Youth Leadership Camp

In 2015 YDN facilitated 4 Youth Leadership Strengths Development Camp Programs for over 160 youth, 15 peer youth facilitators and 70 adult leaders. YDN provides a powerful youth leadership experience through the Youth Leadership Program (YLP). The purpose of this program and its curriculum is to build the capacity of youth, community youth-work leaders, organizations and other interested groups with a goal of engaging youth in meaningful ways and to see youth as resources. YLP engages youth (from ages 12-24) typically tagged “at-risk” by our culture.

Youth are typically tagged “at-risk” by our society for various reasons such as being impoverished, pre-gang or gang affiliated, adjudicated youth, homelessness and other exhibiting risky behaviors such as truancy, academic failure, drug use, or poor social skills. Through proven asset-based youth development programming, the youth who participate begin to see themselves not as “at risk” youth but more as youth who are “at promise.” This shift in thinking means they are filled with hope for their future, are engaged in academic and mentorship opportunities provided for them and are less likely to participate in behaviors and situations that will negatively affect their well-being.

a group shot of several dozen students in purple shirts at an outdoor event

The first camp program in 2015 was Camp SOL (Strengths Outdoor Leadership Camp), which included a 3-day/2-night camp for 30 youth sponsored in part, by Wells Fargo, US Bank and donations received through the Fast Pitch campaign. Camp SOL was held in early July 2015 at the Point Reyes Hostel.

The second camp, held after Camp SOL was a 3-day/2-night RISE Inc Strengths-Based camp for approx. 30 youth and 6 adults, took place at the Point Reyes Hostel.

The third camp program for 2015 was held in late July for Twin Rivers Unified School District’ Student Leadership at the Happy Valley Conference Center. Over 60 youth and 35 adults participated in the 4-day/3-night camp experience.

The fourth camp was held mid-August, returning to the Happy Valley Conference Center for Summer at City Hall-Way Up. Over 50 youth and 16 adults attended the camp.

All four camps were designed specifically to support current and future academic success by engaging young people in school and community change and the development of 21st century skills (soft skills) such as problem solving/critical thinking, oral & written communication, teamwork, diversity, leadership, creativity, flexibility, initiative & self-direction, responsibility, productivity, and accountability. Through the camp activities, youth (from varied backgrounds, ethnicities, and life experience) develop strong positive relationships, while learning to value their unique differences, strengths, and talents.

“Fun camp, wouldn’t trade it for any other weekend.” Chase J. Taylor, Camp SOL Camper