2023 Leaders In Training Reunion Recap

Eryn MarchinetzBlog

This past weekend at Camp Mini-Yo-We, in the crisp November air, our 2023 Leaders In Training gathered back together. Reuniting after weeks of school, everyone returned to reconnect, reminisce, and reignite the sparks of leadership and community that were kindled during their past summer at Camp.

Nestled in the towering pines and beside beautiful Mary Lake, Mini-Yo-We served as the perfect backdrop for a weekend of reflection and growth. Excitement roared as the LITs ran to embrace one another and swap stories of triumphs and challenges they’ve experienced since the summer. 

Ella, one of our LITs, reflected: “The LIT reunion was a wonderful weekend spent back at Camp! I had so much fun reconnecting and catching up with everyone. It was a sneak peek of all the fun we will be having next summer!”

It really was beautiful to watch, and I know I speak for the whole team when I tell you that we are SO excited to see these LITs return and flourish on staff in the coming summers. 

Friends For Life

The weekend began with a few fun games to facilitate connections. However, everyone was so excited to see one another that they did not need any help! The sounds of laughs and voices filling Muskoka Hall is unparalleled, and a much-appreciated boost during a busy season for these LITs – and for us as staff. I can’t help but be transported back to my own LIT reunion. The group really does become a family, building up and encouraging one another to seek Jesus throughout our lives, no matter where we are in the world. What more could you ask for? (Although, these LITs got to experience axe-throwing during the reunion, which I wish we had way back then!)

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

The reunion also prepared our LITs for serving at Camp and beyond. Through sessions led by our Summer Programs team, they learned about working together with a drive for success and a clear goal, the leadership pathway at Mini-Yo-We, and how the Bible teaches us to lead in community. Through interactive activities and group discussions, they explored new perspectives and refined their leadership toolkits. They were also invited to apply for summer staff and interview with Anna Temple, our Team Development Coordinator. Out of the 40 LITs at the reunion, all but four had started the application process by the end of the weekend!

Faith in Community

As the reunion drew to a close, LITs got the opportunity to be vulnerable with one another about where they are in life: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Seeing our young leaders praying over their peers never gets old. It showed me how committed our future leaders are to God and each other. He has a great plan in store for them, and I cannot wait to watch it all unfold.

I’ll finish off this post with a quote from Liam, another one of our LITs: “The LIT reunion weekend was fantastic! Had a blast seeing all my friends from the summer. I can’t wait for Summer 2024!”

We can’t wait for Summer 2024, too! Big things are on the horizon.

The Leadership Pathway

Our Enterprise program is the first step to becoming a leader at Camp Mini-Yo-We. In each two-week session, 15-year-old campers focus on servant leadership, personal discipleship, and outdoor adventures. Many of them return the next summer for Leaders In Training, which is our premier leadership development program. It includes four weeks of challenging and life-changing experiences at Camp, as well as a May kick-off weekend and the November reunion. Most LITs go on to serve as our Cabin Leaders and Activity Leaders the following year. There are many more opportunities for them to grow as leaders as returning summer staff!