How Our Program is Organized
Campers who range in age from 10 1/2 -18 naturally bring a wide variety of skills and needs to the leadership development program. Accordingly, the program is organized into three phases so that it may better meet the needs of all the participants.
Each phase is designed for a particular range of skills and level of maturity. Participants generally will be attracted to a particular phase, however phase placement is determined by experienced program administrators. To ensure placement, our staff reviews each registration form and when necessary, conducts personal interviews, and consults with parents, and prior phase leaders.
All three phases center on the development of leadership skills such as planning, knowing and using your resources, understanding and being sensitive to the needs and characteristics of your group, communication, and evaluation. The degree and emphasis with which the competencies are explored increase from phase to phase. Completion of Phase 1 is not required for acceptance into Phase 2. Similarly, completion of Phase 1 or Phase 2 is not required for acceptance into Phase 3.
The following are suggested guidelines for the placement of candidates. Final candidate placement will be the decision of the White Stag staff. Applicants seeking age exceptions are encouraged to attend Candidate-Day, however age exceptions are not guaranteed.
For youth ages 10 ½-13 (and who have completed the 5th grade). Participants will experience the dynamics and power of a close-knit group. They are exposed to the responsibilities of group membership and to leadership skills. They go on one overnight backpacking trip.
Group Leadership Development
For youth ages 13 –15 (or 12 years with approval); camping and backpacking experience is desirable, but not necessary. Campers learn the skills of small group leaders. They are exposed to advanced levels of leadership competencies and are given guided opportunities to lead a small group. They will go on a multi night backpacking trip.
Large Group Leadership Development
For youth ages 15-18 (or 14 years with approval). Camping and backpacking experience is desirable, but not necessary. Campers learn the skills of a large group leader, leading small group leaders. They receive opportunities to practice leadership skills at the highest level in a high-adventure setting. Campers spend several days backpacking.