Parents: Don’t Let Your Young Leaders Make This Mistake in Summer 2022

Rich BirchSummer Staff

Are you the parent of a teenage or young adult leader? 

Do you wonder how you can help them develop skills that will aid them in the future?

What activities are you encouraging the young leaders in your life to engage in to help them grow in their character and faith?

Are you looking to give your teenagers a head start toward an incredible young adult life?

Don’t let the young leaders in your life work at a burger joint this summer! This will waste an incredible opportunity for growth and development. 

For nearly 80 summers, young leaders have been serving for a summer at Camp Mini-Yo-We in Muskoka. This experience has developed their leadership skills as they launch into life. 

In fact, our mission at Mini-Yo-We is to develop tomorrow’s leaders through life-changing adventures in God’s creation. We are a youth leadership development organization cleverly disguised as a children’s overnight camp. We host campers because we believe that this is the ideal platform for developing the young leaders in your life. 

Your young people are too valuable to have them waste a summer flipping burgers, cutting lawns, punching buttons or doing any other such role. Encourage the young people in your life to join the team this summer at Camp Mini-Yo-We! 

4 Benefits Young Leaders Will Get From Serving at Camp Mini-Yo-We in the Summer of 2022

The benefits of serving on the team at Mini-Yo-We are innumerable, but here are four of the top benefits that we hear from parents after their teenage or young adult children have served at Mini-Yo-We:

  • Positive Faith Community That is Interested in Their Growth // You know that your young people are heavily influenced by their five closest friends. You want your young people to wisely choose the community with which they surround themselves. The team of young leaders at Mini-Yo-We are incredible people of faith who encourage young people to grow as whole people. We’re not perfect but we do strive to point every team member back to Jesus. We’d love your young people to join us in our community this summer. 
  • Stretching Experiences to Develop Their Leadership Skills // Leaders are developed by leading. It’s sort of like riding a bike. You can read about riding a bike, watch videos of people riding bikes or listen to podcasts by bike enthusiasts, but in order to actually ride a bike you need to put your feet on the pedals and push yourself. When your young people come to Mini-Yo-We this summer, they will be put into stretching situations that will cause them to grow their leadership skills. This is all done in the context of a caring community of adult leaders who are on the team to support them as they stretch. We develop leaders by helping young people take risks in leading our campers and their peers. Don’t let your young person miss this opportunity this summer! 
  • Boost Their Resilience and Increase Their Happiness // Resilience is one’s capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. I love how author Angela Duckworth talks about it when she says, “Without effort, your talent is nothing more than unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn’t.” Time and again we hear from parents like you that their young people have developed a deeper sense of resilience through serving at Camp Mini-Yo-We. We’ve always known that resilience is an important character trait, but coming “out” of the COVID-19 pandemic, those young people with higher resilience will go further in life. Speaking of the pandemic, we’ve heard from parents that their young people seem happier since they’d engaged with Camp Mini-Yo-We on our team over the summers of 2020 and 2021. Recently, a study was released that showed that young people have incurred the deepest negative impact on their overall happiness due to the pandemic. You know that the mental health and well-being of your young leader is important. We’re praying that everyone who joins our team this summer will love it. We want to help restore some of that happiness that has been lost in their life. 
  • Enjoy God’s Creation in Muskoka // Get out of the city! Put away the phone. Let’s enjoy some time in Muskoka. There is no doubt that living and working in Muskoka for a summer or two (or five!) when you’re young can shape your outlook on life. In fact, one of the findings of a study done at the University of Waterloo is that young people who engage in overnight camp experiences—like being on the staff at Camp Mini-Yo-We—have measurably increased levels of love for all things outdoors. Encouraging your young leaders to join the team this summer at Camp Mini-Yo-We could be an investment in giving them a lifetime love of getting outside and enjoying God’s creation. This will pay dividends in your kids’ (and grandkids’) life! We’ve heard from so many parents over the years that their young leaders’ time at Mini-Yo-We had impacted them in pursuing a life more connected to nature. Your young person won’t get that from standing in front a burger fryer all summer. 

… Plus, it is a REAL JOB with training, pay and responsibility! 

We are so passionate about the above benefits your young leader will experience this summer. However, this is still a real job. It has all the normal job responsibilities and benefits you are seeking for your young leaders to experience, such as:

  • Pay // Every staff member who serves with us for this summer will be paid. There was a time in the past that all of our staff were unpaid volunteers, but we’ve changed that. BONUS: Most of our staff will be paid at the end of the summer, so they won’t spend it all away throughout the summer months. (Think about it … your young leader being away from the mall for the summer and being “forced” to save what they make until Labour Day!)
  • Training // We provide a pre-summer training experience called Leadership Conference for all of our cabin and activity leaders. We don’t know of another camp in Ontario that has as long a training period as Mini-Yo-We. BONUS: Your young leader will also get invited to Summer’s End in August. This experience is designed to help your leader take what they’ve learned in the summer and apply it to whatever they are doing next fall! 
  • Responsibilities and Expectations // You are looking for your young person to gain the experience of doing work and then gaining feedback, right? Working at Camp Mini-Yo-We is still work. Their supervisors will clearly outline their expectations, hold them to high standards and then provide personal, verbal and written feedback on their performance. We know this is an important part of the “real job” experience. 

TAKE ACTION: Don’t let your young leader make the mistake of working at a burger joint this summer

Are you interested in encouraging your young leader to join the team at Camp Mini-Yo-We this summer? Here are a few ideas on how you can encourage them:

Last word… from one parent to another

Like you, I am a parent of two young leaders. These COVID years have been hard years in which to parent. I want the best for my kids just like you do yours. My kids’ time serving at camp has been foundational to their transition to young adult life. I wouldn’t trade all the benefits they’ve received for anything. I want this for your kids, too. 

Please reach out directly to me if you have any questions or if I can help you in any way: Rich Birch (