|Leader-in-Training Programs (L.I.T.)
AGES: 16-17 (by June 24)
LENGTH: 8 weeks
RATIO*: 2:12 on trip(Trailblazers)
2:8 on trip (Foresters)
3:32 in camp (Programs combined)
OPTIONS: Traiblazer or Forester
Understanding the Difference Between the Forester & Trailblazer Programs
For the most part the programs are quite similar. The fundamental difference between the two options is that the Forester program includes intensive trainings on canoe paddling, outdoor survival and canoe-camping while the Trailblazers spend extra time on understanding the functioning of camps (not just YMCA Kanawana), lesson planning and running activities while on camp. The two conduct as many trainings and activities together as possible. Foresters and Trailblazers also use the same cabins (separated by gender not by program). Both Programs are also recognized by the Quebec Camping Association (ACQ) and successful completion of either program will result in the candidate receiving a diploma from the ACQ. Below is a brief summary of some of the main differences.
- 5 day canoe-camping trip on lake (Trailblazers) vs. 10 day canoe-camping trip on river (Foresters).
- 3 Weeks of cabin integrations, assisting a camp counsellor, without going on another canoe trip (Trailblazers) vs. Approximately 2 weeks of cabin integration, assisting a camp counsellor and going on a short canoe trip with that cabin group (Foresters).
- Extra trainings in camp functioning, possibly in the format of a 4 or 5 day exchange to another camp (Trailblazers) vs. Extra trainings in wilderness survival and a certification from the Quebec Federation of Canoeing and Kayaking in flat water paddling level 2 (Foresters).
- 2 Trailblazer program directors with a maximum of 24 Trailblazers vs. 1 Forester director with a maximum of 8 Foresters. However, while the directors are responsible for evaluating their respective program participants, YMCA Kanawana views the L.I.T. program directors as a 3 person team. As a result participants of either program will receive some training from each of the 3 L.I.T. program directors.
Trailblazers begin their experience by taking part in a 5 day flat water canoe trip in La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve, during which each participant has the chance to lead the trip for a part of the day. Trailblazers will be closely involved in preparing their tripping experience as well as participating in various workshops aimed to establish group dynamics and introduce the challenge this incredible program participants are undertaking.
The second session consists of an intensive training program including two weeks of initiative games, team-building activities, and workshops aimed at developing skills in the areas of leadership, group animation, communication and working with children. As well, during this time, Trailblazers are given the opportunity to develop specific skills in various interest groups.
In the final half of the program, Trailblazers are given the opportunity to use their newly acquired skills by assisting camp counsellors in leading and mentoring their cabin/tent groups. Some Trailblazers will also have the chance to shadow program specialists in running a program area. During this time Trailblazers also get the chance to achieve personal goals they set out at the start of the program.
Foresters begin their experience by taking part in a 10 day white water canoe trip on a river selected specifically based on current conditions and the groups ability. While on trip each participant has the chance to lead the trip for a part of the day. Foresters will be closely involved in preparing their tripping experience as well as participating in various workshops aimed to establish group dynamics and introduce the challenge this incredible program participants are undertaking.
The second session consists of an intensive training program including two weeks of initiative games, team-building activities, and workshops aimed at developing skills in the areas of leadership, group animation, communication and working with children. As well, during this time, Foresters are given the opportunity to develop specific skills in various interest groups.
In the final half of the program, Foresters are given the opportunity to use their newly acquired skills by assisting camp counsellors in leading and mentoring their trip cabin/tent groups. Foresters will be paired with a trip cabin group that will go on a 4 day canoe camping trip in order to practise the skills they learned during the first half of the summer. Foresters will also spend some time doing paddling courses as well as intensive training in outdoor survival skills. During this time Foresters also get the chance to achieve personal goals they set out at the start of the program.
Certifications & Job Prospects
All Leader-in-training have the opportunity to obtain a minimum of Emergency First Aid and CPR certification (8 hour course) as well a Quebec Camping Association Certificate. Foresters will also be enrolled in a paddling course given by the Quebec Federation of Canoeing and Kayaking and will be able to obtain their canoeing level 1 and Flat-water canoeing level 2. Graduates of both programs are encouraged to apply to work as Junior Counsellors the following summer however, space is limited and not all program graduates will be able to work at YMCA Camp Kanawana the following summer. We also encourage program graduates to consider working for other camps, especially YMCA camps, if they are not selected in the summer after their L.I.T. program in order to perfect their skills and reapply in future summers if they so choose.Applying to be a L.I.T.*Please note, our leaders-in-training programs are among our most popular programs. Our Interviews take place during the second half of February. Most summers, once our interviews are completed we do not accept any more registrations for this program.
1. Complete the Camper Registration form
2. Answer 3 of the following questions in either English or French* (Please specify which questions you chose)
a) What do you see yourself doing at Kanawana after this program? Why?
b) Why do you want to participate in the Trailblazer or Forester program? (Please make sure you specify which program you are choosing)
c) What 3 things are you looking forward to the most next summer at YMCA Kanawana?
d) What do you hope to learn in the program you chose?
3. Upon completion of steps 1 & 2, you will be contacted to have a group and/or individual interview in person. For those people not from Montreal, the interview can be conducted over the phone. Interview dates will be announced in the spring.
*If registration was done online please send responses by email to email@example.com (subject heading: LIT Application), or by mail with a completed registration form to 1440 Stanley street, 1st floor, Montreal, Qc, H3A 1P7.