Youth Development Leadership Programs
Youth Development and Leadership Training (YDLP) at IAWAH guides youth on a journey toward becoming great men and women; centered in Christ and grounded in His truth.
In these challenging programs, participants can expect to explore topics in:
- work habits and skills
- community life
- personal character development
- spiritual formation.
Participants generally begin at the end of Grade 8 with RISE and continue through CREW and ROOTs in subsequent summers. Year four of YDLP offers a cross-cultural experience called REACH where participants continue to enhance their leadership skills. While the programs are designed to build on each other there are no program completion pre-requisites.
Stages of Development
RISE | A fun balance of summer camp and leadership training | completed grade 8 and 13-14 years old.
RISE is an action packed introduction to 'how Camp Works.' Through engaging, practical experiences participants enjoy all the great activities of camp, while also leading some activities and programs. RISE participants come away with a better understanding of who they are and how their uniqueness is an asset to the team.
CREW | Leadership development through teamwork | completed grade 9 and 14-15 years old.
CREW plants God's truth and establishes a good work ethic in youth that will serve them well as they grow. Youth in CREW learn life skills through activities, work shifts, study, and hands-on experiences. By learning how to work as a team, they develop skills in: teamwork, perseverance, conflict management, problem-solving, and resilience.
ROOTs | Cultivate and build personal character | completed grade 10 and 15-16 years old.
The ROOTs program cultivates and builds personal character. Participants can choose to learn in one of three focuses: Altitude, Voyageur, Vélo, or Wild. Participants can expect to build solid leadership foundations through personal/team challenges, and opportunities to practice and serve children/youth. Regardless of the focus chosen, participants will receive the same Scripture-based curriculum and will put into practice what they learn throughout the program.
REACH | Leadership skills in a cross-cultural context | completed grade 11 and 16-17 years old.
REACH enhances leadership skills through a cross-cultural experience. Participants will further increase their understanding of service while working alongside our partner leadership teams in Latin America and Constance Lake First Nation Reserve in Ontario. Participants spend time learning about various ministries – including the ministry of camping – all within the context of the local culture and history.
Year 1 Rise Discover Potential
RISE is an introductory youth development leadership program for campers who have “been there, done that”, or for those looking for that little extra above and beyond the regular camp daily program. It allows for participants to experience all the great activities of camp, but also learn how to design and run a program, experience a bit of cabin leading while shadowing one of our Jumpstart camp leaders, and run an exciting activity. It’s an introduction to how camp works, learning through practical experience. RISE participants are still able to sign up for focus programs.
Dates & Rates
Are you ready to be challenged this year on RISE? Please view the 2022 YDLP Information Guide for more information.
Year 2 Crew Servant Leadership
CREW is the second year of personal development training within the Youth Development and Leadership Program at IAWAH. CREW is an intensive 21-day program centered around volunteer work and focuses on excellence in work, healthy habits, and living in a Christian community. Because CREW provides foundations for Godly character and personal discovery of scripture, it is the ideal place to begin to develop yourself as a future leader.
CREW participants spend their first week in work-shift training, team-building activities, and preparing for their 3-day trip. New for this year CREW members can sign up for a canoeing trip or a hiking trip. During the remaining time in the program each CREW participant will work up to six hours daily in food service (dining room/dishes), housekeeping (bathrooms/general cleaning), and grounds keeping. CREW is structured with plenty of time to interact with each other through organized team challenges, camp activities, and free time. There is a day of rest that will be intentionally programmed by the CREW Staff.
CREW Wild gives youth interested in outdoor adventure the opportunity to participate in a CREW program that focuses on adventurous aspects of leadership development. CREW Wild is the same length as the other CREW programs, and runs in conjunction with CREW 3. Wild includes a week-long canoe trip with 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 a path in outdoor adventure.
Not old enough for CREW? Check out our RISE program.
Dates & Rates
Are you ready to be challenged this year on CREW? Please view the 2022 YDLP Information Guide for more information.
Canoe Trip Packing List
Year 3 Roots Building Character
ROOTs is a 4-week leadership development program for those who have completed Grade 10. All participants begin with a week of group bonding by studying topics such as worldviews and culture, leadership theory, and spending time in exciting team building activities before dividing into one of three streams;
- ROOTs Altitude – Outdoor Experiential Education and Skills Development
- ROOTs Wild – Extended Canoe Trip
- ROOTs Voyageur - Developing leadership skills through fun
- NEW! ROOTS Vélo
Spend time learning mountaineering and camping skills and push your physical limits by hiking through the peaks of the Adirondack Mountains in Upper NY state. Participants will plan their routes and take turns leading the trip. (A canoe trip is not part of the ROOTs Altitude experience).
*Due to COVID-19, the Roots Altitude trip may take place in Ontario or Quebec.
Learn how to navigate challenging rivers and lakes in a remote wilderness area, while developing the skills needed to help lead a trip.
ROOTs Voyageur begins in Kingston and navigates along the Rideau River in a Voyageur canoe, camp at the locks in style, be amazed at God’s creation and work together to create photo & video documentation of your amazing trip. Your final destination is Camp IAWAH. Participants will spend time leading and learning through discussion.
What’s bike-packing you ask? Think of a hiking trip, but instead of carrying the weight on your back, the gear is distributed on your bike. (IAWAH provides bikes and gear)For those that love riding rail trails and backcountry roads, ROOTs Vélo is for you. Beginning with preparation at camp, participants will travel as a small group, and experience the outdoors, with a view from behind the handlebars. Camping along the way, Vélo participants will establish daily rhythms and learn to tackle challenges as a bike-packing team. Days will involve 4-5 hours of pedaling with lots of stops along the way.
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 three 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 2022 YDLP Information Guide.
Canoe Trip Packing List
Year 4 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 2022 IAWAH is offering two opportunities: Latin America and Constance Lake First Nation. Both programs focus on gaining a sociological and theological understanding of our responsibility as Christ-followers in helping to alleviate poverty.
In Latin America, 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 communities of San José. During our second week, we will take on a physical challenge through an incredible hike from continental divide to the beautiful rain forest of the Pacific coast, finishing with a well-deserved break at the beach. We complete 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.
Situated in Northern Ontario, our Constance Lake First Nation experience is a three-week program where we first spend time living in the community to learn from the elders, community members, and the chief. We will be serving where needed as determined by the community, which may involve participating in youth programs and preparing to serve the children of the community by leading a day camp alongside community leaders. We will spend time visiting historically significant places in the area and finish with some canoeing and hiking in and around Lake Superior national park - another significant area to the First Nation people of the region.
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 upon a long-standing relationship that Bethel Church Kingston has with Constance Lake and is entering upon a personal invitation of the Band’s Chief. Previous canoe tripping experience is not required.
Be prepared for a learning experience like no other!
Dates & Rates
Must have completed grade 11 and be between the ages of 16-17. Please see the 2022 YDLP Information Guide for more information.
- Completion of CREW or ROOTs is not a requirement.
- For REACH Latin America: Spanish Language is an asset but not required.
- Participation in REACH is not a requirement to work as staff at IAWAH. You may work as staff for part of the summer or not at all and still participate in either of these programs.
Application Process for REACH:
- Complete all sections of the REACH application by April 1st for Latin America and May 1st for Constance Lake. Applications will be processed in order of date received and will be taken as soon as REACH registration opens in mid-November each year. As space is limited in each program, there is an advantage to applying early.
- Each REACH applicant will be screened for suitability including contacting the references listed. Each applicant will then be notified if they have successfully made it to the interview stage. We will begin the interview process in January and will continue to interview applicants until the program is filled.
- Upon meeting all the requirements, successful candidates will be informed within 2 weeks after the interview at which time a non-refundable deposit of $200 is required. For those accepted to the Latin America program, a second non-refundable deposit of $600 is due April 1st in order to book flights.
- For REACH Latin America, a mandatory orientation weekend will take place in the spring to inform participants about cultural expectations, planning for the trip and how to raise prayer support.
'CREW changed my life for the better and it came at just the right time to help me through a dark place.' Camper
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.
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.