by Shawn Moriarty, Moose Hill Education Coordinator & Camp Director
In the world of summer camp, we talk about, explore, and teach leadership a great deal. We spend time on the topic of leadership because we know as Camp Directors that if we want great staff, we need to train them in the skills we want them to have. And for many camp staff, working at camp is often their first job and they might not have a lot of experience in learning about leadership directly.
Leadership is one of those words that we hear frequently in a wide variety of contexts. There are thousands of takes on leadership in the arenas of business, organizational development, military tactics, athletics, and Ted Talks. There are debates on if leadership is made or innate inside of us.
If you are a parent and you have a young adult who is between 14-16 years of age, and you would like them to develop their skills in leadership, consider having them take part in one of our two leadership experience programs here at Moose Hill Nature Day Camp. We offer two programs: Leaders In Training (LIT) and Counselor In Training (CIT). They are different programs, and they both focus on developing leadership skills.
For those of you who have been with us for a few years, you will notice that we have changed the previous LIT program. It was a great program. And we are making the change to better serve our campers, camper families, and the future of camp. We have noticed two things: 1) We have a great group of older staff coming up through camp, and 2) Older campers can tend to have busy schedules during the summer.
We have redesigned our Leaders In Training (LIT) program and designed a new Counselor In Training (CIT) program to meet these two observations. The new redesigned LIT program is 1-week in length, and the participants will spend the week experiencing leadership first hand. The LITs will help run some activities during the week for the rest of camp, they will take a personal Leadership Skills Self-Assessment, and they will take part in leadership experience initiatives. The LIT program can be taken multiple times over the summer. The format will remain the same, and the activities will change. The LITs will not be assigned with a group of campers, but they will do activities with campers that they create. And while we offer this program at camp, it is not just about working at camp. The skills developed and explored in this program, can help the participants be better leaders outside of camp.
The new CIT program, provides a 2-week training for participants who want to develop skills needed to work at camp. In addition to working on leadership skills, the CITs will also help lead activities, learn topics on child development, participate in team experience challenges, and build their naturalist skills. The program is 2-weeks long and runs in sessions 2/3, 5/6, and 8/9. Sessions 4,7, and 10 are when CITs can come and get a week of experience with a group of campers. The 2-week sessions will allow the group of CITs to learn how to work together, and perhaps more importantly, build their skills together on what it takes to build a community. We are developing this program so that 1) the CIT’s who come out of this program have some great skills as camp staff, naturalists, and leaders, and 2) we get to invest in some of the people who could be the next generation of amazing staff here at Moose Hill Nature Day Camp.
Leadership is a challenging topic. We will ask for the participants to give each day their best effort. We will ask them to try difficult tasks. We will give them responsibility. And we will give them tools to develop their skills as leaders. If your teen wants to build their leadership skills and understanding, consider giving them the gift of experiencing these programs.
If you have any questions, please contact us.