The LTD Program
The Leadership Training and Discipleship Program is a three-year, experiential learning program for High School students. During the three years, students are taught about leadership with focuses upon personal development, social justice, evangelism, communication, and teamwork through experiences in spiritual formation, cabin leading, inner-city service, mountain hiking, and more. The program exists to disciple students to encounter God as life-long, transformed participants in the Kingdom.
Camps throughout the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada have developed a common curriculum for discipling students called the Encountering God Framework (EGF), and this has formed the basis for the current LTD Program. Through the program, students will grow and develop the core competencies.
The Vision of the LTD Program
The key elements of the LTD program are mentorship, experience, and community. As students progress through the program they are expected to carry more and more of the load until in level 3, when the expectation is for them to lead and for the staff mentor to be there for support. We believe that the students should be pushed to try new things and be allowed to grow (and fail) through the process. We teach them to lead by creating space for them and allowing them to be leaders, we teach them about God by creating space where they are focused on Him, and we teach them about the bible by creating a space where it is lived out in community.
Check out our brochure here for more information and testimonials.
The Cost of the LTD Program
The LTD program is a group fundraising model. This allows the LTD program to remain affordable for families, sustainable for the camp, and continues to maintain excellence in its quality. It also instills a heightened level of ownership, engagement, and learning accountability in our students.
Each LTD is required to fundraise a minimum of $1700/student per year to enroll in the program. Although the target fundraising goal for each student will be $2500. We as a camp will absolutely assist with the fundraising process by helping to orchestrate some fundraising initiatives, including the “Conquer the Camp” Race held each fall.
Please see our Fundraising FAQ or feel free to give us a call if you have any questions regarding fundraising. As always, we are committed to ensuring finances are never a limiting factor for kids to come to camp (and LTD).
A Year in the Life as an LTD
Summer begins with LTD week which is a training week set aside specifically for the LTDs. Each level has specific speakers specializing in the curriculum. During the week students are paired with other students and a summer staff guide to help navigate the week as they are taught about the bible, spirituality, personal development, leadership, and how camp runs. Of course, this is still camp – so you can expect tons of ridiculous fun as well!
During the summer each student will be required to serve, at minimum, one week-long volunteer practicum at camp where they are assigned to a staff mentor, doing the job that the mentor does. This may be leading a cabin, the climbing wall, games, arts, worship, photography, or any other job that happens at camp. This is where your training hits the road as you learn to serve and lead those that Gull Lake cares for. At the time of application, LTDs will be given a choice of summer weeks in which their practicum will take place.
Each summer, every level of LTDs participate on an “out trip” – a week-long trip away from camp. In past years out trips have included a backpacking trip in the mountains, a river canoe trip, a week learning about homelessness in inner-city Calgary or Edmonton, or a service-learning opportunity on a farm. These trips help students learn about God, each other, and the world around them. At the time of application, LTDs will be given a choice of summer weeks in which their out trip will take place.
Fall, Winter, and Spring Retreats
There are 3 weekend retreats held year-round for all three levels of LTDs. Retreats are a time to gather, support each other, foster community and have heaps of fun. Each new year we will post upcoming retreat dates down below.
Throughout the year all LTDs are required to meet regularly (at least once a month) with an adult mentor who will offer support, challenge the student, and pray for them.
As an LTD you can also expect to have a small number of projects assigned throughout the year intended to help you go deeper in your discipleship and leadership training, as well as put that training to use in life while not at camp. These may include reading assignments, church or community service projects, or self-reflection assignments. We understand that students often lead busy lives in addition to their school work, therefore we do our best to not make projects extremely time-intensive outside of the summer. However, LTD applicants should be willing and able to make time for these projects throughout the year – contacting their leaders should the time commitment become too much.
LTD Week: July 2-8, 2022
2022 LTD Retreat Schedule
LTD Fall Retreat/Conquer the Camp: September 23-25, 2022 7pm Friday to 1:30pm Sunday
LTD Winter Retreat: January 13-15, 2023 7pm Friday to 1:30pm Sunday
LTD Spring Retreat: May 12-14, 2023 7pm Friday to 1:30pm Sunday
LTD Week: July 1-7, 2023
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the LTD program still running during COVID?
Absolutely! The program might look a little different, but we are committed to still doing what we’ve always done: connecting young leaders with mentorship, great teaching, and a supportive community.
How old should I be before applying to the LTD program?
Students going into Grade 9 or 10 are the ideal age to enter Level 1 of the program.
Can LTDs still attend Senior Teens camp as campers?
How much time commitment is the program?
Students at minimum will be required to be at camp for 3 weeks of their summer: an LTD training week, one week on out trip, and one week volunteering in practicum, however many LTDs enjoy serving multiple practicum weeks and prefer to be at camp as much as possible! Students are also expected to attend 3 weekend retreats during the fall, winter, and spring. Additionally assigned projects may take 10-40 hours spread throughout the year.
What happens after I apply?
After all applications are received (sometimes not until March or April) our Program Manager, Evangeline, will contact you to schedule a follow up phone interview. If and when you are accepted into the program, you will receive an acceptance letter with more information. Before you know it, it will be summer break and time for LTD Week, where you will first meet your Level Cohort and leaders!
What if I don’t currently attend a church?
We would still love to receive your application. If you don’t have a pastor or youth pastor who is able to give you a reference, another leader who has walked with you in your faith may be acceptable. Contact us to find out more about reference alternatives.
I’d love to donate towards sponsoring an LTD – who do I talk to?
Well that’s just awesome! All LTD donations are tax deductible. Just get in touch with our office and we’ll set you up!
Applying to the LTD Program
2023 LTD Applications will open in the new year.
To apply you must fill out an application form and provide the name and email addresses of your references. Applications will close as soon as the program is full.
Level 1 students need to provide 3 digitally submitted references; one from each of the following:
- A pastor or youth leader from their church
- A parent or guardian
- One other adult
Level 2 and 3 students need one reference from each of the following:
- Their mentor
- A pastor from their church
- A parent or guardian
If you have any questions you can contact us for more information!