Exciting Gap Year Opportunity
July 27, 2020
Are you looking for a gap year opportunity? LEAD (Leadership Experience and Discipleship), a 10-month long gap year program at Pioneer Camp Ontario, might be just what you’re looking for.
While we have a lot to say about the benefits of a gap year program, we don’t just want this to be another article trying to convince you to take one. Gap years can be life-changing and the research backing their impact is extensive. There are a lot of fantastic gap year options for young Christians hoping to grow in their faith. A semester or two at Bible College, studying abroad, and even finding full-time work all have appeal. But if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gap year opportunity that offers long-term value, is closer to home and offers a unique and incredible Canadian experience, the LEAD program at Pioneer may be for you.
Researchers are beginning to understand that taking a gap year enables young people to obtain skills which lead to greater personal and academic success in post-secondary pursuits. In his research on the topic, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt writes that “if all high school graduates spend a year doing service or paid work away from home, before beginning college… most students will be ready for anything.” This goes beyond just academic or work success in the future – a gap year can be transformational for your faith in Jesus. A recent report conducted by Power to Change Ministries found that those who took a gap year are better integrated into Christian communities than those who jumped right into university, college, or work life.
Growth and Transformation
LEAD is more than just a gap year “experience”. It’s not just a program you attend for a few months, have fun, learn a few things, and go home relatively unchanged. LEAD is about long-term growth and transformation. LEAD is intentional about seeing growth in all aspects of our participants – whether it be hosting hundreds of guests at camp, leading others in a Bible study, shoveling snow in the dead of winter, or instructing a high ropes class – you will experience growth in how you interact with others, how you work, how you understand yourself, and how you follow Jesus.
The community cultivated through the LEAD Program is unlike any other. The experience of a group of 12-15 individuals embarking on a 10 month journey which sees them studying, eating, training, serving, and laughing together is one that is almost impossible to recreate elsewhere. The LEAD team walks through every part of life together. This isn’t always easy, in fact it can be quite challenging at times, but we have seen that it always results in lasting friendships and a much deeper understanding of what community looks like.
Leadership Training and Opportunities
The LEAD Program provides an environment that promotes real growth in leadership skills. We bring in industry experts who teach us about leadership concepts and strategies. This training doesn’t just include theory; there are opportunities to apply what you learn every single day. You will be given incredible opportunities to lead large groups of guests who come to Pioneer for retreats. You will have everyday opportunities to lead your teammates and also to be led by them. We recognize that leadership skills are required whether you are leading the charge or a supporting member of a team and want to provide an atmosphere that strengthens both. Our LEAD staff are present throughout the entire process to coach, encourage, and provide valuable feedback.
Want to know more?
There are countless things we could talk about when discussing LEAD, but we’d like to leave you with this: LEAD will teach you how to grow and thrive in an ever-changing world. At camp, you will experience seasons where there are hundreds of guests each week, and seasons where there’s only a handful of people on our property. You will learn to thrive in the moments of leading and facilitating large groups as well as the essential behind the scenes moments. We want to present you with an experience that offers more than short-term change. We want this experience to teach you how to live as a follower of Jesus for years to come – growing, leading, and pressing into community, wherever you may find yourself. And that’s precisely what LEAD does.
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