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Leadership Experience for Next Steps (LENS)
1 Week Program (Including: 3 days in Algonquin Park)
Join us on an unforgettable, partial overnight experience to Algonquin Park, where we will explore and photograph the wonders of nature! This program is specifically designed for youth looking to build on their leadership skills and acts as a stepping stone for those interested in learning more about what it takes to become a camp counsellor or instructor and how photography can be used as a leadership tool! Contribute your photography to Citizen Science Projects that will help real-world scientists better understand changes in global biodiversity! At the end of the week, you will also visit one of our cities largest green spaces to explore urban biodiversity and discuss the important role that photographers play in creating positive change within our own communities!
- No Camping Experience Required
- Mandatory Swimming Ability Required
- Program Includes:
5 Days of Leadership Training
LENS Program Certificate upon completion
Sleeping Bags & All Required Camping Gear
All Meals & Snacks in Algonquin Park
Transportation | Departure & Return | To and From 25 Toronto St.
- Please Refer To FAQ’s for Details
LENS PROGRAM will be exploring topics and gaining experience in the following areas:
- Human impact
- Climate change
- Reviewing famous examples for inspiration for an independent project that you’ll work on while at Algonquin!
- Team building exercises around camp unique to that program (i.e. exploring camp counsellor scenarios and stories)
- Leadership experiences by leading activities among our Algonquin Adventure students!
Jake Borchenko, Leadership Instructor
At the heart of our programs are passionate and knowledgeable instructors, like Jake Borchenko! His positive energy and enthusiasm toward arts education has encouraged hundreds of our students, to reach new heights! Jake is a Broadcasting and Film graduate of Centennial College and is currently studying at the University of Toronto. He has led youth trips across Ontario as a mentor with Skatelife Canada and has travelled the world, to places like India and Nepal to shoot professional documentaries and work on his own passionate projects in street and documentary photography. As our Leadership Instructor, Jake will work directly with teens who are interested in developing their leadership skills and empower them to begin using photography as a tool to inspire others in their own communities and make a positive difference in the world!
Algonquin Provincial Park
Whitefish Lake Campground
||Mandatory First Day
Mandatory first day for all participants. Review Citizen Science Projects, camera equipment and review what to expect!
||Depart from our studio at 25 Toronto Street first thing in the morning! When we arrive, we’ll set up in our camp site, and then we’ll grab our cameras and hit the trails to explore some of Algonquin’s most beautiful sites! In the afternoon, we’ll settle down by the campfire and assist our adventure group with some night-sky photography!
||Enjoy a full day exploring and photographing nature and biodiversity in the park. Participate in and help lead fun activities around camp! Enjoy your last night cooking and hanging out by the campfire!
||Enjoy your morning with some fun outdoor activities before departing for Toronto. Drop-off at our studio (25 Toronto Street) mid-afternoon.
||Meet at 25 Toronto Street for 9am to review your images! Student work will be showcased at our end of week exhibit!
There are only 2 sessions with limited number of spots for this program and registration will be on a first come first serve basis.
To ensure the safety of all the participants, we maintain a high instructor to participant ratio. Based on our experience, we have found that students are able to grasp the concepts better in small groups. This allows them to ask questions as we go and get the personal attention they need.
Program will require a minimum of 8 participants to run.
We take safety very seriously at GTA Photography. You can be sure that your child is in good hands. Here are just some of the measures we have taken to ensure the safety of your child:
- Professional Guides: We’ve teamed up with professional wilderness guides to ensure the safety of our participants. The guides are trained in Wilderness First Aid & Bronze Cross. In addition, all of our programs continue to uphold the highest standards of the Ontario Camps Association.
- Water Activities: All participants are required to know how to swim in order to attend this trip. Supervisors are guaranteed to be certified in Bronze Cross and/or NLS.
- Staff Qualified in First Aid / CPR: All of our instructors and counsellors are trained in First Aid and CPR and are able to treat minor injuries on site. Parents will be immediately notified in case of injury or illness.
- High Instructor to Participant Ratio: Our Teen Programs have a ratio of 2 staff to 16 participants.
- Background Checks: It is our policy that we conduct background and criminal checks on all staff members.
- Risk Management Training: All of our instructors and counsellors undergo thorough training in risk management and emergency procedures. All of our instructors and counsellors have cell phones and can be reached at any time.
Adventure programs are designed and appropriate for students ages 14 – 17.
If you have any questions regarding the age group, please feel free to contact us.
We will be at Whitefish Lake Campgrounds; All sleeping bags and camping gear will be provided. No camping experience is required.
Bus transportation provided by a third party bus provider will pick us up and drop us off on-site at 25 Toronto Street.
Outhouses and running water are available within walking distance to our sleeping accommodations, but there are no showers. It is expected that everyone is going to get dirty and that’s okay!
There is limited reception in the park. If you want to bring your phone, we recommend bringing a plastic ziplock to keep it dry at all times! We will not be responsible for broken, lost or damaged phones. Communication between our overnight program and camp director will be ongoing while our participants are away. Parents are welcome to speak directly with our camp director while participants are away on trip if they have any questions!
Pack light! Everything you pack will have to be carried on your back.
-Lunch for Tuesday bus ride (all other meals and snacks provided)
-Camera, charger, 2 camera batteries and SD cards
-Medications (if required)
-Basic Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste)
-Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses
-Active daytime outfit
-Comfortable evening outfit (sweater, sweatpants, extra socks)
In our CIT (Counsellor in Training)
program, we will be helping teens to develop an online professional portfolio (Linked In), do a resume review and mock interview which would help the CIT prepare for any job opportunity. However, our CIT program is for candidates 16 – 18 years old
. Our CIT program is a shadowing experience as well, on-site at our camp location in Toronto. Our CITs are expected to be able to use photography as a tool to document the camp experience, and they are evaluated on their performance by their peers and the Head Counsellor. The Head Counsellor leads daily workshops, discussing topics that are specific to our camp policies and procedures and counsellor/CIT roles and responsibilities.
Our LENS program is an excellent stepping stone for individuals interested in becoming a camp counsellor. Our LENS program gives participants the opportunity to lead activities, but they will not be evaluated in the same way that our CITs are. Our LENS program is also a great introduction to camping and Jake will discuss what it takes to be a counsellor not only at day camps, but also overnight camps as well. Individuals who take our LENS program do not have to apply to be CITs later on, they will immediately be considered for acceptance into our CIT program.
Registration is open until one month before each session begins. Please note that in prior years most of our camps have sold out months in advance. In order to guarantee enrolment, we recommend registering as soon as you know your schedule and at least a month in advance. Avoid the rush – register early and secure a spot!
- During registering a $500 deposit is required to secure a spot.
- Within 30 days of the original booking full balance is due to reserve the spot.
- After June 1, 2019 full payment is due to reserve booking
Cancellation by Participants:
- Cancellations for adventure programs are non-refundable.
Cancellation by GTAPC:
- GTA Photography Classes reserves the right to cancel the session if there is inadequate enrolment. In the event that a program must be cancelled, you will be notified by email with adequate notice (please be sure to register using the email address where you can best be reached). You may then either reschedule for another session or receive reimbursement of fees.
If you are allergic to something, or have an intolerance, please let us know in advance! You can do this when you fill out your registration form so we can do our best to accommodate you!
Tuesday: Lunch and Dinner will be provided. Evening snacks provided.
Wednesday: All meals provided. All snacks provided.
Thursday: Breakfast and lunch provided. Snacks provided. The food is delicious and will be prepared for our participants. Meals will be primarily vegetarian based with meat add-ons to meet a variety of diets!
You are more than welcome to bring your own snacks, but there will be more than enough food to eat! Please bring extra food within reason, as all food will have to be properly stored away from our sleeping accommodations.
We will do our best to prepare for rainy days! Having proper weather sealed bags and clothing will keep our equipment and us dry! Supplementary activities will be planned in the event that it rains.
Yes! A tourist visa is all that is required to attend our camp. Student visa’s are not required for summer camps.
Our programs are taught in English and do require a good understanding of the language in order to participate and follow the program. Students should be able to converse at an Intermediate to Advanced level in order to participate in our summer camp programs. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact us for more information.
Yes! We believe that every child should have access to camp and financial limitations should not be a factor when making the decision to go to camp. Every summer, we have a select number of spots that are open to students in need.
Deadline to apply for financial aid is Monday, March 19, 2019. Campers will be notified if they were granted a spot by end of April. Please fill out the application below and email it back to us (email@example.com) by the deadline.
FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION** Please note that this application is currently only offered to Canadian Residents.
In our LENS program Jake, our Leadership Instructor, will be exploring how photography can be used as a leadership tool, to document real world problems as a means to advocate for positive change!
We’ll be exploring topics such as human impact, climate change and be taking a look at famous examples for inspiration for an independent project that you’ll work on while at Algonquin! Our LENS students will be participating in team building exercises around camp unique to that program (i.e. exploring camp counsellor scenarios and stories) and gain leadership experiences by leading activities among our Adventure students!
Check Out Our Campers’ Experience
Upon booking a $500 deposit is due to reserve the spot. After 30 days full payment is due. if there are issues with this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This program will be offered to participants on a first come, first serve basis. If you would like to opportunity to join Jake and other fellow teens up north for a 3 day adventure program, please fill out this form below as soon as possible.
Space Is Limited | Secure Your Spot Before The Rush | Program is limited to 15 participants
Register by filling out the form below.
$500 payment is required upon booking. Within 30 days full payment is due.
After June 1, 2019 full payment is required to reserve booking.