Leader in Training

2023 Leader in Training program report: August – Summer Camp

Date: August 6-24
Location: Miyagi

   It’s been 4 years since we had a full 4 nights 5 days summer camp with multiple care homes in the same session, and LITs played a significant role in the program’s success. Some members were already familiar with the campsite and activities from the previous year, but for the first-time members, everything was new. We also had a member who had participated many times as a camper but first as LIT. The team members also changed between sessions; some joined only 1 session, and some stayed for multiple sessions.

   LITs were split into 2 teams: activity support and kitchen support. The activity team had the task of supporting all the activities, but they also had activities that they were in complete charge, such as reflection time in the evening. For each activity, LITs were involved in every aspect, from having pre-meetings with the staff, preparing supplies, assigning tasks, facilitating the activities, to cleaning up afterward. In this role, it was essential to have a uniform understanding of tasks amongst the team and each member’s positions and timing, and it became a great place to practice communication.

   The kitchen team had the task of supporting kitchen operations including cooking, serving, and cleaning. However, their most important task was supporting the campers who came to the kitchen to help. It was the first time for some campers to use knives, so they needed to create a safe environment for everyone and provide individual support as needed. Because the meal times were set, they needed to consider the timing and order of their tasks, as well as give clear instructions to the campers and other staff. It was a great opportunity for them to practice their project management skills.

   LITs took advantage of multi-day and multi-session programs to improve their tasks and teamwork each time. There were also great opportunities for them to step up as an individual, acting as a leader of the group, making announcements in front of campers, and even leading one of the camp songs. We also took time during the sessions to reflect and reconfirm their individual goals. It was good practice for them to make time for reflection even when they were busy with tasks.

   The summer is coming to a close, and we are heading into the second half of the LIT program this year. We look forward to how LITs can incorporate what they learned this summer into the rest of the program and their daily lives.