Young Conservation Professionals Leadership Program

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is postponing all in-person programs until further notice. Accordingly, the Young Conservation Professionals Program will not be accepting applications for 2021.

We look forward to continuing the program when it is safe to do so.

The Young Conservation Professionals (YCP) Leadership Program is a year-long personal and professional development program serving the conservation and environmental sector in Ontario.

The purpose of the YCP Leadership Program is to build capacity in the conservation sector by helping the next generation of leaders to step up.

Program participants will gain:

  • Increased knowledge and understanding of leadership and management practice
  • Deepened understanding of individual leadership styles and innate strengths as managers and leaders
  • Improved interpersonal communication skills
  • Improved ability to set effective, outcome-focused goals
  • Enhanced confidence to lead in both personal and professional contexts
  • Increased motivation and ability to manage teams and complex projects

Launched in 2005, the YCP Leadership Program has a network of more than 220 alumni across the province and beyond.

Young Conservation Professionals program alumni

ABOUT THE YOUNG CONSERVATION PROFESSIONALS LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

The Young Conservation Professionals Leadership Program takes place over the course of one calendar year and requires a total on-site time commitment of approximately nine days. This includes:

  • Three residential retreats (three days, two nights) focused on personal and professional leadership development
  • A minimum of four (maximum of six) workshops throughout the year focused on key management skills

Retreats

Three residential retreats are the core of YCP Leadership Program. Participants are immersed in a collaborative professional learning environment focused on a theme, with individual, small group and whole-group activities and projects.

Residential retreats take place at Albion Hills Field Centre in Caledon, Ontario.

Young Conservation Professionals residential retreat at Albion Hills Field Centre

Retreat activities include:

  • Group-building exercises
  • Self-assessment
  • Instructional sessions on leadership
  • Peer learning
  • Action-reflection learning

  • Learning in small groups
  • Journal-writing
  • Coaching
  • Learning rooted in individual and group projects

Each retreat closes with goal-setting and take-home exercises designed to help participants apply their learning both in the workplace and in everyday life.

Retreat 1 (Winter 2022): Leader as Learner

Themes:

  • What is leadership?
  • Self-assessment
  • Sharpening the saw

Outcomes:

  • Increased understanding of individual leadership style(s) and innate strengths
  • Enhanced ability to practice deliberate, ongoing self-assessment
  • Increased knowledge and understanding of leadership and management practice

Assignments:

  • Personal and Professional Visioning
  • Coffee-break Challenge

Young Conservation Professionals program participants at winter retreat

Retreat 2 (Spring/Summer 2022): Leader as Partner

Themes:

  • Situational leadership
  • Collaboration and partnership

Outcomes:

  • Increased knowledge of practical techniques for leading through partnership
  • Enhanced ability to plan projects and appreciation of the connections between vision, goals, action and context
  • Improved interpersonal communication skills

Assignments:

  • Organizational challenge

Young Conservation Professionals leadership program summer retreat at Albion Hills Field Centre

Retreat 3 (Fall 2022): Leader as Catalyst

Themes:

  • Mapping the future
  • Goal setting

Outcomes:

  • Improved ability to set effective, outcome-focused goals
  • Enhanced confidence to lead in both personal and professional contexts
  • Increased motivation and ability to manage teams and complex projects

Assignments:

  • Leadership plan of action

Young Conservation Professionals leadership program fall retreat at Albion Hills Field Centre

About Albion Hills Field Centre

Albion Hills Field Centre is a spacious, welcoming, chalet-style building of cedar and granite, located in Albion Hills Conservation Park in Caledon, Ontario.

The landscape of Albion Hill lies within the Humber Headwaters region, part of the environmentally significant Oak Ridges Moraine.

YCP participants will stay in climate-controlled dormitories with newly renovated washrooms and shared rooms with bunk beds.

Albion Hills has a fully staffed commercial kitchen offering home-style meals, with alternatives for almost all dietary restrictions.

PREVIEW THE FACILITIES:

WORKSHOPS

The Young Conservation Professionals Leadership Program offers up to six training workshops; participants are required to attend at least four.

The workshops teach the basics of practical, management-related skills, and may include:

  • Facilitation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Proposal development
  • Budgeting
  • Financial management

  • Fundraising
  • Policy development
  • Collaboration
  • Communication and public speaking

Workshops are held virtually and at locations in the Greater Toronto Area, with the support of host organizations such as the University of Guelph.

Young Conservation Professionals program workshop

Certificate of Completion

The Young Conservation Professionals Leadership Program is a continuing education program offered through Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and University of Guelph. A Certificate of Completion is awarded upon successful graduation from the program.

CONTACT

We welcome correspondence from alumni, managers, prospective participants, and other friends and supporters of the program.

Please direct all and correspondence to:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Young Conservation Professionals Leadership program participants walk trail at Albion Hills Field Centre

Thank You to Our Funders and Supporters:

A.D. Latornell Endowment Fund
University of Guelph | Latornell Conservation Symposium