IAWAH Open House, Saturday May 20, 2023

Youth Development Leadership Programs

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4


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, Velo, River, 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 | entering grade 12 and/or post-secondary school or work.  
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. Participants spend time learning about various ministries – including the ministry of camping – all within the context of the local culture and history.

'Our daughter came home super happy about experiencing many new activities... She learns great values at IAWAH. She wants to go back every summer.'
- Parent

Year 1 | RISE


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.

What to Expect in RISE
  • All the fun of summer camp
  • A small group of youth that you get to know really well
  • Learn about program and event creation through hands-on experiences
  • Opportunity to learn practical leadership skills
  • Learn to Lead
    RISE participants experience an introduction to how camp works through practical experiences in program development and shadowing IAWAH staff.
    Topics Explored
  • Time management
  • Group dynamics
  • Project planning, execution, and review
  • Faith Based Talks
    RISE participants attend the summer camp PrimeTime program and then, together with their leaders, they dive a bit deeper into the topics discussed.
    All the Fun!
  • Sign-up daily for camp activities or for a focus program (2 hours) like Ski & Board or Cake Baking.
  • Rise exclusive games and programs
  • Two weeks of cabin life.
  • A unique weekend camping experience
  • Criteria
  • A desire to learn about camp and leadership in a team environment.
  • Participants can expect to go deeper in Biblical studies as they learn together.
  • Previous

    RISE Registration

    Gender: Co-Ed
    Age: Turning 13-14 yrs old
    Grade: Completed 8th Grade
    Duration: 2 Weeks
    Fees: $1490

    RISE 1

    July 16-29 2023

    RISE 2

    August 13-26 2023

    Planning for more than one camper at a time?
    Check out our complete dates and rates table to get everyone registered for the same time.

    'I’ve grown so much in my relationship with God and developed important leadership skills I will carry with me for the rest of my life.'
    -- YDLP Participant

    Year 2 | CREW


    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 a 3-day out trip. 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 groundskeeping. 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 Participants earn 72 hours of volunteer hours during this program.

    What to Expect in CREW
  • Heaps of fun while learning to be a good worker
  • Building lifelong friendships
  • A summer program you'll never forget
  • Stepping outside your comfort zone on the canoeing or hiking trip.
  • Learning to lead a team of peers
  • Leadership Training
    Hard and soft skill teaching is a priority in CREW giving participants the ability to use their skills learned in CREW in future jobs and life experiences.
    Topics Explored
  • Time management & Conisitency
  • Safe food handling & WHIMIS
  • Team leading
  • Faith Based Discussion
    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.
    All the Fun!
    CREW isn't all work! Participants look forward to evening events, exclusive time spent at the ski & board dock, daily swims, and CREW only climbing times on the indoor wall. The Canoe trip or Hiking trip are highlights as well.
  • A desire to develop healthy work habits
  • Willingness to work and live in a Christian community
  • A desire to form Godly character
  • Willingness to engage God’s Truth and experience biblical teaching.
  • Previous

    CREW Application

    Gender: Co-Ed
    Age: Turning 14-15 yrs old
    Grade: Completed 9th Grade
    Duration: 3 Weeks
    Fees: $1490

    CREW 1

    July 9-29 2023

    CREW 2

    August 6 - 26, 2022

    Planning for more than one camper at a time?
    Check out our complete dates and rates table to get everyone registered for the same time.

    'IAWAH is a wonderful place for children to learn about and experience God’s love.'
    - Parent

    Year 3 | ROOTs


    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 teambuilding activities.  This is then followed by a 7 day out trip either hiking, canoeing, kayaking or bike packing. 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. Participants choose from one of the four streams:

    • ROOTs Altitude – Outdoor Experiential Education and Skills Development

    Spend time learning mountaineering and camping skills and push your physical limits by hiking through the beautiful Adirondack Mountains in New York State. Participants will plan their daily routes and take turns leading the trip. (A canoe trip is not part of the ROOTs Altitude experience).

    • ROOTs Wild – Developing teamwork through canoeing

    Learn how to navigate challenging rivers and lakes in a remote wilderness area, while developing the skills needed to help lead a trip.

    • NEW! ROOTs River – Developing leadership skills on the water
    ROOTs River will navigate the Rideau and St. Lawrence Rivers in a new single seat sea kayak, camping at the locks in style, and take in the beauty of God’s creation. Participants will spend time growing in leadership and learning through discussion.
    • ROOTS Vélo – Outdoor Experiential Education and Skills Development

    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 who 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 pedalling with lots of stops along the way.

    ROOTs Application

    Participants apply online and will be interviewed for suitability before being selected.

    Gender: Co-Ed
    Age: Turning 15-16 yrs old
    Grade: Completed 10th Grade
    Duration: 4 Weeks
    Fees: $1950


    July 9-August 5 2023

    Planning for more than one camper at a time?
    Check out our complete dates and rates table to get everyone registered for the same time.

    This camp is filled with awesome people and staff that love the Lord and serve him with all their hearts.'
    - Parent

    Year 4 | REACH


    REACH is a program designed to expose and challenge participants in their understanding of Christian leadership in a cross-cultural context. The program focus is on gaining a sociological and theological understanding of our responsibility as Christ-followers in helping to alleviate poverty. We’re excited to once again offer our incredible REACH Latin America program, but this time with a new enhanced program and in a new country, Colombia!

    • Have you ever wondered why there’s such a gap between the haves and the have-nots?
    • What’s our responsibility as Christ followers in addressing this global problem?
    • How do we help to bridge that gap without hurting others or ourselves?

    Colombia is a beautiful country with amazing biodiversity and a rich culture. But our main reason for going is to partner with a local ministry in helping those affected by the largest recorded refugee crisis in the Americas. For the millions that have fled Venezuela, it’s a matter of survival. 


    The latest data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that;

    As of October 2021, a combination of violence, insecurity and a lack of food, medicine and other services in Venezuela had forced more than 5.9 million people to flee the country, creating one of the largest displacement crises in the world. More than 80 per cent fled to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with Colombia and Peru home to the majority.


    Will you help IAWAH respond to this crisis?

    Join us on an unforgettable experience that will challenge your worldview and push you to personal growth in your relationship with Jesus.

    REACH Registration

    Gender: Co-Ed
    Age/Grade: Entering grade 12 and/or post-secondary school or work.
    Duration: 3 Weeks
    Fees: $200 Deposit + $200 program fee to IAWAH. Fundraise the remaining $3100 for Latin American Missions to pay for program expenses.


    July 9 - 29, 2023

    • Building great friendships with Colombian youth as we learn, train, and serve together.
    • Working with displaced children and families from Venezuela.
    • Designing and running a youth camp using only locally available materials
    • Experiencing the beauty of Colombia’s north coast, A challenging hike in the mountains, along the coast and a visit to the colonial city of Cartagena
    • Gaining an appreciation for the Latin church and understanding that working together as one body in Christ benefits everyone.
    • Being challenged socially, spiritually, intellectually, and physically.
    • A positive personal transformative experience

    Doulos Ministries, is based out of Barranquilla on the north coast of the county. Several bilingual youths from the local churches (on summer break) will join us as we learn from each other and work together in continuing the ministry of Doulos with Venezuelan refugees. We are also grateful to have two former IAWAH staff, now living and working with this ministry in Barranquilla who will be helping us in this incredible opportunity.

    Raised funds will be channeled through Latin America Mission Canada. The founders of Doulos, as well as some former IAWAH staff work as missionaries with LAM Canada.

    The REACH Columbia Trip is packed with adventures and new experiences. This Daily Schedule is simply a brief outline of how the trip is planned. 

    The cost of this program to IAWAH is $400 (+HST). This covers ground transportation, onsite & administration expenses associated directly with IAWAH.
    Every participant is expected to fundraise an additional $3100 which is tax deductible. This can be done through your family, friends, or your church. IAWAH will provide you with a fundraising letter to help. Donations will be made to Latin America Mission Canada, with whom IAWAH is partnering for this experience. A tax receipt will be issued to your donors from LAM Canada (specific information will be given upon acceptance).

    To secure your position on the team, we require a deposit of $200 upon acceptance which will be applied to your $400 fee. 50% of the funds need to be raised by March 31st so airline tickets can be purchased.
    We expect all remaining raised funds to be in by May 31st. Any additional funds raised will remain with Doulos ministry to be used to support our Latin leaders.

    Apply Today!

    Spaces are limited. The trip will only run if we have a minimum of 6 participants registered by March 31.

    Helen and Daniel Bravo
    Have been serving as missionaries with LAM Canada for more than a decade and are the founders of Doulos Ministries. They are both bilingual and have worked closely with North American groups for many years. They live in Barranquilla.

    Judah and Jessie RathColumbia Leaders 1
    Both Judah and Jessie have served at IAWAH in the past – Judah in YDLP and Jessie as our program director.
    After a few years of teaching in Mexico for Jessie, her passion for Latin America spread to her husband Judah and they are now serving in Barranquilla with the Bravos, and under LAM Canada.

    Pre-Orientation (Mandatory)
    Arrival –  7:00 pm | Friday, May 19, 2023
    Departure – afternoon | Monday, May 22, 2023

    Mark this date on your calendar and we’ll see you at Camp IAWAH. We’ll begin Friday after dinner (make sure you’ve had something to eat before you arrive) and finish on Monday afternoon. This will be a time to get to know your team, go over logistics, details of the schedule, what to bring, as well as go through a few team-building activities and practical training including our first session of “When Helping Hurts”. This weekend includes a hiking trip in the Adirondack mountains, Lake Placid, New York. 

    If for some reason, you need to get in touch with your child during the trip, there are several options:

    Email: [email protected] Emails will be viewed when possible. Please be aware that WIFI is not available at all times.

    Call or message one of our leaders using WhatsApp (download app here)

    Phone numbers will be given upon acceptance.

    Contact your child directly when we have WIFI using a number of available apps.

    In case of an emergency, while we’re on the hike, we can be contacted via Helen and Danial Bravo* – directors of Doulos Ministries and Latin America Mission Canada Missionaries. We can be reached through our InReach Satellite Communicator.

    While in Colombia, as at IAWAH, we will take precautions wherever we go and will follow national and local public health guidelines. 

    Immunizations / Vaccinations
    Although not mandatory, we strongly suggest that all participants be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
    You must have your tetanus shot up to date.
    You are responsible for determining what immunizations you should have. Please consult your local health clinic for recommended immunizations or see: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/colombia

    Medical Emergency Situations – for Parents
    Should an emergency arise, we will contact you as soon as possible at which time you will need to contact your insurance company. The Colombian health care system is excellent. Barranquilla is a large city of 2 million with many options of hospitals and clinics. Depending on the situation, your medical insurance company may advise an emergency evacuation for treatment back home. Should this happen, an IAWAH leader will accompany your child and meet you at the airport.

    When you register at camp you will have the opportunity to go over any medication needs you have with the camp nurse. If you are under 18, medication will be handled by one of the leaders. Please bring enough for the 3 weeks. If for some reason, it gets lost we can get almost any prescription filled in Barranquilla. Please bring the generic name – product names will be different in Colombia.

    You must have international health insurance to go on the trip. If you’re not covered through one of your parents’ work plans, you can buy insurance through a number of companies like CAA or any bank. Make sure it has emergency evacuation coverage.

    Logistics -How to prepare for your experience
    It is essential that your passport does not expire within 6 months of leaving Canada or they will not let you into Colombia. Therefore, if your expiry date is on or before January 8th, 2023, you’ll need to renew it now.

    Consent to travel abroad form. 
    This is only for those under 18. Your parents will need to fill in the rest and sign. Please remember to bring this with you on your first day of camp, or email it ahead of time. View Consent to Travel Abroad form.

    Waiver Form
    The waiver form must be signed in order for you to participate on the trip. Please bring this with you at the time of our orientation in May and we will review it and upload it to your account. View Waiver Form. 

    Packing List coming soon. 

    One of the aspects of a trip into a developing country which is likely to incite a great deal of discussion is just how much the team should try to “fit in”. This question has bearing on the clothes you will wear, the food you will eat, even the volume of your conversation! Here are some basic operational principles that will help you relate well to our hosts.

    You are Guests.
    When we are working at in the city, you are working at the invitation of a Doulos Ministries. Be as sensitive to your role as guest as you would be at your employer’s or teacher’s home for dinner. Try whatever food you are offered. Colombian food is great!

    You are coming primarily to learn, not to teach.
    You will undoubtedly run across procedures that you feel are inefficient, or attitudes that you find closed-minded. Resist the temptation to inform you hosts “how we do things”. Ask yourself why the community operates that way: What is the benefit? Be open to learning that other methods and ideas may have merit that is not readily apparent to a foreigner’s eyes. Save your observations for team debrief time when the entire group can explore the causes and effects of the community’s idiosyncrasies.

    You must respect the Colombian view of Christianity.
    You may come from a Christian background that emphasizes obedience to Christ and adheres to a strong set of guidelines to define one’s faith. You may belong to a church that stresses freedom in Christ and is rather lax in its attitude towards behaviour. Or you may not attend a church. Whichever is the case; you will likely be confronted by a Christian community that has strong feelings one way or the other. It is important to recognize that Christianity has many faces throughout the world, and that one goal of our trip is to witness and experience faith lived out in a new setting. One of the keys to effective cross-cultural interaction is to identify those aspects of Christianity which transcend cultural trappings.

    Personal Preparation
    It will help you to read anything you can that explains the life and culture of Colombia. Be mentally prepared to enter another culture that has a different language, food, housing arrangements, worship patterns, etc. You will experience many new things and at times, face problems in communication and cultural differences. Prepare yourself mentally and spiritually to be flexible! Remember that we have a mighty God who is bigger than these “difficulties”.

    Spiritual Preparation

    • Pray that the Lord will prepare you for your time on the trip.
    • Pray for harmony and unity between us and our hosts
    • Share with others what you are doing and why.