SALT: Service And Leadership Training

By Chad Hershberger

One of our core values at camp is leadership development. In our articles of incorporation, it states that we are “to develop and maintain leadership in and for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and others.” We do that in many ways, but a big way we do that for our senior high campers is through our Service And Leadership Training (SALT) camp.

There have been many iterations of this type of camp in the last thirty years. Counselor-in-Training was popular in the 1990s and was sometimes a two-week program. During the first week campers learned leadership skills, and during the second week they shadowed a counselor and served as a junior counselor. As kids’ schedules became more filled, we cut it down to a one-week program. Interns (as they were then called) were assigned to a counselor to shadow. If we had multiple interns in a week, we would have them meet to share notes and support one another.

A few years ago, we revamped the program into SALT. For half a week, the senior higher campers talk and learn about leadership. Then they are put into service as a “junior cabin leader” working with our staff to learn the ropes.

I worked with our first group of SALT campers during our first week of camp this year. We talked about time management, working as a team, leadership types, good teaching skills, and program planning. They worked with our program leader on planning our campfire program and led our GROW Times on Thursday.

The four young women who were part of this program impressed me. They were conscientious, cared about the kids, and were willing to speak in front of a group. I’m excited for the prospect of them serving as cabin leaders here someday. Their talents will be put to good use.

We have a few more weeks of SALT available. If you know a senior high aged kid, have them consider joining us. There is time to do it. Go to campmountluther.org/summer for more information!