Campers who will have completed 9th, 10th, and 11th grade by the start of the summer are eligible to participate in our two week CILT Program (Campers In Leadership Training). This program combines an introduction of leadership development, wilderness skill building and team building with added interdependence into our fun loving, communal camp environment. Because we often have more CILT applicants than we have available space, we do ask eligible campers to complete a separate application process (short written application + three question video interview) where they can highlight the ways they would contribute to the CILT and camp community.
The details of the CILT program are described below.
Living Space – The CILT unit is a short walk into the the redwoods from main camp. The separation allows for CILTS to work and play independently from camp on their own schedule but is close enough for the group to join the rest of camp for activities, meals, and evening program at any point. CILTS live in tents with a tent mate in the same way that the rest of our campers do. The unit is separated into male and female living spaces with supervising staff living among them. The unit is equipped with amenities that help create a very functional outdoor living space including pit toilets, hand washing sinks, a kitchen sink, prep table, dinning table, large campfire ring and cooking grate.
Meals – Campers in the CILT program play an integral role in the majority of the meals they will eat at camp. Through coordination with our kitchen staff, campers collaborate to design a meal schedule for their session and cook meals over the campfire. The group will be divided evenly so that everyone has an equal role in preparing, cooking, and cleaning. CILT participants use all of the same ingredients as the rest of camp, the difference is they receive theirs unprepared and it is their task to prepare.
Mentoring – Our CILT campers act as mentors to younger campers in a variety of ways at camp. Aside from the time they spend during chores, activities, and meals with the rest of camp, CILTS are each assigned a younger unit to work with. During our unit cookouts, CILTS join these younger units to help support counselors in preparing and cooking meals with campers. CILTS get to bring many of the skills they gain through team building within their own peer group earlier in the session to pass on to younger campers.
Service Projects – A goal of the program is to cultivate a stronger sense of community in CILT campers and to get them thinking more about the people and the world around them. CILTS collaborate to come up with a service project plan during their session that can be anything to give back to camp, the CILT program, or to a community outside of camp.
Overnights – We organize an overnight trip for each two week session where the group goes offsite to spend a night camping elsewhere. Our CILTS take a backpacking trip out of camp and down to Gerstle Cove in Salt Point State Point Campground, as well as a trip to the Gualala River Redwood Park to camp and kayak.
Interaction with Camp Program – Although CILTS spend the majority of their time at camp with their peer group, there are also times that they join the rest of camp. Aside from the time they spend with a younger unit during unit day and unit night, CILTS participate in chores with the rest of camp most mornings and afternoons, and will join camp for a meal, activity period, or an evening a few times throughout their session.