2024 Summer Programs
Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost offer a variety of opportunities for summer leadership development. It is our belief that through challenging experiences in the wilderness, individuals are able to mature and expand their development as a total person. Individuals are helped to realize personal responsibility as members of the group and as the Body of Christ.
Please read the program descriptions to select the program that best meets your needs and goals. Also included is a brief decision matrix that will assist you in the process.
The Brothers And Sisters In Christ (BASIC) program is a four-week experience for 15 year old boys and girls. During their month at camp, teenagers will participate in co-ed team building activities in an outdoor setting. In addition to their usual camp activities, participants will spend three full days together on ropes course elements, guided by a trained facilitator. They will enjoy an overnight canoeing trip and also face the challenges of a three-day hike in the White Mountain Range. This program is limited to the oldest 12 boys and 12 girls who sign up for a month, upon approval of the Directors. Campers generally must be in 9th grade and 15 years of age or above for this 4-week program. There is no extra cost for this program, which is run at Brookwoods and Deer Run, an no additional application to the program beyond the normal camp application.
The Wilderness Intensive Leadership Development (WILD) program is a four-week, two-summer commitment for 16-17 year old future leaders. It is an immersion wilderness experience where, in the midst of the breathtaking beauty
of creation, participants build new outdoor skills, learn about their faith in God, and how to serve and lead others.
Accommodations are a lakeside campground featuring canvas wall tents, modern bathroom/shower facilities, and sunsets surpassed in their beauty only by the stars that follow them. During this two-summer commitment, participants will navigate along the Appalachian Trail, kayak Maine and New Hampshire’s white water, and serve as counselors in training at the main camp. Those that apply for WILD should be prepared to live simply, to accomplish more than they thought possible, and to develop a lifelong love for the outdoors. This program is based in Maine at Moose River Outpost, and consists of no more that 12 participants each year.
Leadership Development Program
The Leadership Development Program (LDP) is an eight-week, two-summer program for 16-17 year old boys and girls. It pays careful attention to personal growth, skill development, and fostering leadership qualities in the participants. Program activities include backpacking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, canoeing in the Allagash and Chibougamau wilderness regions, lifeguard certification, high ropes, Bible Studies, leadership training, wilderness solo experiences and activity debriefing. In addition, participants spend two-weeks as apprentice counselors in Brookwoods and Deer Run cabins. This program is based in New Hampshire at Brookwoods and Deer Run, and is limited to 24 participants each year.
Qualifications of an Applicant to WILD or LDP
Applicants who are accepted into the programs are positive, supportive, team-oriented young men and women. The program is open to all campers with acceptable recommendations and physical stamina.
1. Spiritual Commitment. We are looking for young men and women who are actively pursuing a relationship with Jesus and who practically live out their faith. This faith should not be a result of a “camp high” while they are at camp, but a vital part of their lives at home. One demonstration of their faith is involvement in Bible studies, or leadership in the area of faith within their churches or youth groups.
2. Community Involvement. Candidates should be involved in their school, church and residential communities, using their individual passions and gifts to make a difference in the lives of others. Some refer to this as volunteerism. While we recognize candidates may have different opportunities in this area, we are looking for those who are exhibiting growth in their spiritual and cultural interests.
3. Integrity. The candidate’s behavior while at camp is a window into their personality and soul. In many cases we have seen behavior at camp that is different from behavior in front of their parents or in their church environment. The candidate should be a person of integrity; behavior that is consistent with who they say they are in all environments.
4. 16 years old. Ideally, candidates should be going into the 11th grade and should be 16 by the start of camp in June. Exceptions will be made for outstanding candidates who have the maturity to be successful in the leadership programs.
5. Physically Fit. Candidates should have the physical ability to participate in all program activities, without restriction. They should be in above average physical condition – able to participate in strenuous hiking, paddling, and swimming activities. Applicants must secure the proper medical approval for participation.
6. Committed. Candidates need to commit to the entire program duration; 8 weeks for WILD and 16 weeks for LDP.
Side Note: The length of a candidate’s connection to camp may be considered if other factors do not lead to clarity in the selection process. While legacy considerations may play a role in the selection process, it does not ensure a selection in the program. The primary concern must remain whether or not the candidate can contribute to and be successful in the entirety of the program.
Checklist for Application
The application and forms shall be completed on the camp website. The following items must be received to complete the application process:
1. Parental Acknowledgement – This document is to ensure that the parents understand what is involved with the program, including the selection and notification process.
2. Program Application – Applicants will register by submitting a completed application with all required signatures. Given the high demand for participation, it is required that completed applications be received by December 15th. After this date, applicants should call to inquire about available positions. Applications are acknowledged upon receipt of the complete package. To be accepted, the applicant must complete the application in its entirety, including medical information and authorization signatures. After acceptance, additional materials will be sent regarding specific details of the program such as clothing lists, travel plans to camp, and payment information in March. At acceptance time, a $500 deposit for the program will be required to secure the space.
3. Notice of Risk – To assure ourselves and your family that we have informed you of the risks involved in camp activities, we ask parents and participants to sign and return the Notice of Risk form.
4. Two Recommendations – Written recommendations are required from the applicant’s pastor, or someone who can speak about the applicant’s spiritual maturity and growth, and from one of their school teachers. References shall be submitted using camp supplied formats, and also on the website.
Dates and Rates for 2024
WILD and LDP necessitate a two summer commitment in terms of participation and financial obligation. The leadership programs, in maintaining traditionally high standards on a space-available basis, reserve the right to refuse admission to any applicant. All leadership program fees are due by April 15th.
WILD is in Maine and runs from July 7 to August 3. This program costs $3,370 each summer.
LDP is in New Hampshire and runs from June 23 to August 17. The program costs $4,985 each summer.
WILD and LDP participants are expected to be involved with the program for the entire program over a two summer period. Those who have other outside commitments such as family vacations, sports camps or extended school sessions should not apply. It is expected that participants take part in all activities, including the activities of work, play, worship and living together in close quarters.
The staff desires to create a relationship with campers that encourages them to talk over ways of facing the pressures of today’s society. However we do not have time nor sufficient staff resources to deal with dependency on alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. Application signifies acceptance of this choice – violations will mean authorization for immediate dismissal.
The staff at camp feel a keen sense of responsibility for the spiritual growth of our campers; and we will endeavor to provide a strong Christian environment for this to take place.
This application must have all authorization signatures for an applicant to be admitted. The leadership programs of Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. makes this opportunity available to high school students, throughout the United States. The program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin.
During the applicant’s summer experience, the participant will be closely supervised in every activity. Careful plans for living accommodations, meals, instructors, counselors, and daily medical supervision have been made. It is understood that Christian Camps and Conferences Inc. will not be responsible for any “act of God” or unforeseen incident that might occur throughout the summer experience. Furthermore, Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. will not be held responsible for any act, error, omission, or intentional disregard of rules and regulations on the part of any program participants. Additional expenses, if incurred under any of these circumstances, must be borne by the participants.
It is understood that Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. or any members of its Board of Directors will not be held responsible for any discipline problems encountered with a participant. Any participants possessing or using drugs or alcohol, chewing tobacco, cigarettes, violating curfew, leaving the activities of the program, entering rooms of the opposite sex, or behaving in any manner inconsistent with Christian Camps and Conferences’ standards, or local, state or federal statutes will be considered immediate grounds for dismissal. The reason for the dismissal will be made known to the proper persons, and the parents will be notified of the return arrangements. If a student is dismissed from the program for disciplinary reasons, he/she or his/her family will assume financial responsibility for returning. No tuition refund will be made.
The participant and his/her parent or guardian acknowledge receipt and reading of the rules and regulations and standards of conduct of Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. and agree to the rigid adherence of said standards.
WILD Program Specifics
The Wilderness Intensive Leadership Development program is set in the Kennebec & Moose River Valley Region of Maine, with its base camp at the WILD Site at Moose River Outpost. Life in WILD – at its base camp and on trips – is simplified: without the distractions of buzzing phones, ear buds, social media feeds, and multiple friend groups, participants are given the opportunity to “be here now” – to be present with their group and with their counselors, and hopefully to be present with the Lord. These factors are refreshing, especially in the midst of the beautiful Maine wilderness, but they can also be challenging as they somewhat force participants to face the reality before them – whether that reality is physical at the time, or spiritual or group dynamics related. The trained WILD counselors are there the whole time to help guide and foster a safe place where this growth can happen in a healthy and beneficial way.
One of the main goals that WILD has for quiet time and group discussion is that participants will grow in their understanding of what a godly leader looks like, and then hopefully take steps forward in being that leader. WILD defines a godly leader as someone who listens to God and obeys him. WILD challenges each participant to grow in leadership, which looks different for each person. In the first summer WILD participants will look a lot to their counselors for teaching and coaching in outdoor skills and how to conduct themselves in the group. When the second summer begins, WILD counselors will refresh the participants on these things, but will step back to let the WILD 2’s step up and lead themselves as a group.
While there is no such thing as a “normal day for WILD,” some daily elements do carry through the entire four weeks. Each day WILD participants will exercise together as a group, have guided quiet time, cook at least 2 meals for themselves over a fire (on average) and eat in the MRO Dining Hall at other times, debrief activities and days and group formation processes, as well as have a time to talk as a group about the quiet time topic and readings.
At the end of each summer, on the last full day of camp, both the WILD 1’s and the WILD 2’s get to challenge themselves in a mini triathlon, where they swim across the pond, mountain bike down a mountain road and a trail by a beautiful stream, and run up the camp driveway to finish at main camp where celebration unfolds for the rest of the day in different ways. Over two summers, WILD works to develop godly young leaders by teaching them skills and providing them every opportunity to apply them. Whether it’s paddling a river, performing a wilderness rescue, or leading a Bible study, WILD graduates are equipped to listen to God, say “yes!” to HIM, and enjoy the blessings of living the adventure He has called them to – whether in the backcountry or right at home.
◦ Acquire outdoor skills such as navigation, Leave No Trace, backpacking, paddle strokes, reading white water or building a fire
◦ Rock Climbing trips and belaying skills
◦ 2 Overnight training trips: Hiking, White water training
◦ 12-day backcountry trip: Flat/White water paddling and Appalachian Trail hiking
◦ 24-hour solo
◦ Service opportunities
◦ Wilderness First Aid Certification
◦ 5-day student led trip: Hike Bigelow region
◦ 36-hour solo
◦ One week of apprenticeship at MRO as camp counselor
◦ Service opportunities
◦ 4-day whitewater kayaking on the Androscoggin River
Leadership Development Program Specifics
The Leadership Development program intentionally challenges participants in every aspect of their lives – spiritual, physical, and relational. Upon entering the program, LDPs should expect to encounter sixteen of the most challenging, formative, and fun weeks of their entire lives.
The central component of the Leadership Development Program is its Christ-centered, biblically-based leadership curriculum and spiritual training. The Leadership Development Program operates under the philosophy that all Christians are created for a purpose: to glorify God by loving God and loving others. An effective leader lives by this philosophy. Therefore, the purpose of the Leadership Development Program is for participants to grow in leadership, both of themselves and others, while using God’s Truth as their foundation. Because of this, we view every piece of the program as a means through which LDPs are challenged to know better who God is and how He has gifted them to serve.
Bible-based discussions are an important vehicle for spiritual growth in the program. Bible studies, single-sex devotions, and personal quiet time are woven into the daily schedule to provide the structure in which all other activities take place. The Bible studies are designed not only to provide LDPs with information and instruction, but also to instill a desire to learn more and provide the tools to do so. Bible study topics will range from in-depth study of one particular book of the Bible to broader overview of the cohesiveness of the Bible as a whole. Throughout, these studies will facilitate discussion on how the study of God’s word is integral to our daily lives as Christians. Individual participation in these Bible studies is enhanced through regular small group discussions.
Additionally, nightly cabin devotions serve as an opportunity to discuss topics in a smaller, more intimate group setting. Topics covered over the course of two summers may include self-image, drinking and drugs, ethical and social issues, relationships with family and friends, dating and purity, and cultural influences. The goal throughout all discussions and instruction is to build a Biblical perspective based on honest inquiry and informed through prayer and reflection.
Individuals are best able to learn about themselves, their faith, and their relationships when they encounter challenging situations that require them to step outside of what is comfortable. Because of this, a significant aspect of the Leadership Development Program is its challenging physical requirements. We work hard to create a safe yet stretching environment for participants to be pushed beyond their physical comfort levels. On the elements of the low and high ropes courses, in the lake completing a 3 miles open water swim, canoeing, or hiking with heavy packs, the LDPs will build confidence in their own newly discovered abilities and skills, and learn to help and rely on others. These challenges are not easy, and it is imperative that LDPs enter the program physically prepared for the strenuous, yet rewarding activities.
It is the deep, stimulating relationships formed between LDPs as they motivate and support one another through spiritual discussion and physical challenge that bring about the most lasting life-change. Perhaps the biggest challenge of the two summers in the program is simply living in such a close, constant community. LDPs can expect to learn through the opportunities for conflict resolution and clear communication which arise in such close community. As Ephesians 4 illustrates, the purpose of these relationships is to further individuals in their relationship with God and to strengthen them in their service of others. Challenging, Christ-centered relationships facilitate LDPs to become leaders.
The elements of the first summer of the program focus on aiding LDPs as they grow in their understanding of who they are as children of God and what that means for how they interact with others in their community. The second summer expands these skills with additional learning skills, and spiritual development.
◦ Low and High ropes course activities
◦ Overnight camping and Androscoggin River canoe trip
◦ Eight-day canoeing trip down the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Maine
◦ American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Course instruction
◦ American Red Cross CPR and basic First Aid certifications
◦ Six day backpacking trip in the White Mountains, including a 24-hour solo
◦ In-camp service opportunities
◦ Short apprenticeship as a camp counselor
◦ Creating a banquet for Brookwoods or Deer Run
◦ Planning and “leading” a five day hike in the White Mountains (under close supervision from trained staff members)
◦ Volunteer experience for developmentally disabled campers
◦ Physical training for a goal (a 3 mile swim)
◦ In-camp and community service opportunities
◦ One week apprenticeship as a camp counselor
◦ Ten day canoeing and fishing trip in the Chibougamau, Quebec region, including a 48-hour solo
How do I decide which program to apply?
The end goal and purpose of each of our programs are similar. The leadership skills and spiritual development from each program will prepare the participants for college/post high school life and also for possible service on the camp staff. Each program achieves the desired results in a different fashion and a different time frame.
The largest external difference in the programs is the time commitment involved. Obviously the length of the program is some indication as to the breadth of the program. WILD and LDP involve a two-summer commitment, the WILD program lasts for 4 weeks each summer, while LDP is an 8-week commitment each summer. The cost for each program is reflective of the length of the program as well.
A second difference is the size of the program. WILD will have 12 participants, and Leadership Development will have 24 participants each year. Some like smaller groups and others enjoy larger ones.
Don’t forget, for WILD and LDP , you are making a two summer commitment, so look ahead to determine if you can maintain that commitment. Also, don’t forget that the camp you attended in the past has no impact on which leadership program you choose to attend. For example a Deer Run camper who has enjoyed New Hampshire might really discover the WILD Program a better fit for the next two years. If you are not sure what program to apply, give us a call in the camp office and we can provide more specifics to help you make a decision.
The application can be found here.