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CYL FAQ: Facilitators

On this page you will find answers to some common questions from prospective facilitators.

What does 'facilitation' mean?

  • The term facilitation refers to a certain role within a group. As Facilitators, it is our responsibility to demonstrate certain values through our own behaviour and foster them in the group we are facilitating.
  • The Co-operative Young Leaders program follows a two-way learning-oriented approach. This is the same approach as used in many of the seminars and courses in professional development/adult continuing education or training. The program structure adapts to the age and entry level of participants. This translates into practice and skill development throughout the week.


  1. People learn by doing.
  2. Retention improves with practice.
  3. Retention improves when words and ideas make sense to the learner.
  4. Learning improves when two-way communication is used.
  5. Learning improves when words or ideas are connected to one another and to previous knowledge.

Participants are guided by 'Facilitators' not directed by counselors.

What are the obligations and commitments for facilitators?

CYL facilitators contribute an amazing amount of time and dedication to the Co-operative Young Leaders program—an average of 150 hours per year, per person. We appreciate the commitment of our team members in providing a high-quality, safe and organized program for our participants. We also appreciate the support of your employer and others in your life in allowing you to take the time to prepare for and participate in the program.

  • All new and intern facilitators MUST take part in a 2-day (in-person) facilitator training session, generally held over a weekend in late May. Training is vital due to updated curriculums, program outcomes, liability issues, facilitation team dynamics and so on.
  • It is strongly recommended that facilitators attend training each year, no matter how long you have facilitated.
  • You will be required to review the curriculum and facilitator resources for your week prior to the beginning of your session so that you arrive familiar with the materials, and the week's objectives and outcomes.
  • You will meet with your facilitation team at least once by teleconference; and possibly more often to prepare for your week. Many teams are also in electronic contact in the days and weeks before their session.
  • Facilitators are expected to contact their participants personally before their session (generally by phone) to ensure the participant is ready for their CYL experience.
  • The CYL day generally goes from early morning to later in the evening. Teams will schedule themselves to ensure proper participant supervision, facilitation of events and curriculum, and to balance facilitator workloads and obligations. Some long days are to be expected during CYL! Get lots of sleep before going, and try to schedule a quiet day or two after you return home.
  • You may have additional obligations such as team lead, site liaison, or first-aider, which could impact your pre-program and/or in-progam workloads.
  • An optional, but highly recommended, debrief session is held for all facilitators after completion of CYL, generally in September.
  • Professional development sessions and social activities may also be arranged for facilitators throughout the year.

What is an intern facilitator, and how do I apply?

Intern facilitators are young people (aged 16+) who would like to maintain their involvement with the CYL program, and would like to increase their facilitation and leadership experience. Their presence on the facilitation team completes the circle of learning that began for them as CYL participants. They are truly young leaders!

The CYL program will cover your meals, program materials, accommodations and Facilitator Training for your session. There is no registration fee for Interns. You do not require a Sponsor to be an Intern Facilitator.

To become an Intern Facilitator, please follow these three steps:

  1. Contact the CYL Program Co-ordinator at On Co-op in person before applying as a Facilitator. 
  2. Download all Facilitator resource materials from the CYL pages. Read all the information on the Facilitator FAQ page, especially CYL's approach to facilitation and your obligations and responsibilities. Download the most current CYL newsletter.
  3. Apply online, fully completing all questions. 

Following the deadline for applications, the CYL Program Co-ordinator will meet with a selection committee to review applications and conduct telephone interviews with first-time applicants. Balanced facilitation teams will be created based on availability and experience. Applicants will then be notified about their acceptance as Facilitators for the program and given their week assignment.


  • All Intern Facilitator applicants must participate in an interview with the CYL selection committee.
  • All facilitators, including Interns, must attend a mandatory training session, generally held in May.
  • All Intern Facilitators must sign the facilitator contract.
  • All Intern Facilitators will require a background check to be completed by your local police department.
  • On Co-op reserves the right not to accept applicants, even after completing facilitator training.


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