Leadership Development

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Leadership participants develop tightly knit groups and a sense of fellowship that is rarely found today. If adventure, challenge and learning are important to you, then our leadership programs are the place for you. At YMCA John Island Camp, we view leadership development as a corner stone of our program. Becoming a future camp staff member often begins within our leadership training programs. We believe good camp leaders possess a high degree of skill and confidence in the outdoors and a sensitivity to the needs of young people. Our leadership progression is designed to help young people develop greater self confidence, and ability to work in group settings, a wide variety of outdoor skills, and an appreciation for the needs of younger campers.


Although the John Island Leadership Development program is geared toward traning potential camp staff, many have found the program to be very beneficial in other future endeavours at school, in seeking part-time employment and in their careers.

Leadership 1 "The Greenways"

Greenway A: Sunday July 9 - Friday August 4, 2017 $2180
Greenway B: Sunday July 30 - Friday August 25, 2017 $2180

The Greenway program is offered in 2 different four-week sessions. Fun, adventure, challenge and growth are the key elements of a program carefully designed to help teens develop a wide range of skills in specific outdoor activities. In the Greenway program, leadership participants focus on developing their own ‘hard’ (technical skills in activity areas). They also focus on their role as a group member and effectively working within a group. Through individual skill development, group experiences and outtrips, participants gain valuable leadership experience. Participants must be turning 15 by December 31, 2017.

while in camp...
Participants spend approximately two weeks ‘in camp’. They work on specific individual skills in areas such as sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, and archery. Participants are encouraged to gain a base skill level in all of the activity areas as well as develop a higher level of skill in specific areas they choose. They can choose any program area such as canoeing, kayaking, ropes, sailing, outdoor living skills and more. The Greenway group explores trust and adventure through initiatives, our low and high ropes courses, and climbing wall. There’s lots of opportunities to enjoy camp life with campfires, all-camp games, and special programs.

while on outtrips...
Wilderness travel and outdoor living skills are developed on outtrips which make up approximately two weeks of the program. Greenway participants have input into the types and areas of travel for the group. Past programs have traveled to Lake Superior Provincial Park, the Spanish River and Temagami. Greenway participants have a chance to learn about the dynamics of a tripping group and focus on individual hiking, kayaking, and canoeing skills.

Leadership 2 "The Norquays"

In-Camp Norquay: Monday July 10 - Friday August 11, 2017 $2397
River Norquay: Sunday July 9 - Friday August 25, 2017 $3760
 
Group work, counselling, fun, and adventure are all at the core of the Norquay program. The Norquay program gives participants extensive experience in ‘soft’ (counselling) skills. Participants focus on counselling, teaching, group dynamics, and leadership techniques in camp and on outtrips. The program enhances each participant’s ability to work successfully within a group to promote understandings of basic needs and relationships between the individual, the group, and the camp community. Although Participation in the Greenway program is not required prior to this program, similar camp or outdoor experiences are beneficial to participants.


Upon registration, registrants will be asked to complete a second component to the registration process. In order for participants to compete their enrollment they will be asked to complete 3 items prior to commencing their program: a cover letter, questonnaire and doctor's note of good health (Dr's note only for River Norquay Participants).

A letter will be sent out along with your registration confirmation outlining what registrants need to complete as well as in what time frame.  

There are two streams in the Norquay program: Program Norquays and River Norquays. Although both streams spend time on outtrip and in camp, the focus of the program differs between the two streams. Participants must be turning 16 by December 31, 2017.

In-Camp "Program" Norquays

Participants work in a small group to develop skills in camp counselling, program planning, and skill instruction. They are exposed to the behind the scenes administration, site and food service areas of camp. They work closely with a staff counselling pair with campers in a cabin group setting. One week of the program is spent on an outtrip exploring outtrip leadership, trip planning, and wilderness travel skills.

The In-Camp Norquay participants will begin their leadership jouney at YMCA Camp Falcona. They will spend 2 weeks at Falcona, experiencing a different program model then they are used to at JOhn Island. Within those 2 weeks they will take part in a variety of counselling sessions in preparation for their 1 week cabin placement where they get to work alongside the Falcona counselling team, learning from them as they share the responsibilities of counselling a cabin of 8-10 kids.

Upon their return to John Island, participants will begin their trip preparations and packing as they head out for a 7 day adventure on a Nothern Ontario lake or river system. When they return from their trip they will continue to take part in various counselling sessions at John Island as well as hone their 'hard' skills (technical skills in activity areas) as they look forward to another week long cabin placement at John Island.

* Please note that while helpful prior participation in the Greenway Program is not a prerequisite for registration in In-Camp Norquays.

River Norquays

2016 marks the 22nd year for this exciting version of the Norquay program. Participants will travel on the remote Missinaibi River in Northern Ontario ending on James Bay. Beyond participating in an adventure program, participants gain extensive knowledge in the areas of trip preparation, food packing, route selection, risk management, river rescue, wilderness first aid, navigation, and outtrip programming. 

River Norquay participants will spend the first few days in camp getting to know each other, taking part in a few camp programs and going over all of their gear and food in preparation for depature. Particpants will play a key role in packing the trip as they learn what goes into planning, preparing and packing for their adventure. 

Although not in a typical classroom environment to take part in counselling sessions, River Norquay participants will spend time on trip learning key topics relating to effective counselling techniques.

Upon their return from trip, they will learn how to properly unpack a trip in order to maintain gear and equipment and properly inventory what has been used. Participants will take part in a few more training sessions prior to being placed in a cabin placement to work with a staff counselling pair with campers in a cabin group setting.  

* Please note that while helpful prior participation in the Greenway Program is not a prerequisite for selection to the River Norquay Program.

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