Youth Leadership


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Youth Leadership Program

“Words don’t even begin to describe how wonderful a time I’ve had.”

The Youth Leadership Program at Ross Creek is amazing, fun, and a great way to better your leadership skills, especially if you love the arts.

It is hard work that comes with a great sense of fulfillment, reward and satisfaction. This position requires applicants with a high maturity level that will put campers first, while also accessing their silly side! We are looking for people that have great attitudes, love the arts and want to spend their summer with kids! Youth between 14-17 have a chance to learn new skills, work with kids, and learn from our artist faculty.

For free, CiTs, JCs, and LJCs get 6 weeks of authentic experiential learning and service that encompasses all areas of life at the Arts Centre, from working in the organic garden and professional kitchen to gaining leadership skills supporting children in arts based programs. In addition to making unforgettable memories and lasting friendships, participants gain valuable and varied work experience to add to their résumés (we will even provide support with resume writing and interview skills!). In return, CiT and JC participants are offered a free place in one of our 2 week Summer Academy Programs (Teen Academy of their choice or Dance Summer Dance.)

Entry into the Teen Academies offers youth a fantastic opportunity to discover or further develop individual artistic passion.


We have a four stage program (starting as a Volunteer is not required, though strongly recommended):

  • Volunteer
  • Counsellor in Training – year one
  • Junior Counsellor – year two – invitation only
  • Leading Junior Counsellor – year three – invitation only


CiTS work in weekly placements to learn a diverse set of skills, where they cycle between different positions like working with kids in our workshop, working with our gardener, and helping run our games! If they return next year, JCs and LJCs work every week directly with the kids in our workshops.

To be accepted and complete the program, CiTs must commit to the whole program, including the summer. All CiTs live in Ross Creek Cabins for the duration of the Summer program (Sunday at 12 pm to Friday at 7 pm). While it is not first come, first served, we advise early applications. We welcome local, national and international applications, and have slots for each.

We also expect a few other volunteer commitments throughout the year, either at Ross Creek if local, or in your home community.

Youth often begin as Volunteers to get a sense of what is required of our demanding and fabulous leadership program. Volunteers begin with a shorter commitment of volunteering in our March Break camps and community events, or a couple weeks in the Summer.

This program must be your decision. While we always keep parents in the loop, it is your experience. If you aren’t sure about whether committing your summer to the full CiT program is right for you, we advise starting by starting as a Volunteer at our community events like Community Arts Sundays and during March Break to give it a try and build up your skills! We also accept Volunteers during the summer who will be scheduled for just a week or two instead of the whole summer.

Unlike other CiT programs our hands-on apprenticeship program at Ross Creek is FREE! If you are successful at the program, you may be invited to come back for our Junior Counsellor (JC) and Leading Junior Counsellor (LJC) program, and sometimes, we will invited you to return as paid staff. JCs and LJCs receive honoraria, along with other rewards.

Year-round Service requirements

We believe strongly in the importance of service learning in creating great community members. We also realise that not everyone is local to the Centre. We ask that leadership program participants volunteer at least 2-3 times at community events with Ross Creek, or volunteer in their local community outside of Ross Creek’s March Break and Summer programs.

Our CiTs and JCs all go through Staff Training and learn all they need to know to make Camp great! Staff Training held a week before our summer camps begin so our camp staff can learn the ropes of all aspects of running camp. Staff Training is also fun too- we run team building games and relaxing art nights so our camp staff can become acquainted with each other.

Staff Training includes:

  • Child Care Techniques
  • How to work in our Kitchen
  • Recreation Facilitation
  • Leadership Training
  • Team-Building
  • Emergency First Aid Training


After Staff Training, our Youth Leaders learn by doing, under the mentorship and guidance of our Camp Directors and other Centre staff.

Art Academy

The Counsellors in Training and JCs become participants in one of six Art Academies: Visual Arts, Theatre, Film, Writing, Choreography or Music, or they can choose to keep volunteering and take Dance Summer Dance instead. While the CiT and JCs are now campers, we do expect leadership, mentorship and engagement.

Dance Summer Dance

The Counsellor in Training is not required, but is welcome to remain till the end of summer, assisting and working on special projects during DSD, or can be an active participant.

Application Process

You will need:

  1. a letter from your parents/guardians expressing their support for your application.

  2. a letter from someone in the community who can speak to your strengths for the program (teacher, someone you babysit or volunteer for, leader of a club you are part of (e.g. Guides or Scouts), etc.

A resume – we know it will be short, but we offer help to applicants to work on their resume, and if you become part of the program, help you with your resume with all the new skills you gain at Ross Creek!

The Duke of Edinburgh Award

If you are between 13 and 17 and are interested in gaining valuable skills, having fun, and boosting your resume, and getting an award all at the same time, this program is for you! The Duke of Edinburgh Award is an internationally recognised program that encourages leadership and citizenship through skill development and community engagement. While you can do it on your own, many youth drop out because they don’t have enough guidance to keep them on track.

At Ross Creek, we’ll help you navigate the program and achieve your goals! Our registration fee covers the Duke of Edinburgh enrollment, 6 months of monthly workshops and an adventurous journey! Beginning in fall, we have a monthly session that checks in and makes sure you’re on the right rack. We’ll give you inspiration, opportunities to do your service requirement at our community outreach programs and much more. 

Cost: $200 (plus HST) Sliding scale available. Email us to join the Duke of Edinburgh program!

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