Crossroads Junior Leaders (CJL)
The Crossroads Junior Leaders program provides youth with overnight summer camp and school year enrichment experiences that build confidence, strengthen social/emotional and executive functioning skills, and provide opportunities for community service. Participants engage in outdoor education, arts enrichment, service learning, and begin the process of exploring and mapping out their path to college and career.
Participation in Junior Leaders helps young people explore their place in the world and identify goals for the future, while developing social/emotional, critical thinking, problem-solving and leadership skills. After attending two to eight weeks of overnight summer camp at either Camp Wing in Duxbury or Camp Mitton, participants are nominated for Junior Leaders by their camp counselors. Children are selected based on their demonstrated ability to make good choices, remain positive and helpful in challenging situations, and for exhibiting the potential to be a young leader in their community. Schools and community agency staff can also nominate children for Junior Leaders based on these same qualities. Families are asked to commit to Junior Leaders from 3rd—7th grade, to participate in one or more overnight summer camp sessions each year, and to attend weekend overnights at the Camp Wing in Duxbury during the school year.
Crossroads Junior Leaders Activities include the following:
- Pathway Weekends: Monthly two-day/two-night sessions during the school year that explore social/emotional learning, relationship building, and critical thinking.
- February Vacation Week: Seven-day overnight camp where students explore postsecondary pathways and begin to think about how they can make a difference in the world.
- Summer Camp: Junior Leaders participate in at least one or more sessions (10-14 days) at a Crossroads overnight camp.
- Ongoing Family Engagement: Regular check-ins with families from one consistent staff member, creating accountability and strong relationships.
Our 3rd—5th grade Junior Leaders are given the chance to deepen their relationships with Crossroads staff and fellow participants, building a sense of belonging and community. Through social/emotional skill building experiences at summer camp and during the school year, participants develop a stronger sense of self, build a deeper understanding of friendship, hone their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and develop a greater appreciation for the world around them and how they fit within it.
For our 6th-7th grade Junior Leaders, participation in overnight summer camp and school year experiences builds the foundation for future success and prepares them for taking active roles in their communities. Through continuing work on social/emotional, executive functioning, critical thinking and leadership skills, our middle-school youth gain a deeper awareness of the many different ways they can have a positive impact on the world around them. They also begin to define personal goals for the future, confident in the knowledge that they have built the essential skills needed to realize those goals.