Leadership Programs

Ages 15-18

IGNITE (previously known as Service Team) is our 6 week leadership experience that disciples, equips and empowers people ages 15-18 to serve and lead. With 8 spots available on this team, IGNITE is for those who want to take their faith more seriously, who want to learn about and practice leadership, and who want to develop intentional and meaningful relationships. Our hope is that IGNITE participants will leave with a better understanding of the unique person God has crafted them to be. 

IGNITE begins with participants heading out on a week-long wilderness canoe trip. Following the trip, you will head back to camp, moving into the cabins with other staff. At camp you will integrate into the Coldwater Canada summer team, where you will get to work and serve as our front-line to help run the camp. Following your trip, you will spend a week ministering to kids at a local VBS. Then, you will receive a week of hands on training on living as a Jesus-centred leader. Towards the end of July you will be given a leadership placement in our two weeks of BEDROCK. Your final week will be spent wrapping up your IGNITE experience with additional leadership sessions, reflective sharing, team initiatives and a celebration service to conclude your time together. 

Come place yourself on a team that will help you grow into your best self this summer. Apply for IGNITE today! 

Date: 2020 Dates TBD

Location: Camp Norland in Verner, ON

Cost: 2020 Cost TBD

  • IGNITE participants will receive an honorarium for leading during BEDROCK, and a $200 discount to participate in COMPASS

  • IGNITE participants will be trained in First Aid

  • IGNITE members with current lifeguard certifications (Bronze Cross or NL) are eligible to receive a lifeguard honorarium 

  • Please email info@coldwatercanada.org with questions or for more information

Ages 17+

THARSÉŌ is a Greek word meaning bold and courageous that gets at the very idea of empowerment, and that is what this team is all about. The THARSÉŌ team has space for up to 5 leaders who are looking to move to the next level in their leadership journey. On THARSÉŌ, you will begin your summer by heading out on CRUX - a two-week wilderness canoe trip. Once integrated back at base camp you will receive an area of responsibility. During the rest of the summer you will receive leadership training, be paired with a mentor, and be given multiple opportunities to lead, especially during our two weeks of BEDROCK. Your summer will concluded with a THARSÉŌ led wilderness trip. Our hope is that you will leave THARSÉŌ with a clearer understanding of the unique leader God has crafted you to be.


Date: 2020 Dates TBD

Location: Camp Norland in Verner, ON

Cost: TBD

  • THARSÉŌ participants will be trained in First Aid

  • THARSÉŌ members with current lifeguard certifications (Bronze Cross or NL) are eligible to receive a lifeguard honorarium 

  • Please email info@coldwatercanada.org with questions or for more information

*The application period has closed. Contact us for information on availability if interested!*

Wilderness Leader Internship
Ages 19+

Wilderness Leader Internship (WLI) is an intensive experience in wilderness leadership that will enable you to disciple, equip and empower Christ-like leaders in the wilderness classroom. This internship is designed for mature leaders 19+ who have an active desire to make disciples and are willing to place themselves in a context where they will learn, grow and lead. 

In May, you will head out on the Wilderness Leadership Expedition (WLE), our cornerstone wilderness course. Following WLE, you will receive three weeks of Wilderness Instructor Training, followed by two months of "field experience" as an instructor leading wilderness & adventure programs for youth. Interns will serve as key members of our summer leadership team, investing in younger staff and students. You will end the summer as a recognized "Coldwater Wilderness Instructor", potentially leading to future leadership opportunities with Coldwater. 

This internship will allow you to grow and be formed as you prepare to intentionally invest yourself in others. If you are:

  • Interested in leadership development, youth ministry, mentoring, and adventure programming

  • Seeking growth in your character, relationships, spiritual intimacy, and the way you serve

  • Desiring to be sharpened as a leader, refined as an educator, and empowered as a disciple maker

Then this internship is for you! You will be challenged and encouraged to grow in your relationship with Christ and will learn to intentionally disciple others to do the same. 

All accepted interns must be certified in Bronze Cross or NL, Standard First Aid, and CPR-C. If you do not have these certifications, we have training opportunities available through Coldwater in June. 


Date: 2020 Dates TBD

Location: Camp Norland in Verner, ON


As a Wilderness Leader Intern, you will:

  • Participate in our Wilderness Leadership Expedition

  • Have significant opportunities to lead

  • Receive wilderness skill instruction

  • Develop a Christ-centred philosophy of leadership

  • Be trained in and practice experiential learning, adventure education, small group development, facilitation, debriefing, program design, 1:1 counselling, and spiritual formation

  • Participate in an intentional Christian community

  • Gain significant experience teaching

  • Receive room and board at Camp Norland from June through August 

  • Receive financial compensation for program leadership in July and August 

If you are interested or have questions please email michellem@coldwatercanada.org. 

Looking to obtain Wilderness Advanced First Aid or Wilderness First Responder certification? Check out these 2019 courses:

Coldwater Foundation (USA) Course Dates:


WMA Course Dates:


Canadian Wilderness Medical Training Course Dates: 


*The application period has closed. Contact us for information on availability if interested!*



AGES 19+

The Wilderness Leadership Expedition (WLE) is our cornerstone wilderness course. WLE is designed for people who are serious about their faith and want to explore leadership, community, and service through the challenges and risks of the wilderness classroom. During WLE you will travel through some incredibly beautiful yet challenging northern wilderness. Spiritual disciplines, wilderness solitude, and opportunities to lead are all core to this program. Within a community of peers, you will spend time thinking about God’s work of restoration, your personal direction, and intentional community living. WLE will let you explore how you can use your gifts, education, passions, career, and choices to make a Kingdom impact. Come join us on this life-changing wilderness adventure!

This course is an immersion into wilderness leadership. During this expedition, you will learn valuable interpersonal skills, and become a valued member of a purposeful and intentional community. You will also work through Coldwater’s philosophy of leadership. You can expect to gain experience with the following technical elements of wilderness tripping: flatwater and whitewater canoeing, map and compass navigation, shelter building, campcraft, Leave No Trace wilderness ethics, risk management, and backcountry meal preparation. These technical program elements are paired with intentional reflective components, leading to new learning, valuable insights, and significant life growth.

Date: 2020 Dates TBD

Location: Temagami Area, ON

*Hired staff and accepted Wilderness Leader Interns will have the trip fee waived