Youth Leadership Program

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

– Youth leader

There are up to twelve slots in the different levels of our Youth Leadership Program, from Volunteer to Counsellor in Training to Junior Counsellor to Leading Junior Counsellor.

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.

Our application process is part of the training experience. This might be your first application or resume, but don’t worry, everyone is in the same boat.

Some youth aren’t quite ready for the full program, for age or experience reasons, but we have volunteering opportunities for you in that case to help you gain the skills you will need for the next step of the leadership program.

This program must be your decision. While we always keep parents in the loop, it is your experience and if you aren’t sure, it isn’t going to be the best fit for you yet, so choose to start as a volunteer. That way you will get great experience and start gaining confidence for the whole program.

We take our responsibility to youth seriously and are excited that Ross Creek can be an important part of the education of youth leaders, through special programs such as our Duke of Edinburgh Award program, and the Counsellor in Training Program. We believe that through these leadership programs, young people become more engaged citizens with empathy and passion who will be able to take on the world!


For youth 13 years old or those who are not yet accepted into the full CiT program, we encourage volunteers for community events, March Break, and for 1-3 weeks in the summer. Please fill out the same “Leadership Application Form” so we can find out a bit more about you!


We have a four stage program (the first stage is not required, though recommended):
Counsellor in Training – year one
Junior Counsellor – year two – invitation only
Leading Junior Counsellor – year three – invitation only

“Words don’t even begin to describe how wonderful a time I’ve had. Everything was great! I love you guys. Thank you so much for this experience”

Youth sometimes begin as volunteers to get a sense of what is required of our demanding and fabulous leadership program (see above).

The full 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, be full participants in the Summer Academy or Dance Summer Dance and mentor with an artist. 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.

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. Through this program, Ross Creek aims at nurturing a strong work ethic in young Canadians, inspiring them to develop a love for volunteerism while equipping them with valuable skills transferable to the workforce. ​

We also strongly encourage our youth volunteers, CiTs, and JCs to enrol in the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Program (which we can help with) and use their Ross Creek time as their service tour the Award.

Year-round Service requirements

We believe strongly in the importance of service learning in creating great citizens. 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.

CiT and JC Training Includes

Procedures and Protocols
Child Care Techniques
Recreation Techniques
Leadership training
First Aid

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!

Apply here now!

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. Our Duke of Edinburgh Leader will help you prepare for your required adventurous journey, and ensure your safety and preparedness at all times through skills like map and compass, trip planning, gear guides, etc. We will tailor the schedule to meet the needs of your family as best we can to ensure that whether you are part of a school, cadet,  or community group, or doing it on your own, you succeed!

Cost: $200 (plus HST) Sliding scale available. Email us to join!