I’m so excited for our Leaders-In-Training (LIT) Program to kick off in 2019! The Camp Alleghany Administrative Team has been working so diligently to put together a fantastic program that will translate to an amazing summer for our 16-year-olds.
If you’ve read Director Elizabeth Shreckhise’s blog posts about LIT, you already know a lot of what is going to happen. If you haven’t, I suggest you take a peek to see how awesome this program is going to be.
Research Confirms It
At the American Camp Association National Conference in February of this year, I was able to attend lots of compelling sessions, and many with an eye towards training leaders, specifically in a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) and LIT setting.
One session in particular that was really insightful was “Rethinking Leadership Training,” put on by a director at Aloha Camp in Vermont.
If you’re keen on Camp Alleghany’s history, you’ll remember that Camp Alleghany, back in 1922, was heavily influenced and founded on the traditions and setup of Aloha Camp at the time, in Aloha’s early twentieth century format. Of course, a lot has changed in the last 96 years, as Alleghany and Aloha are very different programs today.
That said, it was interesting and exciting for me to see that despite the changes and differences, some things are still similar. Aloha’s LIT program, for example, is the full summer — seven weeks for them. It was eye-opening talking with other directors who are building, tweaking, or revamping their programs to include the LIT facet. The more I delve into other camps’ LIT/CIT programs (and so many camps have them), the more I realize we’re in the top of the pack when it comes to thoughtful, intentional programming.
Most of the top tier camps, and by top tier I mean those with the best reputations, long-lasting success, and looked to as leaders in the industry, have LIT programs. As we sing in “They Built Camp Alleghany,”
We’re the best camp ever to be found in the land…
and I think our alumna, staff, campers, and camper families would affirm that.
In all the research I’ve been doing into LIT programs — talking with directors at other camps, reviewing their materials, poring over leadership books, brainstorming new ideas — I realize our LIT program, too, will be the best in the land.
While at the conference I also stopped by a research presentation studying these types of programs, and the preliminary results are impressive. LIT/CIT Programs build palpable and impressive hard skills and soft skills in participants.
Using LIT In Life
The soft skills and intangibles are the things universities and companies explicitly look for these days, and in the next 20 years it will be even more important to hone these skills as more jobs become reliant on interpersonal skills. The research shows programs like ours build these skills including, but not limited to, working productively within a team, conflict resolution, emotional control, independence, and resiliency. While excellent skills to have in a job, these soft skills also help in life transitions, whether it’s moving off to university or starting at a first or new job, dealing with roommates, handling peer pressure, and more.
Camp is changing a little bit. Just like it has done over the past 96 years. But the changes are for the better, and always in the camper’s best interest in an ever changing world and camping landscape.
Our core values and traditions aren’t going anywhere. Honor, Friendship, Loyalty, Love, and the ‘Ghany community are still the base of everything we do. Our LIT Program will only enhance these values, and make camp even better and stronger than it already is.
It’s hard to imagine being even better, but it’s coming. Every year we’re getting better. 2018 is going to be phenomenal, and 2019, with the start of an incredible LIT program, will knock your socks off!
If you want to check out what other camps are doing with their LIT programs, explore some of these: Camp Newaygo, Aloha Camp, Camp Lincoln/Camp Lake Hubert, Camp Birchwood for Girls, Forest Lake Camp.
I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a must that ‘Ghany also provide a leadership-focused program for our oldest “campers” and that LIT is going to fit the bill to a “T!”
— Casey Tucker, Program Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls