Wilderness Intensive Leadership Development Program
The Wilderness Intensive Leadership Development Program (WILD), is a 2-summer, 4-week program focusing on adventure and outdoor skill acquisition, team building, and mentoring.
WILD gives participants a strong spiritual foundation through the opportunity to consider deeper questions of the Christian faith in a community and adventure context.
The WILD Base Camp is a rustic campsite on the lakeshore. While in camp, participants live on tent platforms, and perform daily camp chores including cooking for the group. Accommodations are rustic, but clean and safe, including Men’s and Women’s bathroom facilities with showers and hot water, and a “Common Tent” meeting space for use in inclement weather. Participants spend about half their time in Base Camp each summer.
The remaining half of the program takes place deep in the Maine wilderness, on extended backpacking, canoeing, and kayaking trips. WILDers put to use the skills they have learned in Base Camp in order to assume an increasing leadership role over the course of the expeditions; by the end of the program they will have the skills and experience necessary to lead trips themselves, providing a safe and challenging environment for others.
Throughout the two summers of the WILD program, students are challenged and encouraged in their spiritual walks as well. Instructors begin by leading daily Bible studies, and as the summer progresses, the students assume an increasing leadership role in this area as well. With input and guidance from counselors, students have the opportunity to become comfortable sharing their spiritual insights, struggles, questions, and joys.
In addition to the program curriculum, there are several things that make WILD special.
Our leaders in the WILD program know their stuff. Each one is certified as a lifeguard, as a Maine Camp Trip Leader, and in Wilderness First Aid. They share the summer with the WILD campers, and live as examples of Christian Leadership in action.
Campers at WILD step out of the comforts of the log cabins in Main Camp and reside in canvas-wall tents. There’s nothing like the sound of rain on a tent roof to help you sleep. As they develop their outdoor skills, campers will cook several of their own meals over an open fire as well.
Much of WILD’s core training happens in the context of extended trips in the Maine Wilderness. Trips include whitewater canoeing, backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, and whitewater kayaking on the Maine/New Hampshire boarder.
Please note: If campers would like to apply to more than one program, they may. There is one online application for WILD, SALT, and LDP (Brookwoods and Deer Run), and they can rank order their program preference. For additional program descriptions and a matrix to help you decide if one of these programs is for you, click HERE.
Check out Hannah Jalovick’s blog on why should you consider a leadership program during your high school years.