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Build America is a four week team event traveling the country promoting accessible recreation for people with disabilities. From the construction of accessible amenities at camps to wilderness adventures with athletes with disabilities, the Build America team is dedicated to proving true human ability.
At the core of Build America is the construction of accessible environments and camps serving the disability community. In six weeks, the team will complete projects like fishing piers, nature trails, climbing walls and many other amenities providing opportunities for campers to experience everything summer camp has to offer. Throughout the summer, the team will log over 4,000 man hours, save camps and communities $50,000 in labor costs, over $30,000 in materials expenses and impact the lives of thousands of people with disabilities.
The best experience on this journey is in the evenings when team members gather with campers for dinner and other camp activities. This is the time team members say is most rewarding. They get to spend quality time with the very people who are benefiting from their hard work. These are the times that create the special memories of camps and lifelong friends. There is no experience like Build America and being able to leave a tangible product after departing a camp or community sets this event apart from all other events.
When & How To Apply
Prospective team members are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications open approximately one year in advance and usually fill up following Pi Kapp College for Chapter Officers in the Spring.
Preferred acceptance deadline is September 30 to guarantee your spot if accepted. After this date, applicants may be placed on a waitlist if roster spots are full.
The Ability Experience is committed to using shared experiences to support people with disabilities and developing the men of Pi Kappa Phi into servant leaders. We seek applicants who are committed to this mission and the integrity of the organization.
Please allow 15-20 minutes to complete the application. The selection process will consist of an application with short answer questions and a video interview with one of our staff.
Additional requirements may be requested at the discretion of our staff, which could include: submission of a letter of recommendation, background check provided through Pi Kappa Phi leadership, or a secondary interview.
Applicants must be an associate, active or alumni member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Undergraduates must be in good standing with their chapter and have a cumulative or previous semester GPA of 2.7 or higher.
Consideration will be given to those who have held positions demonstrating leadership potential, contributed to their community, and are able to commit to the Build America experience and continued support of The Ability Experience. The Ability Experience does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs.
There is a limit of 4 team members from the same chapter. The team will have approximately 30 members including driver and crew roles for people interested in taking additional leadership opportunities.
Drivers should be 21 years of age or older at time of the event with a valid driver’s license to drive team vehicles. There is no age requirement for crew positions on Build America.
What To Expect
– Fundraising Requirement: $3,500
– Monthly phone calls and team webinars with our staff
– Monthly fundraising benchmarks
– Fundraising incentive prizes!
– Professional tool training at Orientation
– Attend an Ability Camp in the Spring/Fall
– Purchase work boots, gloves, eye protection, ear protection, and a single pouch tool belt
– Tools and equipment provided by The Ability Experience and our generous sponsors
– Crew members on Build America work on the same projects as general team members, they just take on additional responsibilities such as taking photos or updating team journals. Ask about them in your interview if interested.
– Job specific training for assigned crew positions
– Internship and class credit opportunities in construction management, photography, videography, public relations, social media, health services, finance, outdoor recreation, education, operations, management and journalism.
Fees & Administrative Items
Registration Fee: $100 – paid after accepted to the team.
Security Deposit: $50 – paid prior to event to cover the liability of equipment and vehicles. Any remaining balance will be refunded at end of event.
Medical History Form: Team members must receive a physical examination with physician’s signature and office stamp.
Health Insurance Card: Team members must provide proof of health insurance.
Motor Vehicle Record: Team members over the age of 21 may also be assigned a driving role. Drivers must submit an MVR Disclosure and Release form and be approved by The Ability Experience insurance carrier.
Drug screening: Required prior to and during the event at no cost to team members.
Friday, May 22, 2020 | Crew Members report to Charlotte, NC for Crew Training
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | All Team Members report to Boston, MA for Orientation & Tool Training
Friday, June 26, 2020 | Build America Arrival Celebration in Charlotte, NC
Saturday, June 27, 2020 | All Team Members return home
*Dates for 2021 are still to be determined, and are subject to best availability of the team.