MIDDLE SCHOOL WEEK
ENTERING 5TH-8TH GRADE · AUGUST 11-17, 2024
Is your child ready for a challenge?
Utilizing group problem-solving competitions, intense physical challenges, wacky traditions, and guided reflection, Leaders School helps teens find their inner leader. This is a pedal-to-the-metal week of excitement, formulated by experts in the field of experiential learning and group development. Leaders are pushed to their limits, encouraged to “slay their dragons”, and then make connections from their Leaders School experience to their everyday lives. Participants leave this program charged with a greater sense of self-worth, purpose, and obligation to improve the world around them.
Utilizing adventure, challenge, and personal reflection to draw upon the strengths of youth, Leaders School helps kids find direction and purpose, and strengthens self-esteem. During this one-week program, youth learn about themselves and others through group process. They experience fun and thoughtful classes, and enjoy special adventure trips. When not at the Bangor YMCA Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan, groups travel across the state of Maine, to locations such as the St. Croix River, Acadia National Park, Mount Bigelow, and Katahdin. Young leaders hike, bike, kayak, and canoe, developing insight and personal reflection through adventure.
While at Leaders School, teens are challenged by Low and High Ropes Course elements to strengthen self-image and build team skills. Other courses may include Polar press ( Camp Newspaper) , Canoeing / Kayaking, Leadership 101(discussions about issues that affect youth), and more. They build communication skills, develop teamwork, learn the dynamics of a group, discover themselves, and shape goals for the future.
The Bangor YMCA Leaders School program has graduated more than 5,200 young leaders in its 48 year history. The relationships and skills they build at Leaders School remain a part of their lives forever.
ENTERING 5TH-8TH GRADE · AUGUST 13-19, 2017
ENTERING 9TH-12TH GRADE · AUGUST 4-10, 2024
HIGH SCHOOL WEEK
To promote opportunities for self-discovery, personal challenge, and self-esteem within an environment that is safe and underscores the value of leadership.
The Leaders School program is an experiential based (learn by doing), sequenced, group focused program that encourages healthy risk taking, mutual support, and a greater connection to the outdoors. This fast pace program provides pedal-to-the-metal activities for six incredible days.
“Leaders School is about going outside your comfort zone, being surrounded by people you love and by people who love you. The most important thing this camp will teach you is not only how to better yourself throughout the week, but how to take that mentality and continue to better yourself throughout the year
even when you’re not in its environment. Make your own Leaders School wherever you go.”
— Alicia, Leaders School Graduate
“This camp has been a vital part of our family’s life for the past 4 years. It is a priority to get our son here. We had such a hard time with him at the beginning of the summer between 6th and 7th grade. Without going into detail...this camp gave us hope and didn’t disappoint. I no longer worry about him...at all...and it has everything to do with his family support and this camp.”
— Leaders School Parent
Leaders School promotes activities for skill acquisition, individual and group goal setting, as well as opportunities for introspection during its two-day, out-of-camp experience called Challenge Day. Young leaders can choose from a number of options within the pursuits of canoeing, hiking, or rock climbing. Each skill-specific track consists of trips that build on the
experiences and skills leaders learn from their previous trip.
LEADERS SCHOOL STAFF
Leaders School is staffed by program graduates with the desire to give back the gift they continue to receive through this transformative experience. Our staff volunteers a week of their time to develop our youth, traveling great lengths to return. Our current Leaders School model was designed by Eric C. Taylor, LCSW, a leader in experiential education, group development, and personal challenge. The program is directed by a dedicated group of individuals with over 150 years of combined experience in the field of youth development.
AUGUST 2-8, 2020
The Advanced Expeditionary Crew (AEC) is for older Leaders who are motivated to build on their foundation of leadership and outdoor skills. AEC is an intense experience which gives teens the tools needed to bridge the gap to adulthood, challenging participants to think as adults, and preparing them for life in college and future employment opportunities.