Over the Top Service

There really is a difference in how different summer programs operate! Motivated teens going away with qualified leaders is a given. But what sets us apart is the depth of our qualified personnel that allow us to perform with the greatest consistency at the highest level.

Your Program Director and Program Leaders are with you throughout your program. They have daily contact with one of our two 24-hour Communication Centers and are in regular contact with our Company Directors. Our Company Directors are the most seasoned veterans who each oversee specific programs providing support to program staff and to assist with any situations that may arise. Our Company Directors alternate between traveling to visit programs and being reached in the office. Program visits enable us to provide ongoing support and development to our Program Directors, allows program staff to have a sounding board for their own progress in reaching program goals, helps us to identify any challenging areas for improvement while it still has relevance to your summer rather than as a mention on your end-of-summer survey, and helps us to identify the future Directors from the current crop of all-star summer staff. These visits are by Company Directors along with our Regional Supervisors, who are former Program Directors with further experience out in the field. Collectively our team is an incredible resource with 420+ summers of combined teen travel experience. This way, we can lend a hand wherever and whenever a little extra effort is called for. Last year, we had 208 scheduled supervisory trip visits to make sure all was running well, provide ongoing support to our staff in the field, and have fun! This investment in depth of personnel is unrivaled in teen travel and is a critical element to achieving consistent, excellent program quality and surpassing client expectations!

Included in the program tuition are all activities and entertainment described, breakfast & dinner daily, lunches as indicated on your specific program, gratuities, taxes, land transportation, accommodations, and fanatical customer service from our full-time team and summer Communication Centers. This can add up to tremendous value!

Where We Stay – A Proper Night’s Rest

We provide clean and comfortable accommodations.  Please don’t expect luxury resorts and at the same time we know you need a good night’s rest to perform community service as well as have energy for our many other included activities. For quality and consistency of the group experience, we do not have any homestays. Each student has their own bed. For more detailed information on any specific program, visit the section marked Where We Stay.

Meals & New Cuisines

A big part of a program’s success depends on how well you eat. We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality and quantity of food and variety of options. Meals vary by destination. Part of your travel experience will be immersing yourself in the local cuisine and culture, so please bring with you an open mind and a willingness to try new things. For example, Costa Rican traditional cuisine offers plenty of rice, beans, meat dishes and tons of fresh fruit, but don’t worry, they also have North American style options on the menu. In Costa Rica, we recommend against drinking the local tap water and we provide clean water for our travelers.

We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive personal experience in this area. International travel may present more challenges than domestic locations and we are happy to review your personal needs and help you select an appropriate itinerary.

Transportation

On this community service program, you’ll ride in an air conditioned motor coach with a professional driver.

Laundry – Keep It Clean

You only need to bring one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in our packing list as we have the opportunity for laundry weekly.

On our international programs, every week you will drop off your laundry at a local wash and fold service and then pick it up clean, folded and ready to go.

Keeping In Touch Over The Summer – 24/7 Peace Of Mind

While you’re out having the summer of your life, your parents should feel like they are in on the action as well.  We post updates to our blog and Facebook page and e-mail photos approximately once a week so those at home can be in on the fun. Parents also have access to our dedicated office Program Monitors 24/7 for any questions and/or concerns. We’re as in touch as any program operator could possibly be via smartphones with e-mail and text. The goal is uncompromising safety and peace of mind, day after day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Participants may bring their personal cell phones.

We Deliver – 99% Approval Rating!

In last summer’s surveys, 99% of responding teens and parents said they would recommend us to others. We must be doing something right!

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