Youth Development Leadership Programs
Youth Development and Leadership Training (YDLP) at IAWAH will guide youth on a journey of becoming great men and women centered in Christ and grounded in His truth. In these challenging programs, participants can expect to engage topics in: work habits and skills, community life, personal character development and spiritual formation. Participants generally begin at the end of Grade 9 with CREW, and continue through ROOTs the following summer. Year three of YDLP offers an cross-cultural experience called REACH where participants continue to enhance their leadership skills.
Participants can expect to:
- pursue depth of character through an environment of honesty, accountability and committed community;
- experience the conviction and empowerment of God's Spirit;
- develop a Godly foundation of truth, disciplines and principles;
- be challenged holistically (physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually) and see growth in each area.
Stages of development
CREW plants God's truth and introduces good work habits by developing norms and foundations. Structure, basic rhythms and supervision/modelling are key.
ROOTs cultivates and builds personal character. Solid foundations, personal/team challenges, opportunities to practise and serve children/youth and exposure to risk are critical. Participants can choose to learn in one of three settings: Arts, Altitude or Wild. Regardless of the focus chosen, participants will receive the same Scripture-based curriculum and will put into practise what they learn in the context of their chosen area. The camp context provides an environment for accelerating and intensifying learning. The wilderness provides a natural structure and rhythm in which to learn.
REACH enhances leadership skills in a cross-cultural context. Participants will further increase their understanding of service while working in partnership with the leadership team of our partner organizations: Camp La Cumbre in Costa Rica and Constance Lake First Nation Reserve in Ontario. Cross-cultural experiences challenge us to think of our role in God’s plan of redemption from a global perspective. Therefore, we will spend time learning about various ministries – including the ministry of camping – all within the context of the local culture and history.
Year 1 Crew Servant Leadership
CREW is the first year of youth development and leadership training and is the ideal place to begin. This is an intensive 21-day program for those who have completed a minimum of Grade 9. The program begins with a half week canoe trip and three days of training, followed by two weeks of service at IAWAH.
- Work shifts in the areas of food service (dining room/dishes)
- Housekeeping (bathrooms/general cleaning)
- Facility projects and grounds work
CREW is designed so that individuals participate in daily structured Bible studies, reflective time alone with God, worship, play and rest. Those who complete the full program will earn 72 hours of volunteer service.
CREW Wild gives youth interested in outdoor adventure the opportunity to participate in a CREW program which focuses on adventurous aspects of leadership development. CREW Wild is the same length as the other CREW programs, but includes an extended canoe trip and added emphasis on learning outdoor skills. While not a necessary prerequisite for ROOTs Wild, CREW Wild is a great option for those who might pursue ROOTs Wild.
Not old enough for CREW? Check out our Young Leaders program.
Dates & Rates
Are you ready to be challenged this year on CREW? Please view the 2018 YDLP Information Guide for more information.
Canoe Trip Packing List
Year 2 Roots Building Character
ROOTs is the second year of youth development and leadership training at IAWAH. This is a 4-week program for those who have completed Grade 10. All participants begin with a week of theory and team building before dividing into one of three streams for 10 days;
- ROOTs Altitude – Outdoor Experiential Education and Skills Development
- ROOTs Wild – Extended Canoe Trip
- ROOTs Arts - Developing Leadership Skills through music, art and drama>
Spend time learning climbing and mountaineering skills and hiking peaks in the Adirondacks of Upper NY state, with a focus on teaching adventure activities. A canoe trip is not part of the Roots Altitude experience.
10 days of learning how to navigate challenging rivers and lakes in a remote wilderness area, while learning the skills needed to help lead a trip.
Begin with some awesome practical education in these disciplines through involvement in camp programs, and then head out on a relaxed 4-day canoe trip. Be inspired by the natural beauty of God's creation and put some of what you’ve learned into practice.
Upon return to IAWAH, the entire group prepares for a 5 day outreach opportunity to our local community, developing and running a day camp at IAWAH where participants can put into practice the leadership principles learned in the first few weeks of the program.
Dates & Rates
Completion of CREW is not a requirement to participate in ROOTs. To find out more information about pricing and program details, see the YDLP Information Guide.
Canoe Trip Packing List
Year 3 Reach Expanding Horizons
REACH is a program designed to expose and challenge participants in their understanding of Christian leadership in a cross-cultural context. For 2018 IAWAH is offering two opportunities: Costa Rica and Constance Lake First Nation. Both programs will be using the same curriculum, focusing on gaining a theological understanding of our responsibility as Christ followers in helping to alleviate poverty.
In Costa Rica, the group will join the leadership team of Camp La Cumbre, as we prepare and assist in running a camp for youth from some of the most challenging areas of San José. During our second week, we will take on a physical challenge through an incredible journey from The Continental Divide to the beautiful rain forest of the Pacific Coast, finishing with a well-deserved break at the beach. We finish off our time in San José, learning how God is working in that city through visiting and participating in various strategic ministries to students and the most vulnerable.
In Canada, the team will be based out of Eagle’s Earth, a First Nations Educational Centre run by the band of Constance Lake First Nation. We will be learning from and sharing with the youth, families and elders of the reserve. It is important that our young people understand the challenges that our nation faces with its First Nations people, to rid ourselves of negative stereotypes and understand what part we can play in healing broken relationships. IAWAH will be building a long-standing relationship that Bethel Associated Gospel Church (Kingston) has with Constance Lake and is entering upon a personal invitation of the Band’s Chief. For the second part of the program, the group will be following one of the classic First Nations Canoe Routes to James Bay – the Missinaibi River. We will put in at Mattice, a community only 40 minutes from Constance Lake and finish at Moosonee, with a train ride back to Cochrane before returning to camp.
Both teams (Costa Rica and Constance Lake) with meet back at IAWAH for a rich time of sharing, debriefing and giving thanks! Be prepared for a learning experience like no other.
Dates & Rates
Must have completed grade 11. Please see the 2018 YDLP Information Guide for more information.
- Completion of CREW or ROOTs is not a requirement.
- For REACH Costa Rica: Spanish Language is an asset but not required.
- Participation in the program is not a requirement to work as staff at IAWAH. You may work as staff for the first part of the summer and still participate in this program.
Application Process for REACH:
- Complete all sections of the REACH application by December 31. Applications will be processed in order of date received.
- Each REACH applicant will be screened for suitability including contacting the pastor identified and/or references listed. If granted, an interview will take place beginning in January.
- Upon meeting all the requirements, successful candidates will be informed by February 1 at which time a non-refundable deposit of $200 is required. A second non-refundable deposit of $600 is required in March before flights are booked.
- A mandatory orientation day will take place in the spring to inform participants about cultural expectations, planning for the camps and how to raise prayer support and funding.
'CREW changed my life for the better and it came at just the right time to help me through a dark place.' Camper
CREW changed my life for the better and it came at just the right time to help me through a dark place.
Our kids love IAWAH – and I am grateful for the fruit it has borne in their lives. It has been foundational to their faith.
We love the seeds of faith that the camp fosters and nurtures. The tween age is particularly challenging... and we feel the more exposure to positive Christian role models, the better.
My eyes have been opened to what seems to be an emerging distinctive of our ministry – leadership development...God has given IAWAH an incredible opportunity to raise up leaders.
Tim Edwards, former Director
CREW had such a positive direct impact on our daughter...Please know the you are making a difference the lives of young people and how beautifully you are preparing them for the Kingdom.