When our campers graduate from our regular program, those who are interested in taking their camp experience to the next level are encouraged to apply for the MKDC leadership program. First is the Leader-In-Training (LIT) position, which helps campers to gain experience as a role model for our younger campers while building valuable life skills. Fifteen year olds who have successfully completed the LIT program will be invited to become Counselors-In-Training. CITs perform many of the duties of a Jr. Counselor while continuing to receive guidance and training.
Besides having the opportunity to continue to grow and have fun at camp, there are many benefits to MKDC’s leadership program:
- For a kid who has grown up at camp, becoming an LIT is an opportunity to discover the other side of camp life – to experience some of the planning that goes on behind the scenes to make camp magic happen. Taking part in the staff secrets behind such events as colour war is an exciting feeling for former campers.
- Young teens (13-15) aren’t old enough for most jobs yet, but are feeling the pressure to begin building job experience. Camp leadership training provides them with valuable job experience and skills they can put on their resume. CITs who successfully complete the program also have a “foot in the door” to becoming a future full staff member at Maple Key.
- LITs learn a variety of important life skills while they are at camp. Empathy, responsibility, confidence, and teamwork are all heavily emphasized at in the leadership program. Whether LITs plan to become camp counselors or not, these skills will serve them well in both their work and personal lives.
- All Leaders-In-Training receive a formal evaluation at the end of the summer, in addition to regular check-in points throughout the camp session. This encourages real growth in a short period of time, as well as providing a written evaluation that can be kept in the LITs portfolio and used as a written letter of reference.
- Being an LIT is fun! Leaders-In-Training get to continue to participate in the camp activities they love, plus take on special responsibilities such as refereeing the (very funny!) counselor hunt. Isn’t that better than sitting at home?