Photo: The QVS Philadelphia house at National Orientation in August 2023.

 

The survey that we conducted in October revealed that many young adults view an 11-month program to be too long and require too much of a commitment. This is also something that we have heard before when we are tabling at events. We have discerned that it is worth piloting a shorter program that runs from the last week in August to the middle of June, which will make the program 9 ½ months. Many Fellows participate in QVS their first year out of college, and this new structure will follow the same cycle as the school year that they are used to. 

We also feel like a shortened program cycle will open up opportunities to collaborate more closely with summer camps, both Quaker and non-Quaker alike. In the past we have recruited some through Quaker camp connections, and it has been very kind of those camps to support us in that way. However, recruiting camp counselors to QVS has not been in the best interest of the camps. The QVS year has always overlapped with summer camp, making it so that QVS Fellows are unable to be a camp counselor, as they may have been if they did not choose to serve in QVS. We hope that a shortened QVS year will make QVS more accessible to those who are dedicated to working at summer camp or have other summer commitments. We hope to be able to broaden and increase our recruiting at camps, given that it will be mutually beneficial with a shorter QVS year.

We are excited about the opportunities that this shorter program year will open for us, and look forward to collaborating with our summer camp partners. 

We recognize that it may be a difficult change for site placements who feel that 11 months is already a short time to have a Fellow. However, we encourage both Fellows and site placements to consider the year as a trial period with the opportunity for hire at the end. As it is now, over half of the Fellows are offered ongoing work at the end of the program and about three fourths of those individuals accept. Thinking of the Fellowship year as a trial period could be more enticing to Fellows looking to start a career as well. 

We are excited about the opportunities that this shorter program year will open for us, and look forward to collaborating with our summer camp partners. 

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