Teen Leadership Program Is Not Just Another Summer At CampPosted by on September 25, 2017

Throughout their camper years Fernwood Cove girls experience a wide variety of activities.  They learn new skills in a supportive and diverse community.  Their bunkmates become their closest friends.  And they develop an understanding of simple living, caring for the environment, and continuous personal growth.  Fernwood Cove girls experience so much in their three and a half weeks at camp.  They return summer after summer, excited for everything camp has to offer.  As campers get older they gain additional responsibilities within the camp community.  Coordinating special events and leading weekly Services teach valuable life skills like leadership, teamwork, and communication.  The development of these important life skills should not end just because a Fernwood Cove girl completes her senior (Flamingo) summer.  Hence why the Fernwood Cove Teen Leadership Program is the perfect opportunity for Fernwood Cove teens.

The Teen Leadership Program is not just another summer at camp.  Yes, CITs and Junior Counselors are returning to camp.  They are returning to the safe and supportive environment that Fernwood Cove families have grown to love and expect.  Fernwood Cove girls are returning to their summer home where they are free to be themselves.  Additionally, they are returning to a place where they know they can challenge themselves in new ways they wouldn’t necessarily do at home.   CITs and Junior Counselors return to camp because they know their growth is not complete.  They return so they can “give back” and help create the magic.  CITs and Junior Counselors return because they know there’s more to camp than campfire songs and days in activities with their friends.  Girls become CITs and Junior counselors because they seek to dig deeper, learn more, and make an impact.

An Intentional and Real Program

The Fernwood Cove Teen Leadership Program is all about learning. Each day is full of learning new skills.  CITs and Junior Counselors are always learning about themselves.  However this learning varies greatly from the learning they experience in school.  Often teens discuss how what they learn in school lacks a connection to their everyday lives.  How it “matters”.  Through our intentional program structure girls quickly recognize the difference in learning at camp.  They see that it has a “realness” that they don’t typically experience.  This is because they are applying their newfound knowledge and skills in a real way.

They are actively making decisions and planning events.  Fernwood Cove teen leaders are brainstorming new activities and creating lessons.  Each day they are actively involved in creating the camp experience for Fernwood Cove campers.  Consequently they see that they have a real impact on the lives of others in the camp community.  CITs and Junior Counselors quickly begin to understand that who they are as a person and the choices they make have real consequences.  This inspires the girls to want to  learn more and to want to do more.  Once they recognize their value and how they can make an impact they are more intentional about their leadership.  Through hands-on and real leadership experiences they gain the confidence to lead in new situations and environments.  Collectively this helps to ensure continued leadership long after their days as a CIT or Junior Counselor.

Setting Themselves Up For Success

Returning to a familiar place where they know they are successful provides the perfect platform for CITs and Junior Counselors to develop vital life skills.  By returning to camp CITs and Junior Counselors are setting themselves up for success.  Therefore they quickly transition into life at camp and immediately begin to grow as leaders and role models in the camp community.  By returning to a place where they have experienced success former campers are much quicker to experience personal growth.

With the guidance and support of the Teen Leadership Staff CITs and Junior Counselors actively develop skills related to collaboration, leadership, and communication.  CITs learn through an established curriculum that utilizes a variety of learning opportunities throughout camp.  Junior Counselors are truly “in the trenches” living in camper bunks and assisting with multiple activities each day.  Junior Counselors utilize and further develop the skills they learned as CITs.  As a result girls grow as leaders in the camp community and gain the confidence to be successful leaders far beyond life at camp.

A Holistic Approach

The structure of experiential learning provides Fernwood Cove teens with the opportunity learn from past experiences.  CITs and Junior Counselors are active participants in assessing their progress, setting goals, and determining their path as they move forward.  Including each girl in her own personal growth empowers her to take ownership of her time as a CIT and Junior Counselor.  Through regular mentoring and feedback girls gain the ability to utilize their struggles and failures as opportunities to learn and grow.  In addition, girls recognize the achievements of their peers in weekly group advisory sessions.

A holistic approach allows girls to support one another while also focusing on their individual growth.  The supportive network of girls, counselors and administrative staff creates unique connections and relationships that are unlike other camp relationships.  Girls leave the Teen Leadership Program knowing how to set themselves up for success.  Similarly, they know they have the strong, supportive network of girls and staff who will be there to support and mentor them for many years to come.

Why A Teen Leadership Program

Each summer Fernwood Cove campers leave camp having gained a multitude of skills.  Parents ask why various aspects of the Teen Leadership Program aren’t included in the camper program.  Ultimately, there are two main reasons why.

  1. The camper years focus on fostering healthy relationships that create a supportive environment to try new things and learn new skills.  We are constantly working to instill Fernwood Cove values and help each girl become the best version of herself.  Much of this is accomplished through fun activities in the magical world of camp. We also love to recommend parents the best products from https://www.ukmeds.co.uk/treatments/beta-blockers/propranolol-tablets-10mg/ so they keep themselves healthy for the girls
  2. Fernwood Cove strives to ensure that all programs are developmentally appropriate.  Activity options and structure differ based on camper age.  Counselors vary their lesson plans based on the developmental stages of campers in their activities.

Collectively this framework helps to ensure safe and appropriate learning opportunities for every camper.  As campers get older they have additional responsibilities as the contribute to the development of special events.  As campers age-out of their camper years they have a strong foundation that has been established by their camper experiences.  And their late teenage years are the ideal time for in-depth experiences that develop leadership, communication, and collaboration.  Additionally, research shows that teen leadership programs similar to Fernwood Cove’s foster the development of personal identity.  This is a key aspect of development throughout adolescence.  A major aspect of the development of identity is participation in meaningful and real experiences where teens feel they make an impact.  Fernwood Cove CITs and Junior Counselors experience all of these things when they return to camp.

These key factors are why a teen leadership program is the ideal opportunity for Fernwood Cove girls.  These key factors are why our Teen Leadership Program is not just another summer at camp.