Youth Leadership Program

  • Youth Leadership Program

Mission

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, advanced & challenge camp opportunities, as well as school year events highlighting University and community leaders that reflect diverse forms of leadership and action.

2020 Youth Leadership Program Brochure

Leaders-in-Training Overview

Leaders-in-Training Overview

Mission

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.

Goals

  • 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

  • The application is open February 17th. The deadline to apply March 31st.
  • Applications are reviewed by the camp committee; decision notifications will be sent by e-mail by April 15th.  If selected you’ll have one week to confirm and one additional week to submit final registration materials and any outstanding fees.
  • Limited financial assistance is available. 
  • We anticipate this being a competitive program. Make sure you’re putting forth the best effort in your application materials.

Questions? Email ypsummer@umn.edu or call (612) 625-2242

Leaders-in-Training 1

Leaders-in-Training 1

Ready to take the step up from camper to Group Leader? The multi-week Leaders-in-Training (L.I.T.) program is designed to provide a meaningful transition from camper to future work in any leadership position while engaging in a fun, high-energy environment. Participants will develop their self-awareness, strengths, and skills as a leader through specialized training, hands-on experience, and mentorship. L.I.T. 1s spend the Training Week with the L.I.T. Coordinator and other instructors, learning about and building the skills necessary to be a successful leader. For their Volunteer Week, L.I.T. 1s will choose a half or full day week at YP and will be assigned with a Gopher Adventures Junior or Gold group with two experiences Group Leaders.

Program Highlights

  • Spend an afternoon on the lake for an experiential learning excursion with a U of M Youth Studies faculty member and YP's own Canoe Leadership Instructor.
  • Become rock climbing belay-certified and learn about outdoor leadership from the Outdoor Program Manager at the U of M Center for Outdoor Adventure.
  • Become CPR/First Aid certified.
  • Participate in trainings including but not limited to: safety and risk management, behavior and group management, professionalism and leadership skills.
  • Lead your own group activities and receive feedback from your peers and mentors.
  • Receive a Leadership Certificate and proof of volunteer hours upon completion of the program.
 June 22 - 26 (Training Week) Ages 15-17 $329

Volunteer Week choice of July 6 - 10 or July 13 - 17 or July 20 - 24 / Monday through Friday, choice of half or full day.

Application Materials

Leaders-in-Training 2

Leaders-in-Training 2

Continue your leadership journey in  L.I.T. 2 for a deeper exploration into your personal leadership style and experience how your skills can be taken outside of YP and into the community! Training week will be spent building upon skills learned in L.I.T. 1 with new and exciting activities, challenges and training sessions. Volunteer Week will include two full days volunteering as a youth leader at one of 4-H's summer day camps held at a Minneapolis park. Our partnership with University of Minnesota Extension 4-H will provide participants an opportunity to engage with their community, work with diverse populations and practice leadership in a new setting! These days will include co-leading groups of campers with 4-H youth leaders while playing games, exploring nature, creating arts and crafts, and investigating science. The days will begin and end at the St. Paul Gym and L.I.T. 2s will be transported to and from the 4-H camp location. For the final three days of Volunteer Week, L.I.T. 2s will be placed in a YP instructional camp of young campers with two experienced Group Leaders.

Program Highlights

  • Adventure to Base Camp to attend the Emerging Leaders field trip, an interactive and immersive program exploring personal leadership development.
  • Attend an educational session on Youth Mental Health First Aid.
  • Collaborate with youth leaders from Minnesota 4-H for a day of activities and trainings around topics such as culture & community, bias & microagressions, behavior management and professionalism.
  • Experience leadership in a new environment with 4-H summer day camps.
  • Build relationships with campers, lead activities and receive feedback from peers and mentors.
  • Receive a Leadership Certificate and proof of volunteer hours upon completion of the program.
June 15 - 19 (Training Week) Ages 15 - 17 $329

Volunteer Week choice of July 6 - 10 or July 13 - 17  / Monday and Tuesday are full days, Wednesday through Friday have the choice of half or full day.

Application Materials

Leaders-in-Training 3 - Coming Summer 2021!

Leaders-in-Training 3 - Coming Summer 2021!

Get ready to put all your new leadership skills to the test. Stay tuned for more information.

Outdoor Leadership Experience

Outdoor Leadership Experience

Are you ready to have fun outside and learn while doing? This camp focuses on progressively developing and applying skills in hiking, canoeing and rock climbing. You will explore the bluffs of Afton State Park while navigating with a map and compass, paddle canoes through the Chain of Lakes, experience the scenery and history of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and rock climb at Interstate State Park. While participating in the activities, you will learn key concepts from the outdoor recreation profession including leadership, judgement and decision making, and expedition behavior. Most importantly, you will be challenged to apply these concepts in real life situations and reflect on how time spent outside can help build self-awareness, confidence and personal growth.

Please note that this camp is a full day adventure; dress for outdoor activity in all types of weather. Bring a backpack, swim clothes, shoes that can get wet, towel, water bottle, athletic shoes, and non-perishable lunch every day.

July 6 - 10 Ages 14 - 16 $409

Leadership Challenge

Leadership Challenge

Don't just sit there, do something! Join us for a week of hands-on team leadership adventure in a supportive environment with our friends at Voyageur Outward Bound School. You'll learn by doing, building leadership skills through unexpected, fun outdoor group challenges like orienteering an urban adventure, canoeing and raft-building at the Chain of Lakes, and outdoor rock climbing at Taylor's Falls at week's end. This course will put you in the driver's seat and help you grow your comfort zone to discover personal and peer potential. Practice key technical and interpersonal skills while you explore the urban and near wilderness environment. Through outdoor adventure, you will be introduced to powerful concepts and tools for compassionate leadership in school and life. Together with your peers you solve the problems, make the decisions, and practice taking risks. Outward Bound's seasoned instructors facilitate the course, but you will own this experience. An additional waiver is required with registration.

Please note that this camp is a full day adventure; dress for outdoor activity in all types of weather. Bring a backpack, swim clothes and shoes/sandals that can get wet, athletic shoes, towel, water bottle, and non-perishable lunch every day.

July 20 - 24 Ages 14 - 16 $429

School Year Opportunities - Coming Fall 2020!

School Year Opportunities - Coming Fall 2020!

New school-year Youth Leadership Program opportunities coming for Fall 2020! Stay tuned for more information.

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.