This document is written to explain and ensure that our camper’s parents understand what is involved with our unique Leadership Programs at Brookwoods and Deer Run in New Hampshire, and the WILD Program at Moose River Outpost. Most parents are only aware of the program through what they have heard through their children, and many see it as “the natural next step” in the camp years. This is not entirely accurate, due to the selection and notification process. Our desire through this document is to have our parents be completely informed as to the process.
The Leadership Programs in New Hampshire and Maine are unique because they involve a selection process unlike previous camp attendance. For both campers and parents this is sometimes a first time experience involving applications, references and the associated anxiety of selection. The programs are popular and not everyone who applies is accepted. This is difficult for families who have experienced the summer programs at Brookwoods, Deer Run or Moose River Outpost for several years. The campers don’t understand why they can’t return for another year and the parents can’t understand why their wonderful child is “rejected” by the camp. It is hard for the camp staff as well, to determine who is accepted into the program, knowing some fine candidates potentially will not be accepted, in many cases due to space limitations.
- In October, the Leadership Program Applications, Reference Forms, and Parental Acknowledgement Letter will be sent out to candidates and their parents.
- Parents will be asked to send in the Parental Acknowledgement Letter by December 15th. This letter will acknowledge their understanding of the program, the selection process, the chances of their child being selected into the program, and other options for their child should they not be accepted into the program.
- Applications and References will be due by December 15th. This will allow the camp office to assemble the selection packages for review by the camp staff, follow up on any references or questions, and to make sure the Application Packages are complete.
- The selection meeting will be completed the first week of January, and decisions communicated shortly thereafter via a means deemed most appropriate by camp staff, followed up by a formal letter. Each candidate will be informed of their selection, or, if not selected, potential other options. The selection criteria are outlined in each of the Program Applications. The selection meeting is chaired by the respective Camp Director and usually involves Unit Directors and Counselors from the previous summer.
- In the event that a selected candidate does not accept the offered position, the appropriate Camp Director will go back to the material used during the selection process and determine a replacement that meets the program criteria, and will best compliment the selected group.
- If the positions in the program are not filled, the application deadlines are extended, and the process continues till the positions are filled.
Qualifications of a Leadership Development Applicant
Applicants who are accepted into the WILD, LDP or SALT Program are positive, supportive, team-oriented young men and women. The program is open to all campers with acceptable recommendations and physical stamina.
- Spiritual Commitment. We are looking for young men and women who a reactively 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.
- 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 to their spiritual and cultural interests.
- 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.
- Each candidate will complete a multi-page application that will be evaluated by the camp staff.
- Each candidate will submit references from one of their teachers at school, and from their pastor, or someone who can speak about their spiritual maturity and growth. References shall be submitted using camp supplied formats.
- 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.
- 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.
- Candidates shall 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.
- Candidates need to commit to the entire program duration; 8 weeks for SALT, 8 weeks for WILD and 16 weeks for LDP.
Questions Parent Often Ask
Question: WILD or LDP or SALT?
Answer: Each program has a different flavor, but overall similar goals. One is not better than the other. The camp office would be happy to speak to you if you have specific questions. When we developed WILD and SALT we realized that some campers could not take advantage of the 8 week LDP schedule due to other summer commitments, so WILD and SALT have 4-week schedule each summer.
Question: Why didn’t my child get accepted?
Answer: The two largest factors for not being selected are the size limitations of the program and the large amount of candidates who apply. The selection committee is forced to examine the pool of applicants and select the best that meet the criteria, which they feel will both contribute to the program and will receive a benefit from the program. The program is not for everyone, and parents have to be realistic in their expectations. For example, if your child is not going to be successful carrying a 50-pound pack for several miles on a 5-day hike, they should not apply for the program.
Question: What are some options if my child is not accepted?
Answer: This will depend on a variety of factors, but here are some general options:
- If age appropriate, they can return to camp as a “regular” camper. Moose River Outpost accepts campers older than Brookwoods and Deer Run, through age 17.
- They can express interest in another leadership program. For example, if WILD is filled, and an opening is available in the LDP program, they can potentially be considered for that opening.
They can remain on the waiting list if any opportunities occur. Normally this does not happen, and we don’t want to create false hopes, but it is a possibility.
- It has to be stated that some candidates don’t meet the criteria and should look for other options.
Question: My child did not get selected. Does this mean my child can’t serve on staff in the future?
Answer: No. Our quality staff is made up of those who have come through the program and those who did not have that experience. Likewise, going through our Leadership Programs do not automatically ensure a place on staff in the future.
Question: Why don’t you simply accept more participants and make more room?
Answer: We have expanded the programs to the point where further growth would impact the quality of the program, and eliminate some of the activities that make each program so unique and special.
Question: I heard you have to make frequent donations to the camp to ensure your child is accepted. Is that true?
Answer: No. Selection is NEVER based on past business dealing with the camps. In fact, the selection teams are not aware of past donations, or scholarship requests; they simply use the stated criteria.
Question: Does my child have a better chance to get into the program because she has been attending camp for many years vs. someone who has not been involved with the camp?
Answer: 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.
Question: My child is going into the 10th grade. Should we wait a year?
Answer: 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. If you are not sure, give the camp a call and we can discuss and perhaps give you some additional insight.
Question: I heard that the criteria for the WILD or SALT program are different than LDP and it is easier to get into the program. Is that true?
Answer: No. The requirements are the same for each program, and the programs are equally challenging, within their respective time frames. The WILD and SALT programs are shorter and a better option for those candidates who might be involved in other activities such as school sports, that will preclude the participation in the longer LDP schedule.
Both parents have read this Parent Acknowledgement information, and the complete application package for the Leadership Program, and have a greater understanding of programs offered at Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost.
We understand the camp staff are available to answer our questions through this process, as our mutual goal is to help and support the campers, as they are making significant choices in life.
We will support the camps process regarding the final decisions for program participation.
Notice of Risk
We are aware that during the leadership programs certain risks and dangers may occur which are out of the control of the instructors. We further realize that the camper will be participating in activities which are by nature dangerous and in which the risk of harm may be greater than one’s normal way of life, and the participant will be in remote places without ready access to medical facilities. In consideration of and for the participant’s right to participate in such activities, we have and do hereby accept all of the above risks.
We also acknowledge the fact that the instructors have the right to terminate the camper’s participation in the program because of health or physical condition. We agree that the decision of the instructors and the camp director shall be binding upon all of the parties concerned.
We recognize the leadership program necessitates a two summer commitment in terms of participation and financial obligation.
Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc., subject to the above assumed risks and statement of responsibilities, assumes the responsibility for the care and supervision of the participant from his/her arrival at camp through his/her departure. I/We release and hold harmless Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. and its employees and Board of Directors from and against any claims whatsoever.
Each of the undersigned has carefully read all the above statements and, with full understanding of the terms, consents to the participation of the above named applicant in accordance with the standards, rules, and regulations of the leadership programs and Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc.
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