Why? Because we believe that wilderness tripping provides unique opportunities for personal growth and has a therapeutic benefit. The woods act as a levelling ground from which all members of the group can start anew. We leave behind the expectations, hierarchies, and social roles that have come to fill our daily lives. Shedding traditional roles, tripping fosters a non-judgmental environment where we take more risks and learn about ourselves. "Outlookers" are caring, dedicated individuals who work to foster these experiences for campers at no cost. In many instances, Outlook plays an important part in their lives. It is for this reason that Camp Outlook has endured, entering its 42nd tripping season.
Fall/Winter Outlook volunteers are either returning summer staff and/or Queen's University students who take deserving youth on camping trips to both Frontenac provincial park and the Queen's University Biology Station for the weekend. The trips leave at around 10am on Saturday and return at noon on Sunday. Volunteers are expected to go on at least two trips a semester, attenda training weekend at the beginning of each semester, attend regular staff meetings, and be actively involved in the Fundraising and/or Camper Recruitment Committees. No outdoor experience is necessary, but volunteering for Camp Outlook requires a strong sense of responsibility, dedication and a willingness for adventure!
So, you want to trip with Outlook this summer? As a volunteer, you will venture on three or four 9-day trips (with a possible 15-day) in beautiful Algonquin Park. You and one or two co-staff will be leading youth from the ages of 13 and 17 from Kingston and the surrounding areas. Our campers are referred to us from social agencies, schools, and other youth agencies. Many campers return for multiple years to expand their experience of both the wilderness and the activities we provide for them on trip.
For June, July, and August we provide you with food and a place to stay (if you need it) and all the necessary training all at no cost. No experience is necessary. We've had many wonderful staff who have never set foot in a canoe before Outlook. The first month is spent in Kingston doing Wilderness First Aid, Bronze Medallion/Bronze Cross, canoe tripping training, as well as a host of invaluable skill sets in leadership, management, and social work. Staff training month ends with an instructive 8 day staff canoe trip to Algonquin Park to solidify your wilderness camping and leadership skills. Finally, at the beginning of July camper trips begin and continue to the end of August.
A full summer consists of at least three trips and goes until the end of August. The average stay in Kingston between trips is about 4 days. Due to the high cost of training and certification of staff, we cannot accept staff who are available for less than 3 trips. A summer staff position with Outlook is not a summer holiday. It demands dedication and a strong sense of responsibility as well as an open-minded outlook. You have to be able to 'roll with the punches'. However, Outlook is as rewarding as it is challenging. You will never forget your summer with Outlook, the campers, the staff, the park... Your salary is paid in experience and stories!