Global Youth Village, a project of Legacy International

Staff enjoying some time off in near by town
GYV Kitchen staff
International arts at GYV

Surround yourself by nature with inspiring teens, fostering a spirit of hope & respect in others

Legacy International equips emerging leaders to transform their values and vision into sustainable success. We train and mentor community leaders, youth, and professionals, helping them to develop and implement practical, community-based solutions to critical issues. Community by community, we strive to leave a lasting Legacy of hope, tolerance, and community engagement.

The Global Youth Village (GYV) brings together our diverse array of "practical idealists" to an 80 acre site in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills of Virginia. The lush woodlands, complete with hiking trails, organic garden, pond and stream provide a peaceful environment. GYV is midway between Bedford & Smith Mountain Lake in a rural farming region, near the cities of Roanoke & Lynchburg.

About Global Youth Village, a project of Legacy International

Create a legacy of hope and respect! Inspire young global citizens & social innovators!

Since 1979, the Global Youth Village (GYV) (a project of Legacy International) brings together 70+ teens and staff from 15+ countries & cultures.  2019 highlights include Egyptian & UK youths, as well as a diverse array of U.S. teens and other internationals.

Youth learn to live as peace builders, social innovators & global citizens. They delve into global issues while exploring the traditions & challenges of their peers, deepening their self-confidence & world view.

GYV's experiential programs address issues concerning young people today:  war and peace, arts & culture, distribution of world resources, prejudice, environmental concerns, and other social pressures. Cultural programming and cooperative living help participants learn to respect differences and discover similarities that transcend cultural, religious, and political barriers.

Yet, GYV is also camp, which means having fun and trying new things. We offer a mix of traditional summer activities and diverse cultural activities.  Examples include:

  • Swimming
  • Yoga, martial arts
  • Basketball, soccer, volleyball, table tennis
  • African drumming
  • Line dances from different cultures, salsa dancing
  • Henna, Batik, jewelry designing, mask making
  • Learn new languages
  • Turkish tile design, Ukrainian egg painting
  • Singing and music composition

Working at Legacy is a unique opportunity for “practical idealists” to gain experience and share knowledge in new ways. The low staff/youth ratio lends itself to personalized instruction and mentoring in a caring atmosphere.

Many summer staff are professionals, graduate students or recent college graduates, with 1-10 years’ experience in their fields, and typically range in age from 21-45. The expertise of the year-round staff, combined with carefully selected summer staff, creates a dynamic, cooperative learning community representing various abilities, experiences, and viewpoints.

Dates:  June 26 - August 8, 2019  (6 weeks; select staff arrive 1-3 days earlier when role requires extra training.)

(Visit Legacy's website for details on other projects.) 

The Employee Experience

For GYV staff, there is a constant cycle of planning & delivering. Days are full and long. A typical youth schedule looks like:

  • 8:15     Breakfast
  • 9:00     Workshops
  • 12:30   Lunch
  • 1:15     Siesta
  • 2:00     Electives
  • 3:15     GYV “Canteen”
  • 3:45     TLC (Teamwork, Leadership & Community Building)
  • 5:00     Recreation (pool, soccer, art studio, etc.)
  • 6:45     Dinner
  • 8:00 – 10:00  Gathering & Evening Program

Staff schedules allow for team meetings & planning when not directly working with the youths, as well as breaks for "recharge".

Stellar GYV Staff Embody:

  • A love for youth, with a capacity to be patient; firm, yet kind; be interested; fair, show genuine concern and interest.
  • A love for people and the ability to work cooperatively as a team.
  • A strong sense of responsibility.
  • The ability to persevere – to hang in there during challenges.
  • A capacity to work hard while maintaining balance & good health.
  • Flexibility, initiative, resourcefulness, imagination, adaptability and a great sense of humor.
  • Cross-cultural understanding with knowledge of world issues.
  • An appreciation for nature and being outdoors (even with high humidity & bugs!), with the imagination and aptitude to use nature as a teaching tool and opportunity to try new experiences.
  • A strong commitment to safety.
  • FUN!, bringing joy and energy to others!  (Be ready to discover hidden talents!)

GYV Guidelines for Staff & Participants: GYV’s Honor Code outlines each person’s responsibilities as Village members. Yet, the Honor Code goes beyond what one might find in a typical camp, addressing issues of how we view and treat one another, in addition to articulating who we aspire to be. (GYV’s Honor Code was written jointly by past participants and staff.) Each Villager is expected to:

  • Be open to new ideas and willing to listen;
  • Respect other people’s point of view, cultural differences and music;
  • Participate fully in camp activities;
  • Resolve conflict through communication;
  • Engage in non-exclusive, open relationships which avoid cliques;
  • Enjoy a primarily vegetarian (ovo-lacto) diet for a period of time;
  • Abstain from tobacco, alcohol & illegal drugs.

Ideal Candidate

  • Enjoys learning about different cultures and people, and has sought out these types of experiences, either outside or inside North America.
  • Is passionate about (and experienced in) working with teens, preferably in a residential setting or travel program.
  • Values experiential education.
  • Looks forward to working in a setting where personal limits are stretched to find new flexibilities and strengths. 
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to safety and can place him or herself in the mindset of a parent.
  • Enjoys living in a rural setting, with limited cell connections, no TV, dust, lots of bugs and other creatures.
  • Enjoys healthy, vegetarian food. (It really is very yummy!)
  • Minimum age of 21 is preferred, although 20-year-olds will be considered for select support positions or internships.
  • Non-smokers only.

Legacy seeks individuals with a balance of hard and soft skills.  Clearly, staff must be competent and comfortable in working with teens.  They must also possess qualities of empathy, a sense of humor, quick thinking, flexibility, and creativity.  Each summer, 25-50% of the seasonal staff are people who have worked here before. 

We also have a handful of young adults who were participants at GYV, returning for first time as staff to “give back”.  These staff play an essential role in establishing and conveying the core values and spirit of community cooperation that make the GYV experience so compelling.

Room and Board

Accommodations for counseling staff are in cabins with youth. Other staff are housed in similar cabins, with adult staff only. Centralized bathhouses serve each cluster of cabins. Select program areas are air-conditioned, but not sleeping cabins.

Legacy serves delicious whole foods, vegetarian meals. Special dietary needs can usually be met. Poultry or fish entrees are served twice during each two-week session.

Employee Perks

Working at the Global Youth Village is a very rewarding experience. Alumni staff say it best:

“There is something amazing about the Legacy experience. I always leave feeling incredibly hopeful and inspired. It is really quite unique and wonderful. The experience always activates some hidden corner of my mind and heart... It never ceases to be positive and personally transformative for everyone involved… I will continue to reflect on and discover all this experience has taught me, questions it has given rise in me, and to contemplate how I can expand my role as a voice and agent for positive change and how I can work to create an increasingly peaceful world.” -- Marie Lewis, NYC, alumni staff and professional educator

All positions include:

  • a modest stipend is negotiated, ranging between $225-$450/week gross, depending on the position and level of experience.
  • room and board
  • medical and accident insurance (subject to specific limitations)
  • weekly laundry service.

The training and skill development provided also attracts many volunteers. Professional educators may find this training as a means to fulfill continuing education requirements.

Academic Credit:  Many staff have earned graduate or undergraduate credit while working at the Global Youth Village. If you would like to receive credit, Legacy's administrative staff will work with you and your academic advisor to design and monitor a learning program. (Staff interested in pursuing credit are responsible for making arrangements with their institution, and for paying any additional tuition.)

Getting Here and Getting Around

Staff members are welcome to bring their own cars.

The nearest bus station is Lynchburg, Virginia; the nearest airports are in Lynchburg (LYH) or Roanoke (ROA), Virginia; the closest train station is in Lynchburg. We will pick up staff arriving into either city.

Some staff choose to fly into Washington, DC.  From DC, there are a couple of options (bus or train) to get to Lynchburg where someone can be picked up for the drive to GYV's site in Bedford County.

For Fun

Enjoy the beauty of Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains on your days off. Whether it's a jet skiing at Smith Mountain Lake, hiking the Appalachian Trail, taking in the historic sites of Monticello, or visiting the market, restaurants, and clubs in downtown Roanoke, you'll find lots of options within a one to two-hour drive.

Back on campus, staff can utilize our facilities and equipment during off-duty time. It is a great opportunity to return to a favorite activity you haven't had a chance to do in a while or try something new. There is a staff lounge, open 24 hours a day. Computers with internet access are also available for staff on a daily basis. Special staff events are organized on occasion, such as a late-night pool party or movie night.

How to Apply

Staff candidates must complete an application and submit two references. Please visit the Global Youth Village web site  to review detailed job descriptions and to download application materials.

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Contact Global Youth Village, a project of Legacy International