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New! Just for CITs
Leadership Camping Trip at Salamonie Reservoir
July 22nd-26th, plus camp

"Our society needs leaders for the future. The demands we have yet to face will require leaders who are flexible problem-solvers and can communicate with diverse people. Camps can assist in the development of leaders because of what is learned in camp —responsibility, independence, getting along with others, cooperation and teamwork, the willingness to try new things, awareness of the environment, and positive values — all attributes future leaders will need.

One of the most important findings was the extent to which the CITs valued the "realness" of the CIT experience. They recognized that the learning they were doing in camp differed from the abstract learning of school. The CITs' actions and decisions had a real impact."

-American Camp Association

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theme for 2024:

How many are your works, Holy Creator!
In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
                                psalm 104:24
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Expanding the Camping Experience

Experienced campers ages 15-17 are invited to apply for this incredible leadership experience as they bridge the summer camp experience from camper to counselor. 

At the stunning Salamonie Reservoir, up to 8 Counselors-In-Training will challenge themselves to try new things, lead their peers, develop teamwork, and share spiritual reflections before joining the adult Camp Leaders at Camp Mack for another week of summer camp excitement.

The Whole Itinerary:
July 22-Aug 3rd

Monday, July 22nd:

10am- Meet at First Baptist Chicago for orientation & gear check

12pm- Leave for Salamonie Reservoir, sack lunch en route

4pm- Arrive at Salamonie Reservoir, 1.5 mile hike to campsite

5pm onward- Set up tents and cook dinner

Tuesday & Wednesday, July 23-24th:

Day hikes and leadership activities

Thursday, July 25th:

Break camp and hike 1.5 mile to main campground

Camp at main campground for the night

Friday, July 26th:

10am- Leave for Camp Mack

12:30pm- Lunch & begin Camp Leader Training at Camp Mack

Saturday, July 27th:

Camp Leader training at Camp Mack

Sunday, July 28-Saturday, Aug 3rd:

Serve as CITs during camp

Bus drop off at First Baptist Chicago or North Shore Baptist

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Meet the Wilderness Guide

Jonathan Malone is an American Baptist minister, hiker, musician, and parent. He has been leading young people and groups on wilderness trips for several years. He is the founder of Wilderness Journeys, where camping is his ministry.

Jonathan was a Boy Scout, is a 46er (Adirondacks), a 48er (White Mountains), and has thru-hiked many trails including 700 miles of the Appalachian trail. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder through NOLS, and spends countless weeks, days, and hours in the wilderness trying to find God. He keeps looking and welcomes you to join him.

Gear & Packing List

This is a different style of camping from summer camp, and it requires some different gear to have a safe and more comfortable experience. However, no one will be turned away for not having the right gear. Please do not let the packing list deter you from applying.

Between Wilderness Journeys and Outdoor Ministries, we will make sure our CITs have what they need for the campout.


That said, if you have any *extra* gear on the list you're willing to let us use that week, please let us know!

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This one-of-a-kind program was developed specifically for this rising group of devoted campers as they expand their horizons into leadership. Right from the outset, Wilderness Journeys committed its own grant for youth leadership development to this project. Inspired and energized, the Outdoor Ministry Committee earmarked a portion of its 2024-2025 endowment payout for this brand-new program. 

Because space is limited, we require those selected to pay a $150 deposit for their spot. Upon successfully completing the trip and a week of camp, CIT's will receive a $300 honorarium.

We hope another successful summer will allow us to offer this program again, but nothing is certain so apply now! 

Required Forms

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