YMCA Teen Leadership Opportunities

YMCA Camping and Outdoor Leadership provides opportunities for young leaders to learn and grow through teen leadership programs. The teen leadership experience is defined by time spent in the outdoors, development of skills needed to excel in peer and facilitator roles, and by volunteerism. Each year participants plan and execute service projects, facilitate group activities, and serve as group leads during expeditions. Teen leaders receive volunteer hours in addition to their valuable experience and training. Read below for more information on what makes each of our programs unique.

Camp Orkila

Camp Orkila offers several options for teens hoping to develop leadership skills in the beautiful San Juan Islands. Our program allows for teens to tailor a leadership progression that serves their skills and interests. Each level of our progression is designed to equip teens with skills to excel at the following level. While a staff position is not guaranteed with completion of the teen leadership progression, many of our staff members were hired after completion of teen leadership programs. Volunteer positions require completion of an application and interview process.

OSI: Orkila Summer Intern - Volunteer Internship

Co-ed, entering grade 12 in fall of 2018.                               Our Orkila Summer Internship (OSI) program is a unique, multi-faceted leadership experience that prepares teens for future positions of responsibility. The internship offers a great chance to develop your resume, gain work experience and build friendships. Teens attend staff training and then will fulfill various roles around camp during an exciting four weeks, expanding their leadership knowledge and enhancing the camp experience. Participants earn at least 450 hours of community service. *Application and interview process required.

Applications close at 11:59pm (PST) on November 1st.

Islanders: 4 Week Kayak Program

Get ready to put skills to the test in this challenging and fun four-week expedition. Our experienced staff will teach advanced boat handling, advanced navigation, and expedition planning. Working as a team, groups will plan their own trip through the San Juan Islands. This trip will challenge perseverance, kayak skills, and leadership abilities. Islander participants will take what they have learned and practice leading their peers at least once as Leader of the Day, and have a chance to teach paddle skills to other Orkila campers on Satellite Island as they lead on the water. Towards the end of the course, participants will also have a solo experience to rest and reflect on their time as an Islander (instructors place and regularly check-in with participants during this time). All participants must demonstrate a wet-exit and re-entry with their paddle partner before embarking on the course.  Participants earn 20 hours of community service.  *Application and interview process required.

Session 1C: June 26-July 24
Session 5C: July 28-August 25

CIT: Counselors in Training

Co-ed, entering grades 11-12 in fall of 2018. 
Take the first step towards becoming a cabin counselor! Participants focus on team-building, leadership skills and counseling techniques while spending four weeks at camp. CITs begin with training and then work with a group of campers as they develop new skills, build strong relationships, and have an unforgettable summer.  This session does not guarantee a future counselor position. Participants earn 100 hours of community service. *Application and interview required.                          

Session 1C: June 26-July 24
Session 5C: July 28-August 25

YRL: Year Round Leadership

The Year-Round Leadership (YRL) program is for teens 13+ who want to continue their camp experience and leadership development all year in Seattle. The goal of the program is to foster the camp experience, community, and growth for its participants. This is accomplished through weekly gatherings, service projects around the community, and Camp Orkila volunteerism. First meeting will be November 15th, 2017 at the Downtown Seattle YMCA (909 4th Ave).

Registration closes November 1. Scholarships available. Registration fee includes participation in the Northwest Teen Leadership Summit (NWTLS) in Spring 2018.