Want to learn more about working with children? Want to be a leader? Want to be an activist for the environment? Want to be involved in your community? For youth ages 14 and up Trail Blazers provides several leadership opportunities:
Counselor in Training (CIT) Program
The Counselor in Training program is for youth (ages 15-16) who have a desire to work with children in the future. The youth will live in a small camp together, work with youth throughout the day, and be mentored individually and as a group in workshops.
As a 14 year old at Trail Blazers you have three different options: regular adventure camp, a specialized program (i.e. canoeing, biking, or Under One Sky), or the advanced program. Once you are 15, you enter the CIT-1 program, in which you are at camp for 1-2 sessions (2-4 weeks). During this summer you will begin to learn more about the fundamentals of youth care and work while at camp. The next year, during CIT-2 as a 16 year old, you will be able to apply this knowledge to the summer of 2-3 sessions (4-6 weeks) and grow as an individual youth worker. Once you turn 17, you can become a Junior Group Leader at Trail Blazers, in which you will assist in a small camp of campers for the summer.
Under One Sky - Environmental Leadership Program
Under One Sky is a year-long leadership development program that connects participant’s summer experience in the woods with workshops in the city. At the end of the year, participants will put everything they have learned into action by creating and leading a project to improve their New York City and New Jersey communities.
Through interactive sessions during the year, campers learn about environmental leadership, earth-friendly living, and community involvement. Similar to a summer session at camp, participants learn through doing. In their workshops, the youth speak to experts and share opinions and ideas. While applying their experiences in the outdoors during their workshops and community service in the city in their final project, participants increase their awareness of their surroundings and the environmental issues at hand.
Through youth summits, community garden volunteer days, and green architecture workshops, for example, Under One Sky participants develop critical thinking and leadership skills while forming an identity as environmental and social activists. When participants return to camp the next summer, they will be the experts and leaders on environmental issues and will help teach and lead other campers in being even more environmentally conscious.
An Under One Sky program participant begins with a 2 week session at camp at the age of 14. The following autumn starts the year- long program in the city on topics building upon what was learned at camp. Each month during the year you will come together as a group and participate in workshops to learn from experts and do some community work. The following summer, you will return to camp with the knowledge gained and share it with the whole camp. For the final project, you choose an environmental subject that interests you and we will help you connect with an organization to do an internship or project to help you have an impact in your community.
Under One Sky is for young people who want to learn more about what environmental stewardship means in the world we live in, not only when we are at camp, but also back home in the cities we live in. Take a look at Under One Sky’s brochure. Also, be sure to check out their blog post on one of their field trips here.