Hours of Experience Gained As A Teen LeaderPosted by Alicia Theriault on November 29, 2017
Since 2007 Fernwood Cove has offered a leadership development program for teenage girls who are too old to be campers. Initially developed as a three-summer program, the program has evolved throughout its short life into a multi-faceted leadership development program. While much of the program has changed over the years, one thing has remained the same. The hours of experience gained as a teen leader within the camp community are an invaluable opportunity. These hours of experience lead to extraordinary personal growth in each Fernwood Cove CIT and Junior Counselor. Important life skills are learned and refined through real hands-on leadership opportunities. The ability to reflect upon personal successes and failures with an understanding that both provide opportunities for growth. And the understanding of the value of giving back and contributing to the betterment of others.
Hours of Experience Create Extraordinary Leaders
Experiential Learning is the foundation of the Teen Leadership Program. This hands-on learning model gives each girl the opportunity to put the knowledge they learn into action. CITs immediately find themselves “in the trenches” working with campers and putting their newly learned skills into action. Each morning CITs enrich their learning through a deeper understanding of youth development, experiential learning, and leadership and communication skills. CITs and Junior Counselors have daily opportunities to continue their skill development while assisting in Focus Activities, Trip Days, Evening Programs and Bunk Activities. No matter what the camp day entails there are hours of experience. Day after day these hours of experience create extraordinary leaders.
Regular advisory and mentoring opportunities give girls the opportunity to reflect upon their performance, assess where improvements and changes need to be made and set goals for further growth. Girls also have the opportunity to see how their actions, dedication, and leadership impact others in the camp community. Through a greater understanding of camp operations and Fernwood Cove philosophy CITs and Junior Counselors quickly realize they are helping to create the magic of camp. The magic that brought them years of camper memories and camper friendships. More importantly, they are helping to create the magic that allows each Fernwood Cove girl to thrive and become the best version of themselves. It is rare for a teen to have a truly meaningful, positive, and long term impact on the lives of younger girls. Fernwood Cove CITs and Junior Counselors experience this each day of camp.
Documented Experience As A Teen Leader
As the Teen Leadership Program has evolved we have worked to ensure that we are meeting the needs of today’s teens. Especially meeting the demands of school life, athletics and other activities outside of camp life. In particular, many high school students face the need to have documented community service and/or internship experiences. While it may not be a traditional service-learning experience, Fernwood Cove provides a quality documented experience as a Teen Leader. A single session as a CIT can add up to over one hundred hours of working directly with campers. Junior Counselors can accumulate over 600 hours of service. When combined with their CIT summer(s) they will have over 800 hours of service. Over 800 hours of hands-on skill development while impacting the lives of approximately 400 girls each summer.
The impact that the Fernwood Cove Teen Leadership Program has on the lives of campers, CITs, Junior Counselors, and staff is extraordinary. The depth of impact is rarely experienced in today’s society. It is for this reason that we are willing to work with individual CITs and Junior Counselors to fully document their experience as a community service or internship experience. Life for today’s teens is demanding and camp should be an opportunity to help girls meet these demands. Additionally, camp should be the opportunity for girls to escape from the demands and pressures of everyday life. The Fernwood Cove Teen Leadership Program is the perfect opportunity to do both. We are proud to offer Fernwood Cove girls with the opportunity to return to the supportive world of camp that they love while also providing them with the opportunity to obtain documented experience as a teen leader.