Each summer, 16/17 year-old youth from around the world travel to Temagami for Camp Wabikon’s excellent Counsellor-in-Training, or ‘C.I.T.’ Leadership program. The six week program is carefully planned and designed to lead its participants through an educational, challenging, exciting and fun adventure that will help them bridge the gap from Camper to Staff and help prepare them for their future, both within and outside of the camping world.
Through various leadership development activities, counselling assignments, activity/program assignments, skill development opportunities and evaluations, participants in the Wabikon C.I.T. Leadership program attain personal growth, learn valuable skills, receive qualifications, become more confident leaders and most importantly, have the summer of a lifetime!
The program is led, under the supervision of the Camp Directors, by the C.I.T. Director(s), a senior, experienced Staff member(s) whose wish is to work with an enthusiastic group of young leaders and counsellors-to-be. Often this person(s) has been at Wabikon for a number of years and has held a variety of key Staff positions. The C.I.T. Director(s) has full aquatic qualifications and possesses a high level of leadership and camping experience.
To ensure comfort for each participant, the first week is primarily focused on team unity and group development. Through various activities, games, challenges and discussions, all carefully facilitated by the C.I.T. Director(s), each C.I.T. will gain a clear understanding of his/her role in camp, the expectations and adventures that lie ahead, and form a close bond with his or her fellow C.I.T.s. Following this initial team building week the focus for the following two weeks will be critical in the transition from Camper to Staff as C.I.T.s are assigned to observe, learn and assist (where possible) Staff members during regular teaching and counselling times. Group lessons, teaching sessions and skill development opportunities will also take place during this time.
Within the first 3 weeks, C.I.T.s will learn various canoeing and tripping skills under the careful instruction of Camp Wabikon’s Head of Tripping. Midway through the program, the C.I.T. Canoe Trip is an opportunity to put these skills to use. C.I.T.s will be involved in pre-trip planning and organization, and focus on the development of personal confidence in a canoe trip setting.
Upon return from the C.I.T. trip, having now completed just over half of the program, the C.I.T. group will once again participate in Cabin Counselling and Activity Placements, where they will now be expected to assist counsellors and/or activity staff with the daily program and attain skills and levels where possible. As well, with the assistance of constant feedback from themselves, the Staff and the C.I.T. Director(s), the focus will now be on leadership initiative and working as a team to develop, organize, and run small and large scale camp programs with the assistance of our Staff.
Included in the Wabikon C.I.T. Leadership program are opportunities to attain and/or upgrade qualifications in many important areas such as Canoeing (O.R.C.K.A.), Sailing (C.Y.A), Coaching (N.C.C.P.) and Swimming/ Lifeguarding (L.S.S.). Camp Wabikon is also very proud to offer its C.I.T.s a truly unique team building and personal development workshop through its partnership with Pursuit Development Labs Inc., a professional strategy and development company which has created a program specifically designed for Camp Wabikon.
By the final week of the program the C.I.T.s, along with their Director(s), have a clear understanding of their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses, but most importantly a strong feeling of accomplishment, personal growth, team unity and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Simply put, Camp Wabikon’s C.I.T. Leadership program is a unique opportunity to learn and develop a wide range of skills, attain qualifications, grow and mature as an individual… and have a ridiculous amount of fun in the process!
Former Wabikon C.I.T.s are always eager to share their experiences. Should you wish any further insight into our C.I.T. Leadership Program, please feel free to contact us for a reference.
If you would like to apply as a Camp Wabikon C.I.T. please register using our online application system. As well, please download and complete the information on page 2 of this document and return it to our Toronto office.
Last summer I went to Wabikon for the first time. I had always wanted to get a taste of what it would feel like to ditch civilization for a couple of weeks. The idea of completely disconnecting from the loud life in the city to then lose myself in the dynamic of a sun-filled atmosphere was something I had only dreamt of. During grade nine, I felt like I had to get away, that I needed to escape. I was tired of the routine pace of school and home. Summer was coming and I had no plans. This is when the idea of camp came into the picture. The whole concept of being constantly busy, as well as being surrounded by other people my age who also share that one goal to live something new, attracted me beyond compare. Sitting by the fire and roasting marshmallows has also always been something I’ve enjoyed. My best friend and I then literally looked up summer camps far away from our hometown and picked Wabikon at random. I am so happy I came across a place like Wabi: I had no idea how much the effect of three weeks isolation from the outside world would have on me. It is safe to say that it was the absolute climax of all my teenage summer experiences!
Anonymous – Wabikon Camper
Wabikon means more to me than there are words to describe. It is my home, my life, and my family. I have been so extremely lucky to go to camp every summer of my childhood. It kept on getting better and better as the years went on, as I became more independent. Wabikon is the place that holds memories and people that changed and got better every year. I have been able to grow and learn at camp and I have loved and treasured every minute of it. Since my first year at Wabikon, I have learned camp skills, had the pleasure of feeling free and making new friends, and also learned very important life skills.
Cale N. – Wabikon Camper, CIT & Staff (Canada)
The Wabi CIT program has changed me as a person. My leadership and initiative taking skills have developed so far; I’m now the presidential representative of my grade homeform, I am the founder and president of my school’s UNICEF club, I am a member of the mental health committee, gay straight alliance, girls athletic association, math engineering and science association .. and I’m a member of my swim team at school! I’m also doing a co-op program at a public school for children with high physical and health needs. And to top it off, I’m in the process of earning my NLS! All of these I thought I wasn’t capable of accomplishing before my summer at Wabi.
Niki B. – Wabikon Camper and CIT (Canada)
I was a staff member at your wonderful camp for 2 years in 1989 and 1990. I wanted to write to you after seeing the photos that were recently posted on Facebook. Wow! I am remembering all the fantastic people that I worked with, the campers I cared for and the lessons I learned from your strong leadership and guidance. I am so pleased to see that things are still going strong at Wabikon and you continue to uphold the philosophy of having a welcoming and positive space for campers and staff to grow and learn from each other. I remember the many international campers that would come to Wabikon and the intercultural connections that were made. Many thanks for the experience you provided to me all those years ago – it stays with me always.