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Leadership & Adventure

Leadership & Adventure

Geneva Park Leadership Experience and Adventure Progression

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka offers youth leadership programs at YMCA Geneva Park. Participants will live, learn and have fun in our Geneva Park Leadership Experience and Adventure Progression (GP LEAP) Programs. GP LEAP Programs provide youth with a great opportunity to meet new people, develop individual and group skills and build confidence in a safe, inclusive environment. Please note that all registration for the leadership programs are fully online this year. If you are not able to register online please contact the Park office at 705 330 0378 x 641.

This program is focused all around a recreational canoe expedition. Participants will stay at basecamp for 2 nights prior to trip to prepare, and 1 night at the end of the trip to celebrate successes. The middle 5 days and 4 nights will be experiencing the enjoyment, fun and play elements of a canoe expedition. This expedition is focused on the ‘Experience’ component in an adventure based learning program and where the experience speaks for itself!

Pre-requisites include: Must be 14 at start of the program; previous experience in canoeing, camping and swimming proficiency required. Participants must pass a swim test to participate in program.


Cost: $950

This program focuses on Outdoor and Adventure experience. Participants will get the opportunity to take action in many adventure recreational activities filled with enjoyment, fun and play in an outdoor setting. They will learn the basics to camp out in a tent all week long and feel the rewards of an overnight canoe trip. The focus is on the ‘Experience’ component of an adventure based learning program where the experience speaks for itself! (Note: this is replacing the former Junior Leaders (JL) program)

Pre-requisites include: Must be 15 at start of the program; ability to pass a swim test (to go on the canoe trip), accommodation exists if unable to pass. 


Cost: $750

This program is focused on building your ‘hard skills’ in adventure programs and getting you to begin to think, discuss and reflect about your experiences. Opportunities to become certified in Bronze Medallion/Cross alongside adventure education training in our many program areas at Geneva Park. Building knowledge and skills in land, water and challenge based activity areas. The group will embark on a 3-4 day canoe trip that will focus on action and reflection. This program focus is on the ‘What’ component of an adventure based learning program where we unpack what the experience is in reality and prepares you for future leadership in adventure programming. (Note: this is replacing the former Young Leaders (YL) program)

Pre-requisites include: Must be 16 at start of the program; ability to pass a swim test.


Cost: $1450

This program focuses on the development of your ‘soft skills’ and learning to behave as a Leader. Focused placements in your skill areas will help forge the behaviours required to move onto an instructional leadership role in your future. Leadership skills will develop further on a 5-day canoe expedition and consolidate with an overnight-supervised solo experience where your actions and reflections will integrate into behavioural leadership change.. This program focuses on the ‘So What’ component of an adventure based learning program where we begin to take our experiences and knowledge from them and apply new action and behaviour into daily life. (Note: this is replacing the former Advanced Leaders (AL) program)

Pre-requisites include: Must be 17 at start of the program; ability to pass a swim test.


Cost: $1950

This development program is an opportunity to fully integrate your ‘hard and soft’ skills into action at Geneva Park. Now is the time to behave like a leader and volunteer in a specific program area at the Park. There will be a variety of program specific positions available. Volunteers will report to Supervisors of their program area and the Program Coordinators. Volunteers will be independently living on-site, and can potentially obtain 40 community volunteer hours.

Pre-requisites include: Must be 17 years old or older by program start; successful application and interviewing, bronze cross, first aid and CPR.

Cover letter and resume to be sent to with “Volunteer Program” as the subject line.


No Fee

This development program takes place at the YMCA Fairthorne Manor Camp in the United Kingdom. Participants will share this leadership development experience of connecting, supporting and learning with youth from around the world. The program provides youth with an opportunity to develop leadership skills and apply them in a job shadowing experience at the camp. Participants will partake in supervised day trips to local cultural experiences.

Must be 17 years or older by program start date


Cost: $3800

Financial Assistance: At the YMCA, we want to be sure that all children, youth and families have the opportunity to reach their full potential. If you are unable to afford our programs, we offer financial assistance  to ensure everyone in our communities who wants to, are able to benefit from a YMCA experience.

Download the financial assistance form here

Strengthsquest - self assessment

• Identify your top 5 talents
• Learn the power behind your talents and how to intentionally apply them daily
• The benefits and power of a strengths based approach
• The tools to begin your StrengthsQuest journey and establish a strengths based culture

Leadership Communication

• Identify your communication style
• Gain awareness about the impact you have on others based on how you communicate
• Learn techniques and the awareness needed to be a truly great communicator

Transformational Leadership

• Defining leadership throughout the ages
• Learn to differentiate between trending concepts on leadership to those that are proven, relevant and applicable today
• Learn to identify what leadership styles have influenced you and what leadership style and the characteristics you would most like to exemplify. What form of leadership is your team or organization led by? Which style would have the most impact?

Strategic Planning

• Why is it important?
• How does one get started?
• What makes a good strategic plan? – learn the essentials

Team Effectiveness - Stages of Development

• Be provided with the tools needed to assess at what level of performance your team is working at
• Learn to kick start and transition your team to one that is highly performing

Mindfulness - Group Approach

• Strategies, techniques & its importance towards attaining a work/life balance

Strengthsquest - Motivation and Engagement

• Learn to manage your talents and those of your team as an interactive process
• You will be able to assess if you are in the right role and determine if managing people is the right fit for you? Are you developing or damaging your teams?

Managing Performance

• Tried and true tools perfect for staff evaluations
• You will be able to differentiate between critical behaviour needing intervention versus behaviour that can be coached
• You will be provided with the tools on how to address staff behaviour & coach your teams


• Learn the science, physiological & psychological responses that impact decision making and personal interaction
• You will be able to look at the work environment through a different lens noting its impact on potential employee performance and learning the means to intervene and influence for better results

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Resiliency

• Provides additional insights on how you are perceived and how that awareness can lead to greater impact as a leader

Change Management

• Examines the impact change has throughout an organization and provides you with the tools and understanding of how to navigate through change with the least collateral & cultural damage

Conflict Resolution

• Learn the tools needed to be able to find the common ground needed to move beyond an impasse

The Art of Persuasion

• Realize the weight of your words and actions and how to put that knowledge to the best use
• Where do you fit within the political milieu?

Strengthsquest - followership and leadership

• Move beyond what your individual talents contribute to a team and start to learn to intentionally aim & maximize the talents of others
• With this understanding you will be able to address and provide what your team members need from you as their leader

Principled-Centre Leadership

• You will learn to appreciate and consider the weight of responsibility that comes as you evolve as a leader
• You will examine ethical dilemmas and the means to address them, as well as the consequences those decisions may have

Philanthropic Leadership

• Learn a strategic approach to philanthropic visioning for your organization. As the funding landscape changes so too must our approach to philanthropy
• You will examine your readiness to adapt to these changes and how to instill a framework and culture of philanthropy that can be sustained for the long term

Board Governance

• Learn the importance of Governance and the essential role it plays as part of any organization
• Learn to assess at what stage of Governance your board operates at and how to move their level of engagement should your organization be ready for the shift
• You will be given the tools to fully understand & implement best practices of governance into your organization

Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships

• You will be provided with the tools in order to assess the readiness of your organization and your board to collaborate or partner with another organization
• We will discuss and examine what governing practices need to be in place in order for collaboration to not only occur but also succeed

Unconscious Bias

• Everyone is biased. With that understanding and acceptance you will learn how to make decisions that acknowledges the role bias can often play within that process
• You will discuss best practices and be provided with the tools needed to implement them

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