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Leadership Development

Leadership participants develop tightly knit groups and a sense of fellowship that is rarely found today. If adventure, challenge and learning are important to you, then our leadership programs are the place for you. At YMCA John Island Camp, we view leadership development as a cornerstone of our program. Becoming a future camp staff member often begins within our leadership training programs. We believe good camp leaders possess a high degree of skill and confidence in the outdoors and a sensitivity to the needs of young people. Our leadership progression is designed to help young people develop greater self confidence, an ability to work in group settings, a wide variety of outdoor skills, and an appreciation for the needs of younger campers.

Although the John Island Leadership Development program is geared toward training potential camp staff, many have found the program to be very beneficial in other future endeavors at school, in seeking part-time employment and in their careers.

Greenway – Leadership 1

Sunday July 30th – Friday August 25th 2023

Cost: $3,300.00

*Prices are subject to change without notice

Participants must be turning 15 by December 31, 2022. 

The Greenway program is a four-week leadership experience that combines traditional camp experiences and Back Country Tripping. Participants of the Greenway program focus on developing their own technical skills as well as learning more about group dynamics and how to effectively work in a team.

Greenway campers spend approximately 3 weeks on the island. Much of their time is focused on gaining valuable certifications such as Bronze Medallion and Emergency First Aid. Greenways explore trust and adventure through initiatives and team building workshops, planning and executing an in-camp program and practicing paddling skills in preparation for their extended backcountry canoe trip.

While on trip, Greenways learn more about wilderness leadership, leaving no trace, reading and navigating bodies of water, and outdoor living skills. This trip allows participants to continue their own personal development as well as be part of the group dynamics of a tight community for an extended period of time.

Norquay – Leadership 2

Monday July 10th – Friday August 25th 2023

Cost: $5,550.00

*prices are subject to change without notice

* Please note that prior participation in the Greenway Program is not a prerequisite for the River Norquay Program. 

Participants must be turning 16 by December 31, 2022.

The Norquay Program emphasizes personal development, communication, perseverance, and inter-personal skills. Participants hone their leadership skills at camp before embarking on a 4 week canoe expedition through the wilderness of Northern Ontario.

While at camp, Norquays will hone their interpersonal skills by learning counselling techniques, program instruction, and will participate in a cabin placement. In addition to soft skill development, Norquays will also complete their Bronze Cross and emergency first aid certification.

While on trip, Norquays expand their knowledge of trip navigation, campsite management, and paddling moving water. Throughout the journey, participants will feel a sense of ownership in their experience and will develop a deeper respect for each other and the natural world.

Although participation in the Greenway program is not required prior to this program, it is recommended that Norquay applicants undergo some form of basic leadership experience.

* Please note that prior participation in the Greenway Program is not a prerequisite for the River Norquay Program. 

Explorer Canoe

Explorer Canoe A: Monday July 17 – Friday July 28 2023

Explorer Canoe C: Monday August 7 – Friday, August 18 2023

Cost: $1,790.00

*prices are subject to change without notice

The Explorer Canoe program is designed for young adventurists, future leadership participants, and youth campers who want a taste of something different. The Explorer Canoe program allows participants to begin or continue their development of back country skills and expand their wilderness tripping skills. Campers have the opportunity to experience some of Northern Ontario’s most picturesque landscapes while being supported in a tight knit environment with a small group focus.

The group spends their first few days at John Island, learning safety and paddling skills before embarking on their 7-day Canoe Trip (Killarney or Matagamasi). The program aims to challenge campers and expand their knowledge of Northern Ontario’s environments all while meeting them where they are at in their tripping skills. Explorers will also have the opportunity to participate in traditional camp programming at John Island such as high ropes, sailing, and evening programs.

On trip, explorers will find themselves immersed in one of the many breathtaking canoe routes Northern Ontario has to offer. Days often come to an end sitting around the campfire, sharing stories and looking up to the starry summer sky. Participants will find themselves amazed by what they can achieve, especially with the support of new friends! Campers will develop self confidence and learn how to encourage others to do the same

Preparing For Trip

John Island Camp is committed to providing a safe and comfortable backcountry experience on all our trips. Campers are not required to have prior tripping experience to participate in the Explorer Canoe Program.

Camp will provide all gear required – tents, packs, camp kitchen equipment, first aid supplies, and all other wilderness expedition essentials! Campers provide only their personal equipment: sleeping gear, clothing, toiletries, and a waterproof dry bag to keep everything cozy. A more detailed packing list will be available closer to session dates.

High School Credit Program TBD

John Island Camp has partnered with the YMCA Academy to offer high school course credits for our Greenway and Norquay leadership programs. Registration in the High School Credit Program is optional however only participants that register will be awarded the high school credit.
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