New for 2012! The Leadership Training Program (LT) is now four weeks instead of two! We have expanded our hallmark program to run during Sessions 1 and 2 to include longer back packing and canoe trips, more journaling and class time, more skills-based training, and just more time to put leadership skills into practice.
It is a well-known fact that the LT program can seriously kick your butt. It is physically demanding, you are expected to contribute and support your group through prayer, and spending that much time with one group of people can come with its own challenges. So why are we making it longer?!
Now, with a 60 mile instead of 30 mile hiking trip, entire days can be focused on group management, backcountry skills, and leading with confidence. Each participant can have a morning when they are the sole leader – in charge of helping the group wake up, pack, lead a Bible Lesson discussion, organize meals, and mark the route for the day. Now, rather than simply participating in the Ropes Course, LTs will learn how to belay and facilitate the ropes course with staff support and possibly run it for other camp programs like Eagle Rock and Trailblazers.
The initial goal in extending LT to four weeks is to provide participants with the “hard skills” necessary for becoming a staff member. As Executive Director, Nathan Bowen, puts it: “More than simply busting through limits and learning what they are truly capable of during the Adirondak canoe trip, The extended time available for LT allows for a longer trip which facilitates participants coming away from that trip with the necessary skills to lead an overnight canoe trip themselves.”
What’s amazingly rewarding about the LT program is that it teaches skills that are transferable to many areas of life, not just camp-life. Sure, you may learn orienteering, back country skills, and how to belay, but when done in a group environment like this you’re also learning how to get out of your own comfort zone and help others get out of theirs. You learn how to energize, motivate and support others, and how to apply Christian Science to difficult situations. When you spend four weeks with the same people all the time, you’re bound to overcome perceived differences and work to form solid bonds. And perhaps most importantly – you become responsible for yourself and for others, which means being deliberate with your thoughts and actions.
Four-week LT this summer will not only better prepare participants to take on the Counselor in Training program (which still happens Sessions 1 and 2), it will also push, stretch and allow participants to reach new personal heights. Bring it on!
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