Develop Leadership Skills at Overnight Teen Camps

We don’t just provide an incredibly fun experience for our campers – two of our overnight teen camps specifically work on developing the leadership skills that our campers will utilize throughout their life.

LIT’s – Leaders in Training

  • Ages: 15 to 17
  • Grades: 10 to 11

Week One

  • During our LIT camp program, teenagers learn what great leaders do and say through study and example.
  • Our Leadership Coordinator acts as the mentor and role model for all our LIT participants throughout the program.
  • Our LIT’s are housed together as their own community, separate from the rest of the overnight youth campers.
  • Campers are trained through leadership development workshops, practice exercises, and hands-on activities.
  • But it wouldn’t be camp if we didn’t make time for fun activities like swimming and racing up the climbing tower!

Week Two

  • Our LIT’s are assigned to assist with an Explorer cabin group (“Explorers” are 7 to 11-year-old campers). This is the best way to practice and develop our teenage campers’ new skills.
  • Every evening our LIT’s come together to debrief and discuss what they have experienced and learned that day.
  • Once they graduate the Leaders in Training program, our participants depart with new skills and friends that last a lifetime! We also encourage successful graduates to apply for the next year’s Camp Assistant program if they’re interested.



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Marston L.I.T.(2 Weeks)

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Register for Leaders in Training

Sioux YMCA Leadership Trip

– in collaboration with YMCA of San Diego County Overnight Camps

  • Ages: 16 to 17
  • Designed for Leadership campers from YMCA Camp Marston, Surf and Raintree Ranch.
  • There are a limited number of spaces (6) for this one of a kind travel program.
  • Two week program on the Cheyenne River Reservation - South Dakota.
  • Campers gather at YMCA Camp Surf for two days to participate in group building, team work and cultural awareness trainings facilitated by YMCA San Diego and Sioux Y staff before departure to the Sioux Y’s new Volunteer Center
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CA’s – Camp Assistants

  • Ages: 16 to 17
  • Grades: Entering 12th Grade
  • Our CA program is a three-week overnight volunteering experience that helps transition enthusiastic campers to successful counselors.
  • Teenagers in the CA program participate in leadership workshops throughout the first week.
  • During the second week, CA’s are placed in a cabin under the supervision of our most experienced staff.
  • CA’s are challenged daily to lead and create activities with children.
  • Our CA’s are provided with an evaluation and a letter verifying how many Community Service Hours were completed.
  • The CA program is a competitive volunteer experience for those teens entering 12th grade and they must apply and interview for placement.

TO APPLY - Please complete and return the 2020 Application Form. Please note - There are a VERY limited number of openings for the CA program each summer and acceptance into the program is not guaranteed.  

Teen Advisory Council

The wait is over! YMCA Overnight Camps - Marston - Surf - Raintree is ready to accept applications for the first ever Teen Advisory Council (TAC)! We're looking to recruit 15 motivated teens who are invested in the future of camp. Selected teens will get to:

  • Voice their ideas about Summer Camp programs and initiative, and take appropriate steps to put approved ideas into action
  • Explore Camp Operations, Donor Networking and Board of Advisor Relations
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy and community service

Who Can Apply? Current 10th, 11th, or 12th graders that have attended any of the three YMCA of San Diego County Overnight Camp programs—Camp Marston, Camp Surf and/or Raintree Ranch.

Who are we looking for? We are looking for dependable teens that embody the 4 Core Values, a team player that loves camp and wants to make a lasting impact on camp. TAC delegates must be capable of working with diverse people in a positive and supportive manner and self-motivated. No prior leadership experience required.  We will be selecting 5 teens per camp, 15 in total.

How long is this commitment?  The TAC delegate term is a 10 month long commitment, beginning in October 2020 and ending June 2020. Meetings will be held once a month rotating between the 3 camps.  TAC delegates will be required to attend at least 1 meeting in person.  The rest may be via conference call over phone or computer. 

Applications can be found here and will be accepted between October 1st - November 1st, 2020.

Weekend Retreats for Teen Leaders

For teens who attended Camp Surf Beachcomber, SOUL, or CA programs in summer 2019, we offer a team-building weekend retreat! This one-night event includes:

  • Leadership activities
  • Team building exercises
  • Preparations for a successful summer
  • Community service for the camp
  • A great way to meet new friends
  • Meals, lodging, and staff supervision

Our next Leadership Retreat is: Feb 29 - Mar 1, 2020
Location: YMCA Camp Surf
To Register: Call (619) 423-5850 or Fax / Mail the "2020 Teen Reunion Registration Form"