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Worktrades

NBTSC Worktrades 2018

Here’s what you need to know before applying for a worktrade. After you’ve digested all this, if you are sure you want to proceed, please fill out the application. (By the end of January, you’ll find a link at the bottom of this page.) 

Application deadline: March 31

Important info for all worktrade applicants

It is important to us that NBTSC be accessible to a wide range of campers. For campers who love to help out and who couldn’t otherwise afford NBTSC, we offer a variety of worktrade positions. Special skills are a plus but not a requirement. Here’s what you need to know before applying. Please read carefully to avoid misunderstandings!

In order to apply for any kind of worktrade, you must also register for camp and send in a deposit, by March 31. (But, if your attendance depends on a worktrade and we don’t assign you one, you can cancel within two weeks and receive your deposit back.)

Worktrades are (mostly*) for families who are having a hard time with life’s basic expenses. 

Everyone’s situation is different and we don’t have a specific income level that determines  “eligible for NBTSC worktrade.” That said, when setting our budget and our tuition, we already take into account the reality that many (perhaps most) of our campers come from lower-income families. We fully understand that many homeschooling parents choose to take lower paying jobs – and/or to have one parent forego an income altogether – to allow them to spend more time with their children or to be able to do more fulfilling or creative work. We already do our best to keep our tuition low enough that most families who truly value it can make it a priority, and pay for it. And so while your income might well qualify you for a scholarship at a private school, at NBTSC we skew lower and for the most part we can’t justify giving worktrades to families whose income is in “average” territory. 

People planning to attend more than one session of camp do get lower priority, since our purpose is mainly to make it possible for people who can’t afford camp to be able to come to at least one session. We rarely give worktrades to individuals older than 18. (We focus our resources on people of regular camp age.) And, multiple worktrades are rare. We don’t normally assign them to one individual for more than one session per year. (There are exceptions, though.)

We do take all applications seriously, and try to give trades to as many applicants as possible, sometimes even when we need to exceed our budget to do so. For this reason, we ask you also to take this process seriously, and to apply only if you both 1) really need financial assistance and 2) sincerely want to take on the responsibility of a worktrade. That said ~ if these things are true for you, please do apply! We look forward to hearing from you!

*Why did we say “mostly”? Because we have a chronic need for lifeguards (Oregon 1 and Vermont) and are happy to receive lifeguard applications from folks with any financial reality. Also because we do need truly excellent help in the kitchen, so occasionally we’ll grant a half or full worktrade (both very serious commitments) to a camper known to have a rockstar work ethic and mad kitchen skills, even if their financial need is not substantial.

Notes on filling out the application

In most cases, the camper and parents should collaborate. If an application describes the parents’ financial situation (most should), then parents must at the very least read it over and sign it.

Say enough.

The application will instruct you: “Please explain your family’s financial situation, telling why it would be helpful for you to receive financial assistance. ” Sometimes people say not much more than “money is tight.” That doesn’t tell us much – maybe it’s tight because you’d rather spend it on clothes or a cruise. “Four of us are living on a teacher’s salary” is a little better, but really not that helpful. Specific numbers can be useful if you’re willing to share them, and so can explanatory info such as:

“We are a single parent household: my brother, my mom, and me. My mom works part time so that we can unschool. Although my parents have been divorced for a long time, my dad has only recently stopped supporting my “extra” activities financially. Sometimes just paying for our regular monthly expenses is challenging, so saving up for extras can be difficult. I’m used to doing yardwork for neighbors and working to pay for a lot of my extras and I have a plan for paying for NBTSC, but without the worktrade, it will be extremely difficult for me to save the full tuition.”

Make sure that both your application and your online account has your accurate, current email addresses (for the camper and at least one parent). Unless you tell us you don’t have email, this is the only way we will notify you whether you received a worktrade. Make sure you check your email, and let us know if your email address changes.  Make extra-sure that your filter understands that we are not spam: while we keep your personal information private, we do send out our worktrade-response emails in batches. (Corollary: if a month or more has gone by since the application deadline and you don’t seem to have heard from us, check your spam folder.)

You’ll hear from us within a month after the deadline. It takes a while for us to carefully read all the applications and consider them in relation to each other and to our needs and our budget. We’ll get back to you, via email, by April 30. (Sooner if we can.)

more notes

NBTSC worktrade categories

Financial Details

Fine print

  • Worktrade amounts are discounts from camp tuition, not amounts-to-pay. You are responsible for paying the balance of the Tier 1 level tuition. (The exact amount will depend on whether you mail a paper check or pay online through CampDoc.)

  • Deposits: All worktrade applicants — including full worktrade applicants — pay the $150 camp deposit, just like everyone else. For most worktraders it just goes toward the amount you still owe us. For full worktraders, it acts as collateral: come to camp and fulfill your worktrade agreement, and we refund that deposit right after camp. But if you cancel your registration after our cancellation deadline or simply don’t show up, you forfeit your deposit. If you come to camp and don’t do your worktrade, you don’t get it back either. (Not to mislead–our full worktraders have almost never let us down;  quite the opposite.)
  • Campers with half-or-greater worktrades are not typically eligible for the multiple session $100 discount. That is, if you register for two sessions and are given a half worktrade for one session, you pay full price for the additional session. (Why? Because you are already getting a significant discount. We credit your work at roughly $10 per hour, and your worktrade discount generally adds up to much more – at least $100 more – than what you earn by working.) But, if you register for two more sessions, in addition to your worktrade session/s, the $100 discount applies to the second non-worktrade session.   (And if you have only a light worktrade, you are fully eligible for the $100 multiple session discount.)

Specific discounts and work requirements

  • full worktrade $815, 50 hours
  • easy WT,  7 hrs, $408
  • half WT, 25 hrs, $408
  • light WT, 12 hrs, $180

Oregon Session 2 (Camp Myrtlewood, 14 nights)

  • no full 2-week worktrades
  • half worktrade,  $620, 48 hours
  • easy worktrades, $620, 12 hrs
  • light WT, 20 hrs, $280

Oregon Session 2 (Camp Myrtlewood, one-week-only option)

  • full worktrade, $750, 40 hours
  • half worktrade,  $375, 20 hours
  • easy worktrades, $375, 6 hrs
  • light WT, 10 hrs, $140

Vermont (9 nights)

  • full worktrade, $875, 64 hours
  • half WT, 30 hrs, $440
  • easy WT,  8 hrs, $440
  • light WT, 13 hrs, $175