Leadership Programs

Hundreds of young adults are uplifted and inspired each summer during their time at Camp Olson. Nurtured by inspired leaders and immersed in nature’s beauty, teens and young adults at Camp Olson are afforded the opportunity to look inward and discover themselves. Our Leadership Development Programs cultivate young leaders through intense curricula that challenge the mind, body, and spirit of all participants. At Camp Olson we build great leaders who apply themselves in their lives, their schools, and their communities.

Outcomes of the Leadership Development Program:

  • Teambuilding
  • Leadership
  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Esteem
  • Communication
  • Connection
  • Problem-Solving
  • Confidence
  • Appreciation for Nature
  • Outdoor Skills

This two-week (coed) program includes a 4-day group canoe trip to Voyageurs National Park led by qualified leaders. Campers will also participate in numerous team-building initiatives and begin to stretch their comfort zones and gain leadership skills while also having the opportunity to enjoy the traditional camp activities (like sailing, crafts, horseback riding, and archery). While at camp, LITs will stay in our rustic cabins and will stay in backpacking tents in small groups while on trail (single-gender lodging). No experience or special equipment is required.

Program Itinerary
Day 1-3LITs will participate in various team-building and thought provoking initiatives that focus on cooperation, self-discovery, and leadership. In the afternoons, LITs will have the opportunity to participate in various program areas.
Day 4-5LITs will continue participating in group initiatives, self-reflection and begin to orient themselves to the skills needed on their camping trip. LITs will spend time working with our outpost staff to learn canoe strokes, packing techniques, and acquaint themselves with their gear.
Day 6-9LITs will spend 4 days paddling through the waterways of Voyageur National Park, enjoying a new campsite each night. LITs will be assigned a new role each day of their trip, which may include head chef, leader of the day, tent master, etc.
Day 10-14Upon their return to camp, LITs will continue to gain leadership skills and begin to transfer them to the greater camp community, which may include buddying up with younger campers or participating in a service project. Afternoons are sometimes free choice and sometimes have additional programming.

Leader In Training I (4-Day Canoe Trip Included)

SESSIONSESSION NAMEDATEAGES2022 FEESAFTER 4/15SPACES REMAINING
LIT-12Leader in Training IJune 12-2513-15$1,670$1,7201 Male
0 Female
LIT-34Leader in Training IJune 26-July 913-15$1,670$1,7200 Male
0 Female
LIT-56Leader in Training IJuly 10-2313-15$1,670$1,7200 Male
0 Female

This two-week (coed) program is similar to the LITI experience, but sessions are more trip-based including an 8-day canoe trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Campers will spend their first few days planning and preparing both mentally and physically for their adventure with our experienced and caring staff. Along the way, they will gain experience and training in leadership, Leave No Trace principles, cooperation, and wilderness survival. LITIIs will reside in tents both at camp and on trail.

Program Itinerary
Day 1-4LITIIs will participate in various team-building and thought provoking initiatives that focus on cooperation, self-discovery, and leadership. LITIIs will spend time working with our outpost staff to learn canoe strokes, packing techniques, and acquaint themselves with their gear.
Day 5-12LITIIs will spend 8 days paddling through the waterways of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, enjoying a new campsite each night. LITIIs will be assigned a new role each day of their trip, which may include head chef, leader of the day, tent master, etc.
Day 13-14Upon their return to camp, LITIIs will continue to gain leadership skills and begin to transfer them to the greater camp community, which may include buddying up with younger campers or participating in a service project. Afternoons are sometimes free choice and sometimes have additional programming.

Learn more about the LITII Experience and Participant Expectations here.

Leader In Training II (8-Day Canoe Trip Included)

SESSIONSESSION NAMEDATEAGES2022 FEESAFTER 4/15SPACES REMAINING
LITII-23Leader in Training II (Coed)June 19-July 214-16$1,693$1,743Waitlist
LITII-45Leader in Training II (Coed)July 3-1614-16$1,693$1,743Waitlist
LITII-78Leader in Training II (Coed)July 24-August 614-16$1,693$1,743Waitlist

This two-week (coed) program is an invitation-only leadership program for experienced campers ready for a trip of a lifetime. LITIII campers will spend a minimal amount of time in camp bonding as a group and preparing their equipment before departing on a 9-day backpacking trip to beautiful Isle Royale. Prior trip experience is required but prospective campers can provide a recommendation from another trip experience if they have participated outside of Camp Olson. LITIIIs will reside in tents both at camp and on trail.

Program Itinerary
Day 1-2LITIIIs will participate in various team-building and thought provoking initiatives that focus on cooperation, self-discovery, and leadership. LITIIIs will spend time working with our outpost staff to practice hike, learn packing techniques, and acquaint themselves with their gear.
Day 3LITIIIs will travel north towards Grand Portage where they will stay overnight before boarding the ferry bright and early to the Island!
Day 4-12LITIIs will spend 9 days backpacking across Isle Royale from Windigo to Rock Harbor, enjoying a new campsite each night. LITIIIs will be assigned a new role each day of their trip, which may include head chef, leader of the day, tent master, etc.
Day 13-14Upon their return to camp, LITIIIs will continue to gain leadership skills and begin to transfer them to the greater camp community, which may include buddying up with younger campers or participating in a service project. Afternoons are sometimes free choice and sometimes have additional programming.

Learn more about the LITIII Experience and Participant Expectations here.

Leaders In Training III (9-Day Backpacking Trip Included)
*Invitation Only*

SESSIONSESSION NAMEDATEAGES2022 FEESAFTER 4/15SPACES REMAINING
LITIII-67Leaders in Training III (Coed)July 17-3014-16$1,874$1,9241 Space(s)

This four-week* (coed) program offers the ultimate leadership experience for those who aspire to work as a camp counselor in the future or desire to be leaders in their own community. CITs will spend over a week on the Superior Hiking Trail, bonding and pushing their limits. The lessons learned on the trail will be immediately put to use upon return to camp through leadership training and instruction in each of Camp Olson’s program areas. This is a highly competitive and space-limited program. Application is required.

*A 3-week option that does not include a backpacking trip is also offered. Perfect for a camper that may not be mentally or physically prepared for such a challenge, has limited outdoor or tripping experience, requires a shorter program due to scheduling conflicts, etc.

Program Itinerary
Week 1CITs plan and pack for a weeklong trip along the Superior Hiking Trail and are allotted time to have some fun at program areas, setting an attitude of pulling away from the easy time of camper-hood. CITs will participate in team-building and self-reflection initiatives as well as pre-trip preparations.
Week 2CITs spend the next 8 days backpacking the Superior Hiking Trail, becoming members of a functioning unit that work as a team. Members are given the opportunity to experience nature in a new way, learn outdoor skills, practice leave-no-trace principles, lead a group, and discover unrealized strengths and potential.
Week 3*The 3-week option omits the 8-day backpacking trip. Instead, participants will spend a weekend camping at a local state park.

Upon their return to camp, CIss will continue to gain leadership skills, learn the specific skills of a camp counselor, and begin to transfer what they are learning to the greater camp community. CITs will complete a service project and take on a new role assisting and learning at Program Areas.
Week 4CIT’s spend their last week in assigned cabins working with campers and learning from experienced counselors.

Counselor In Training (8-Day Backpacking Trip Included)
*Application Required - Please email demi@campolson.org for more info*

SESSIONSESSION NAMEDATEAGES2022 FEESAFTER 4/15SPACES REMAINING
CIT-1234Counselor In Training (Coed)June 12-July 916-17$2,336$2,436Waitlist
CIT-345*Counselor In Training (Coed)June 26-July 16 *Excludes Backpacking Trip16-17$1,780$1,880Accepting Applications
CIT-4567Counselor In Training (Coed)July 3-3016-17$2,336$2,436Waitlist
CIT-5678Counselor In Training (Coed)July 10-August 616-17$2,336$2,436Waitlist