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Leadership Camp Programs

Creating caring and motivated youth

Our Leadership Programs are historically some of Camp Kawartha’s most formative programs. These programs are designed to help campers to discover and build upon their own personal leadership skills. Through teamwork, collaboration, and leadership initiatives, campers will grow close with their leadership groups and learn about themselves as leaders in the process.  We strive to foster creative, empowered leaders who make a difference in the world.

Starting with our PLC (Pre-Leadership Camper) program that runs for 3 weeks, campers begin to learn the foundational skills of leadership. The PLC program allows campers the chance to engage in regular activities in the morning, but build upon their leadership skills in the afternoon through PLC-specific initiatives and activities. The three-week length also helps campers to get used to a longer stay at camp and make deeper connections with their peers than they might in a regular 2-week session.

Our CSD Program (Counsellor Skills Development) program helps leadership campers to work on the essential skills of all our Camp Kawartha counsellors. Counsellor Skills Development (CSD) and Wilderness Counsellor Skills Development (WCSD) programs offer campers the opportunity to develop some of their ‘Hard Skills’ that are necessary for a leadership role at Camp Kawartha, and work towards certifications that can be applied both in a camp context and in other spheres outside of camp life. Our CSD program offers candidates the opportunity to work towards achieving their Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross swimming levels, and our WCSD program offers candidates the chance to work towards their Ontario Recreational Canoeing Level 1.

Our Leader in Training (LIT) and Wilderness Leader in Training (WLIT) programs are the final step of your leadership journey. For many, this program is the lead-up to becoming a member of our Camp Kawartha staff team. Both the WLIT and LIT program feature a ‘shadowing’ opportunity where candidates will work closely as a leader with a group of campers, under the mentorship of one of our staff members. Both the LIT and WLIT program also offer a volunteer opportunity at the end of the summer, where all candidates will have the opportunity to gain 80 volunteer hours by acting as a volunteer counsellor during our final session of the summer, Session N.

Our leadership offerings are not just about camp life; they are about equipping young leaders with skills that are valuable and transferable across all walks of life. We are committed to fostering a generation of youth who are not just future-ready but also deeply invested in nurturing caring communities and championing environmental stewardship.

Objectives of Summer Leadership Camp

Improve confidence, time-management, and communication skills

Understand group dynamics, leadership styles and the roles that people play within a group

Recognize that a caring community also means caring for and protecting nature

Develop strategies to overcome obstacles and solve problems

Obtain skills, knowledge, and experience to become leaders of the future

At Camp Kawartha, leadership is about respecting one’s self, others and the environment. It’s about working in a positive team setting and helping others. It’s about participation, trying, and embracing challenges. It’s about demonstrating a positive attitude whether you are being watched or not. It’s about self-improvement and being the best person you can be.

Leadership Camps & Applications

There is an application and selection process for our Leadership Programs. Campers have to demonstrate that they are prepared to meet the demands of the program through their previous experience, by answering relevant questions and completing a letter to why they would be an asset to the program

All campers interested in our leadership programs must submit a Leadership Application for consideration. Applications are still welcome – sign-in to the online portal and select “Leadership Applications”

Counsellor Skills Development (CSD1) 15-16 (Starting Gr. 10 in Sept. ’24) Fri, June 28 – Wed, July 24 $4,995
Counsellor Skills Development (CSD2) 15-16 (Starting Gr. 10 in Sept. ’24) Sun, Jul 28 – Fri, Aug 23 $4,995
Wilderness Counsellor Skills Development (WCSD) 15-16 (Starting Gr. 10 in Sept. ’24) Fri, June 28 – Wed, July 24 $4,995
Leader in Training (LIT1) 16-17 (Starting Gr. 11 in Sept. ’24) Fri, June 28 – Wed, July 24 $4,995
Leader-in-Training (LIT2) 16-17 (Starting Gr. 11 in Sept. ’24) Sun, Jul 28 – Fri, Aug 23 $4,995
Wilderness Leader-in-Training (WLIT) 16-17 (Starting Gr. 11 in Sept. ’24) Sun, Jul 28 – Fri, Aug 23 $4,995

Application Information & Deadlines

Timeline for CSD & LIT Applications

  • Mon, Sept, 30, 2024 – an email will be sent out to parents of previous year campers turning 15-17 notifying you that applications are available online (please be sure parent emails are correct in your online household account)
  • Mon, Oct 21, 2024 – Application deadline (applications will be accepted after this date, but priority will be given to applications who make deadline.)
  • Week of October 24, 2024 – Decisions of CSD & LIT Applications. Successful applicants will be called and all candidates will be followed-up with by e-mail.
  • If application is approved, deadline for accepting is November 14, 2024 (requires completion of registration and paying an $1,000 deposit to secure one’s placement). Options for the balance include paying in full upon registration or in postdated installments.

Application Evaluation

In reviewing the leadership applications, our process of evaluation and selection is based on 4 things:

  1. The application – we read the application and base its merit on the abilities to answer each question and how it ties into the program.
  2. Past Evaluations – past Camp Kawartha evaluations from our staff help us determine if the applicant is prepared for the leadership program. More recent camp evaluations carry the most weight.
  3. Oral evaluation – staff may be consulted who have worked with the applicant for additional information.
  4. Leadership suitability – based on the above, has the applicant demonstrated they are prepared to endure the challenges of the leadership program, will they be a positive influence to the dynamics of the group.

We wish to assist you with the process if you require clarity so feel free to contact the camp with additional questions throughout the process or 705-652-3860 x 205.

Volunteer Opportunity for LIT/WLIT Graduates

Both the LIT and WLIT programs are equivalent training programs to being considered for staff hiring the following summer.

All successful LIT and W-LIT participants will be invited to work as volunteer counsellors during our Nature Camp (Session N). This will give the applicants a valuable chance to use the skills they have acquired. Most Session N volunteers use these volunteer hours to meet their high school graduation requirements.

What parents are saying…

“For my son & daughter, the Camp Kawartha experience is priceless. They are more self aware, more confident and better stewards of the environment because of their experiences at Camp Kawartha.” [LIT]

What parents are saying…

“I can’t say enough good things about Camp Kawartha. The facilities, the variety of programming, the care taken with the campers health and safety is excellent. My daughter has developed lasting, quality friendships with many children from camp and adores the councillors. She is always happy to see me when I pick her up from camp but very sad to say goodbye to camp Kawartha for another year.” [CSD]

What parents are saying…

“We have sent our children to overnight camp for several years and they always have a wonderful time. All of the kids have nut allergies and the camp has always been very diligent and safe in this regard. The evening activities and canoe trips are well planned and the kids enjoy the outdoors in a setting with experienced staff. Great fun for all.”

“Best few weeks of the year. My daughter comes back with a huge smile every year, I would highly recommend this camp!!”

What parents are saying…

“Summer Camp is the highlight of each of my daughter’s very busy and fulling years. She does a phenomenal amount of growth each session and recounts so many stories where she was given a chance to step up and lead … often times outside of her immediate comfort zone. Staff leaders are of exceptional quality. She will be back next year!” [WCSD]