Wilderness Intensive Leadership Development Program
The Wilderness Intensive Leadership Development Program, or WILD program, is a 2-summer experience during which campers develop outdoor skills, leadership and team-dynamic skill building, and develop a greater understanding of their own Christian faith. Several key elements make WILD a program like no other:
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 well. 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.
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.
- Age Range: 15-17 (when entering WILD I)
- Entrance into the Program is by application only. For more detailed information on our summer leadership programs please download the 2018 information packet here.
WILD by Year
WILD I is an intensive introduction to the rigorous demands and blood-pumping adventures of immersion in the Maine wilderness. The team members learn to work together to accomplish exciting goals while learning basic wilderness skills. Every member of the program will learn to cook over an open fire, steer a canoe in white water, and administer wilderness first aid. Other adventures will include rock climbing on real rock and a wilderness solo.
While all of these amazing experiences are valuable in and of themselves, they also provide members of the WILD program the opportunity to search out some deeper issues. They work together to discuss and understand the deeper questions of the Christian worldview. They face daily challenges in a safe environment, building their faith and their confidence to apply their new growth in less friendly environments that may await them outside of camp.
WILD I provides its members with hard skills in numerous outdoor disciplines while helping them build their confidence as followers of Christ. This prepares them to be leaders at camp and beyond.
WILD II picks up where the first year of the program left off to take each new skill from its exciting introduction to an enthralling application. Second year members of the WILD program apply their outdoor skills as they begin planning and leading their own trips under the supervision of their leaders. They continue each adventure with more hikes, climbs, and whitewater trips. As they build their outdoor leadership skills, the campers build from simple trips to more and more demanding ones, culminating in a 5-day ocean kayaking adventure.
The spiritual element of the program continues to build in year two as well. The WILD team works together to move from internal understanding of their faith to external application. They begin to take an active leadership role at camp by leading special events. They participate in the spiritual leadership of our cabins during a one-week counselor apprenticeship, and they partner with a local church to serve the Jackman community.
In WILD II, the WILD team apply their outdoor skills and spiritual foundations as leaders both in and outside of camp. They take ownership over their own program and look to serve those outside of their friendship circle.
For more detailed information on our summer leadership programs please download the 2018 information packet here.