COVID-19 Response: Updates & FAQs

Youth Leadership Program

  • Youth Leadership Program


The Youth Leadership Program's (YLP)  mission is to support young people's growth by providing experiential opportunities to expand their leadership capacity through a multi-level Leaders-in-Training program, Changemakers program, advanced & challenge camp opportunities, as well as school year events highlighting University and community leaders that reflect diverse forms of leadership and action.

2021 Brochure & Calendar

Bee-coming the Change - New for 2021!

Bee-coming the Change - New for 2021!

Cultivating young people to become grassroots leaders.

Are you passionate about making a difference in your community? Are you eager to learn more about how to cook with your own fresh produce that you have grown (or cultivated) yourself? Interested in discovering opportunities in the fields of agriculture, civic engagement and social justice? Or, maybe you are looking to connect with other, like minded individuals, who are also passionate about community wellness. If you said yes to any of these, this program could be the experience you have been looking for. Join us for a 7 month, virtual/hybrid adventure where you can experience all of this and more!

Throughout this program, you will learn from experts such as Master Gardeners and 4-H Extension while also enjoying live and interactive sessions with industry leaders from organizations such as the MN Horticulture Society, MN Department of Agriculture, Gibbs Farm and the UMN Office of Admissions. This program is all about the experience of discovering your passion and abilities in relation to community wellness and wellbeing. Throughout our time together, each participant will be able to identify, develop and complete a final project that is unique and meaningful to them. Join us for an exciting adventure of self-discovery, team building, and community stewardship.

This program kicks off virtually on Wednesday, April 7th with introductions, some fun games and a full preview of each week of our time together, including details about the final project. Missed the first few sessions? Don’t worry! There is still plenty of time to get in on the fun and growing season. Registration is open until Sunday, May 2nd, with curbside pickup dates on Monday, May 3rd and Tuesday, May 4th. A calendar of important dates for this program is included on page 27 of the brochure.

Education Sessions: Every other week, join us for an interactive, virtual experience as you explore and learn about growing your own food. Each session will include a check in activity, a learning hour with a guest teacher and time for questions and reflection at the end.

Reflection & Project Collaboration: We will meet at least one time each month to reflect on our experiences together and collaborate or discuss your ongoing projects. Project can be done with a partner or individually and, while not graded, will go through a process of peer review and evaluation at the end of the program.

Live Q&A with Industry Leaders: Step into the drivers seat and become the interviewer. One time each month we will have the opportunity to meet with and learn from career professional and leaders in higher education, agriculture and civic engagement.

Virtual/In-Person Tours or Volunteer Opportunities: Join us this summer for a few, 2 hour in person tours and volunteer experiences as we explore and learn about the history and current initiatives for sustainability and in support of food security in the twin cities. Detailed information about each field trip will be shared via email. Transportation will not be provided and participants will meet at the scheduled location. Schedule and program delivery is subject to change based on the evolving health situation.

Project Showcase: During the last week of our program, we will spend time learning about each others passion projects created throughout our adventure in urban gardening and civic engagement. Participants will have the option to participate in a Project Showcase or to discuss alternative options to submit their project with the program coordinator.

Ages: 14-17                             Price: $279                                          Barcode: 10076

Questions? Email or call (612) 625-2242

Leaders-in-Training (On Hold for Summer 2021)

Leaders-in-Training (On Hold for Summer 2021)


The Leaders-in-Training program mission is to provide young leaders with experiential opportunities to grow their skill set, self-awareness and –efficacy and expand their leadership capacity.


  • A greater sense of self and motivation to be a leader outside of camp.
  • Increased awareness of personal strengths and growth areas.
  • Increased interest in self-improvement and achievement.
  • Development of leadership skills that can be applied to all aspects of life and utilized in any future career.
  • Lasting connection to Youth Programs and the University of Minnesota community.

L.I.T.s spend one week with the L.I.T. coordinator and other instructors, learning about and building the skills necessary to be a successful leader. For the second week, L.I.T.s will volunteer a half- or full-day at YP and will be assigned with a group of young campers and two experienced Group Leaders. Here they will have the opportunity to observe and assist the Group Leaders, build meaningful relationships with campers and lead their own group activities. Upon completion of the program, L.I.T.s will receive a Leadership Certificate and proof of volunteer hours.

 Leaders-in-Training Participants Will

  • Be mentored by L.I.T. coordinator and instructors as well as assigned Group Leaders.
  • Receive training including but not limited to: CPR/First Aid, Belay certification, safety and risk management, behavior and group management, professionalism and leadership skills.
  • Discover their leadership style and strengths through activities and self-reflection.
  • Learn about the inner workings and structures of YP and different staff roles.
  • Be assigned to a camper group to assist with the leadership and guidance of campers.
  • Gain skills in and lead camp activities with younger campers.

Leaders-in-Training Participants Are

  • 15-17 years old
  • Able to attend all days during the training week and one full volunteer week (a half- or whole-day shift) with their assigned group
  • Able to adhere to a daily schedule
  • Able to have interest in and concern for the wellbeing of children and their summer camp experience
  • Able to be a positive role model for children by demonstrating respect, loyalty, patience, courtesy, tact, and maturity
  • Required to adhere to and help enforce all Youth Programs policies
  • Motivated to participate in training sessions and accept feedback positively

L.I.T.s are expected to adhere to all rules, policies, and regulations of the L.I.T. program and Youth Programs. Inability to do so may result in dismissal from the program. Completion of the L.I.T. program does not guarantee that participants will be hired as group leaders with Youth Programs.

How to Apply

  • Applications are not being accepted for Summer 2021. We look forward to seeing you in 2022!

Questions? Email or call (612) 625-2242

Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance

University Youth Programs sets aside a limited amount of funding each summer to provide financial assistance for students who demonstrate genuine financial need.

Participation in our summer camps or other structured youth activities can have many positive effects on a child’s development.  The more time a child is involved, the greater the benefits.  In an effort to attain these benefits, the campership and financial assistance program encourages applicants to participate in more than one week of our programming. Camperships and financial assistance are awarded in a competitive round. Applications are collected in the Youth Programs office until the deadlines. After funding is distributed in early to mid March, an interest list is collected for any additional funding that may become available.

Contact the YP Summer Camp office to request application materials by mail or pick them up at the Youth Programs office.