2022 Youth Leadership Summit

Enchanted Hills Camp Summer Leadership Summit 2022: Leadership and Counselor in Training Program

Program Description

 The Enchanted Hills Camp (EHC) Summer Leadership Summit focuses on developing blind/low vision leaders in an immersive training environment through soft-skills development and exploration of careers in such fields as educational, customer service, and other social or recreational job opportunities. Our training takes place through discussion, role modeling and practice under the supervision of LightHouse staff and experienced EHC Summer Administration staff. Upon completion of the Summer Leadership Summit, participants will walk away with a better understanding of how to be an effective self-advocate as well as further developed social and independent living skills that will better prepare them for transition and postsecondary education program options in the future. In addition, the Summer Leadership Summit program will help develop the soft skills, strong work ethic, and leadership essential for successful in future employment working with peers, supervisors, and students of all ages.

The program will start with a week of training where participants will take part in job site readiness exercises and activities that will allow participants to develop leadership skills and soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, time management, and conflict resolution skills that will help participants prepare to become a counselor-in training (CIT) during the summer programs at EHC. In the second week of the series, participants will be assigned to a group of youth campers as a CIT. During this immersive opportunity, the participants will apply their new skills learned in the first week of the series with the support and supervision from summer Camp Counselors and experienced camp administration. Throughout the program CITs will also participate in discussions with blind/low vision leaders from the greater blind community as well as successfully employed adults about career opportunities, blindness philosophy, life hacks, and many other topics important to students as they become adults.

The Summer Leadership Summit at EHC is designed for teen’s ages 16-18 years old who are blind or low vision and are serious about improving their leadership skills by learning to work with children in a rigorous camp setting. As part of the program application process, students must complete LightHouse’s student intake form, conduct an interview with program staff and commit to participating fully in the program at EHC. We welcome perspective participants that possess a variety of previous camping experiences or an interest in exploring the social and recreational work profession to consider applying. Additional information about how to apply can be found below in this announcement.
 
Week one (June 20th – 25th): Leadership Development and Staff Training
Week two (July 11th – 16th): Counselor in Training Practicum

Program Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Actively participate in leadership training seminars throughout the program
  • Be a positive role-model for campers
  • Participate in the development and implementation of program activities designed specifically for blind campers
  • Assist Counselors and Area Leaders with management of campers, enforcing rules and instructions during activities
  • Promote Independence and motivate campers to use non-visual techniques
  • Incorporate active participation in camp meals, clean-up, and other daily functions through fun activities
  • Communicate with staff about problems or issues that arise with campers
  • Adapt all activities so that all campers can participate fully, regardless of their level of vision
  • Work with counselors to resolve disciplinary issues that arise with campers
  • Be active participants and assist staff during specialist, program, and group time
  • Assist campers in being successful with games, projects, and activities
  • Facilitate independence in camper participation
  • Facilitate a safe and healthy environment for campers
  • Assist in leading activities during leisure time for campers
  • Assist in the set-up and facilitation of camp events such as theme days
  • Demonstrate independent travel skills and assist when needed as an escort for campers needing extra assistance
  • Read from suggested best practices reading list prior to summer assignment
  • Assume additional, reasonable responsibilities as assigned by the counselors, Area Leaders, and administrative team
  • Adhere to the policies established in the EHC Staff Handbook

Program Outcomes

  • Each participant will receive 30+ hours of training to be an effective counselor and develop interpersonal soft skills that can be essential in many aspects of life and future employment
  • Each participant will take part in 30+ hours of observing and implementing concepts learned during the first week to be an effective CIT during the Youth Session of EHC
  • Each participant will receive 10+ hours of Individual and group pre-employment transition skills discussions that will support their self-advocacy goals necessary for future transition services, postsecondary educational programs, or employment
  • Each participant will receive 10+ hours of job coaching on their role as councilors in training and help address any barriers for future employment
  • Each participant will receive 20+ hours of adjustment to blindness training to support the development of critical social and independent living skills during the Teen Session of EHC

Participant Outcomes

Through practice, self-reflection and staff coaching, participants will develop and implement the following:

  • leadership skills that can be applied in many aspects of life and employment
  • strong work ethic
  • conflict resolution and problem-solving skills
  • a blindness-positive philosophy and effective self-advocacy skills
  • knowledge that will better prepare them for transition services and postsecondary education program options

Participation Expectations

Participants must be ready to adhere to the below responsibilities and expectations:

  • Adhere to all LightHouse Covid-19 safety protocols. At this time this includes proof that you have an update-to-date Covid-19 vaccine, mask requirements in public indoor spaces and other safety protocols set by LightHouse Executive leadership team. ***Please note – these requirements are subject to change***
  • Attend and engage in all sessions
  • Complete all tasks as requested
  • Be prepared to pitch in and help fellow campers when required
  • Be polite and respectful at all times

Summer Leadership Summit Program Fee

We are asking prospective participants that are eligible to DOR services to work with their counselor to get authorization to attend the program. The total authorization fee for the program is $3,000.00. This fee covers $100 a day for food and housing fees, as well as $150 a day for training fees, totaling $250 a day for 12 days. Additional support from DOR for transportation may be necessary for prospective participants that live outside the Bay Area. Limited scholarship opportunities are available for those that are not eligible for DOR services.

Application and Selection Process

Each prospective participant must complete the application process and be selected from a pool of competitive applicants. To start this process prospective participants must send an email to youth@lighthouse-sf.org that includes the following:

  • Why do you wish to participate in the Summer Leadership Summit?
  • What experience do you have that makes you qualified to be a participant in the Summer Leadership Summit?
  • What qualities do you possess that makes you stand out from other Summer Leadership Summit candidates?
  • Name and contact information for both a professional or personal reference as well as your most recent TVI and O&M Instructors

Once your interest email has been received, LightHouse staff will work with prospective participants to schedule an interview and any necessary Living Skills and or Orientation and Mobility evaluations. Prospective students who are new to LightHouse services will also need to complete our student intake form and student registration process before they will be considered for the program. To complete the Lighthouse Student registration process please start by submitting the below student intake form – https://lighthouse-sf.org/interested-in-lighthouse-services-or-activities/
 
For further information about the Summer Leadership Summit, please don’t hesitate to contact Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator, by email at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org or by phone at 415-694-7372.