YMCA Camp Abnaki
Youth leadership programs provide an opportunity for young men to learn the skills needed to become tomorrow’s leaders. This year we’re offering our 4-week Counselor in Training for campers that are currently in or have completed 10th grade. We’re also happy to offer two different Leaders in Training Trip programs — Local Adventure and Adirondack Adventure — for rising 9th and 10th graders!
Scroll down for all the details!
The CIT program is a 4-week youth leadership program for campers that are currently in or have completed 10th grade. The program is designed to help campers in the transition to counselor, and to develop leadership skills which can be used in school or in the workforce. The CIT experience provides in-depth training in skill development, child development, group dynamics, conflict resolution and more.
Each CIT lives in a cabin with up to 10 other CITs, who are supervised and mentored by the CIT Director. CIT’s typically interact with a large range of campers and staff during their stay. There are plenty of opportunities for CITs to enjoy camp programs and special events!
The 4 week CIT program rates include $65 in camp store funds and all changeover weekend costs. Siblings receive a $200 discount.
Deposit: there is a non-refundable deposit of $200 per camper per session. Final payment for all day camp sessions is due
Registration is on a first-come basis. Registration is through our UltraCamp platform, where you can also apply for financial assistance. Please see below for more information on how to register.
Do you love being at camp, but you’re looking for a fresh, new camp experience? The Leaders In Training (LIT) program may be for you!
The LIT program will be returning with two exciting options for summer 2024 – a Local Adventure program which uses camp as a home base and ventures out on smaller day trips around the area, and an Adirondack Adventure expedition program which includes a week in the backcountry backpacking the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness in the Adirondack Mountains.
Our 2024 LIT Local Adventure Trip program is a great option for campers looking to remain at Abnaki, while also getting off camp for some smaller scale adventures without fully committing to a weeklong backcountry experience. At camp, they’ll still get to experience some familiar things like communal cabin life and evening program, but there will also be new, different twists on the traditional camp experience including overnight camping, preparing some of their own meals over a campfire, and some Green Mountain day hikes. Local Adventure LITs will also spend a portion of their time off camp, participating in service-learning work projects both on camp and out in the community, and taking various day trips around the area.
Suggested Local Adventure Packing List
PLEASE NOTE: participants in this trip should follow the standard camp packing list, particularly the following items that will be more important to the experience:
-Backpack suitable for day trips
– Sleeping bag
-Hiking clothes – layers are important! A rain jacket, a warm layer (puffy jacket, fleece midlayer), t shirt, and durable shorts or pants should be included. Cotton clothing and/or jeans are NOT recommended for tripping days
Items NOT to bring: knives, electronics, cell phones
Prior to traveling to the Adirondacks, participants will stay in tents and participate in a backpacking “crash course” at camp. Here they’ll learn about meal planning and food prep, how to operate and field maintain group cooking equipment, safely treat water in the backcountry, properly fit and pack a backpack, set up and make basic field repairs to tents, basic orientation and map reading skills, taking care of feet and body while on trail, and Leave No Trace principles. They will continue to build upon these foundations during their wilderness experience, developing leadership and teamwork skills as they play an active role in cooking and cleaning up after meals, treating water, managing group gear, and route planning.
The trip itself will take place in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. Starting from the Putnam Pond Campground, the group will spend a week backpacking in the beautiful Adirondack Forest Preserve, containing an abundance of picturesque lakes and ponds. This area provides the right balance between easy accessibility while also maintaining a true-wilderness feel, and contains a robust network of nearly 70 miles of trails, 14 lean-tos, and 38 primitive campsites, allowing for the Trip Leaders (with the input of the group) to create a truly unique, personalized experience suitable to backpackers of all skill levels. If the group is up to the challenge, they may even tackle climbing the 2551 foot Pharaoh Mountain, the highest peak in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness.
Participants should be physically fit enough to backpack 6-12 miles per day, carrying weights of up to 35 pounds in their pack, and should be comfortable sharing tent and primitive shelter space with other participants. They should also have a well-fitting, comfortable, broken-in pair of shoes – trail runners or hiking boots, appropriate for this backcountry experience.
Suggested Adirondack Adventure Packing List
PLEASE NOTE: don’t feel like you need to run out and buy equipment from this list! We don’t want equipment to be a barrier, so if you don’t have something, please reach out and let us know. Camp has a number of these items in reserve that we are happy to loan out. If you have it, though, feel free to bring it!
-Well fitting footwear – trail runners or boots that have been broken in (worn extensively) prior to the trip
-Three season sleeping bag, suitable for warm-cool summer conditions. Down or synthetic
-Lightweight, packable pillow
-Insulating sleeping pad. A lightweight inflatable pad such as a Thermarest, or a foam pad both do the trick
-2-3 pairs of hiking socks – merino wool, or quick drying synthetic recommended. Avoid cotton!
-2 pairs of quick drying underwear
-1 pair of nighttime clothes not to be worn while hiking
-Hiking clothes – layers are important! A rain jacket, a warm layer (puffy jacket, fleece midlayer), t shirt, and durable shorts or pants should be included. Cotton and/or jeans are NOT recommended on trail – the fabric tends to get wet and stay wet, losing insulating value which can lead to problems with temperature regulation, and causing potential issues with skin irritation. Quick drying synthetic materials such as polyester, or warmth retaining even while wet materials such as merino wool are more suitable choices
-2 1L water bottles. Nalgenes work, but SmartWater bottles are lighter and plenty durable!
-Personal hygiene supplies – travel toothbrush and toothpaste, biodegradable soap such as Dr. Bronners, sunscreen, bugspray
-Personal mess kit – spoon, bowl/mug
-Lightweight trowel, and personal backcountry bathroom supplies
-Optional “luxury” items include a lightweight journal and pen, a deck of cards, a book, or a lightweight mesh bug head net
-Camp provided group equipment: tents, cooking equipment, water treatment supplies, bear bagging supplies, first aid supplies
Are you looking for a fundamentally different experience (opt for Adirondack Adventure), or something familiar yet different (opt for Local Adventure)? Are you excited about the idea of spending a week in the backcountry, carrying everything you need on your back, sleeping on a foam pad surrounded by the thin walls of a tent, cooking your own food, spending the majority of the day on trail (opt for Adirondack Adventure), or do you prefer the comforts of sleeping in a bed surrounded by four walls and a roof, and limiting adventures to smaller distances and timeframes (opt for Local Adventure). The Adirondack Adventure option, for most people, is a further step out of your comfort zone; in turn, the shared experiences may end up feeling deeper and the growth may seem more pronounced. That being said, plenty of growth and connection can happen in familiar settings — and will certainly happen in the Local Adventure option!
Registration for all programs takes place through UltraCamp. You will first need to create an account, then you will go through the process of registering for a particular program or session. Returning campers should have an account from previous summers — please do not create a new account! If you forgot your login/password, try to recover it on the login page or reach out to camp for the information. All of the forms needed to attend camp will be found in UltraCamp. The only form you will need to print is the Medical Form, which must be signed by your child’s physician. Be sure to save your account login and password for next year!
Questions? Email camp and our staff will be happy to help!