Camp Ondessonk O.W.L Program: Growing Leaders

Camp Ondessonk O.W.L Program: Growing Leaders

Camp Ondessonk’s O.W.L program (Ondessonk Wisdom Leadership) has undergone a name change but still aims to provide a growing leadership experience.

The O.W.L program, previously called the C.I.T program, provides 15-year-old campers a two-week experience focused on growing in Leadership roles.

“In the Outdoor Education industry, the standard for what a C.I.T program is more like our old L.I.T program, so it’s just a name change,” Camp Ondessonk O.W.L Unit Leader Ben Durham said about the changes made this year.

The C.I.T program has a new name and an evolving focus and is now known as the “Ondessonk Wisdom in Leadership” (O.W.L). Ben Durham, Camp Ondessonk O.W.L program lead notes the program has shifted from the focus of previous years by aiming not only to grow leadership skills at Camp, but also year-round outside Camp.

This change of aim in the program has also called for a change in programming.

“When (O.W.L campers) come here for their first week, they get to do mostly team building and hanging out,” Durham said. “The second week is when they branch out and kind of hang out with the other units.”

Durham said campers can have one day to shadow an activity head and another day of shadowing another activity head or a Unit Leader.

Rory, as O.W.L program camper, said that she saw changes in herself in the two weeks of the program.

“I’ve definitely seen myself mature a lot more,” Rory said, “I feel like I can speak out more publicly without getting nervous.”

Rory also said that to her, the program means team building, friendship, and bonding with younger campers. The lessons she learned have ranged from helping homesick campers to adapting to new situations.

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