Youth Leadership

Youth Leadership Programs
Challenging Opportunities for Teens

A focused and challenging summer program plus opportunities for year-round engagement. The Leaders in Training and Internship programs combine outdoor adventure, environmental stewardship, and leadership development opportunities – an exciting way to engage, connect, and grow.

Our four-week Leaders in Training (LIT) camp program is crafted to develop teens into well-rounded, productive adults. Using the resources of our 1000 acre estate in Northern New Jersey, LITs live together in a rustic smallcamp, with a multi-night Vagabond as a highlight of the experience.

The Trail Blazers Internship is a full-summer program designed for 17- and 18-year-old Trail Blazers, by invitation only. This program prepares teens to take on the challenges of life after high school through skills training, in-depth goal setting and reflection, as well as a paid work opportunity at camp.

Participants of the LIT and Internship programs are invited to further enhance the skills they have acquired during our specialized year-round summit opportunities.

Environmental Stewardship

We value care for the environment. An immersive experience in the outdoors provides opportunities to reflect on the world around us, and to discover our role in protecting and shaping it.

Community Service

We value care for community. Our leadership program brings this value into action –through discussions and needs assessments, our young leaders plan and implement projects to benefit their communities.

Leadership Development

We value care for others. In the LIT and Internship programs, this value comes to light in the way we lead others. Training opportunities and workshops are modeled after our staff training program, deepened through leadership and work experience around camp.

Personal Growth

We value care for self. In our leadership program, this entails looking ahead, figuring out personal goals and values, and making plans to get to where we want to be this year, next year, and down the road.

Select for more information:
Leaders in Training Program

The Leaders in Training program gives youth an in-depth opportunity to focus on four areas specifically crafted to develop teens into well-rounded, productive adults. These areas are directly linked to the values that are woven through all of Trail Blazers’ programming – developing care and respect for ourselves, each other, our communities, and the environment.

Personal Growth
LIT participants learn how to reflect on what they are experiencing, what they value, and who they are. They talk about what motivates them, set goals, and learn how to focus their efforts. Program Highlight: Showcasing your goals and reflection during Vespers, a time for camp-wide thoughtfulness and reflection.

Leadership Development
Being a Leader in Training gives youth the opportunity to become positive role models and strong leaders, and to put those skills into practice by leading younger campers. Program Highlight: Leadership development training that mirrors the training received by our camp staff.

Community Service
LITs have the chance to become better citizens, more engaged in the world around them, and to see themselves as active participants in their communities. Program Highlight: The opportunity to accumulate community service hours through a project of your design, a great way to boost your college application.

Environmental Stewardship
Taking a cue from our year-round Under One Sky program, LITs expand the notion of environment to include everywhere we work, live, and play. Program Highlight: Environmental training inspired by Leave No Trace outdoor ethics, driving home the ideas of personal responsibility and respect for the world around you.

Summer Internship Opportunity

The Trail Blazers Internship is a full-summer program designed for 17- and 18-year-olds who have participated in at least one session of our LIT program. Upon successful completion of the internship, participants will be invited to apply for a position at Trail Blazers the following summer. The Trail Blazers Internship is divided into three phases:

The Ultimate Trail Blazer

This is a rigorous program designed to develop the participants’ ability to program plan, problem-solve, and take initiative in the design of their Trail Blazers outdoor adventure challenges. Interns design this portion of the program, collaborating with each other to plan a schedule that includes a vigil fire, 24-hour solo, and a four-or-more-night Vagabond.

Anticipated Outcomes: Ability to overcome significant challenges, plan and execute events, and set concrete goals. Increased capacity for teamwork and communication. Demonstration of perseverance, tenacity and grit.

Life Skills and Staff Training

Participants receive life skills, college readiness, and job readiness training, along with training specific to their upcoming work experience at camp. Guest presenters may lead sessions on career planning, job interviews, and civic responsibility. Interns participate in workshops on personal health, intentional decision making, healthy relationships and communication.

Anticipated Outcomes: Ability to articulate short- and long-term goals. Increased understanding of healthy behaviors and relationships. Acquisition of job readiness skills including resume-building and interviewing.

Work Experience

Participants join Trail Blazers for the second half of the summer as interns, receiving a $250 stipend at the completion of their 4-week work assignment. They work closely with their direct supervisor, receiving constructive feedback that they will be responsible for implementing. At the completion of this phase of the internship, participants receive a letter of recommendation from their direct supervisor or the camp director.

Anticipated Outcomes: On-the-ground job skills. Increased ability to manage time, stress, and communication. Increased ability to receive and implement feedback. Increased confidence.

Internships are offered to youth who have previously participated in at least one session of the Trail Blazers LIT program. Acceptance into the Internship program is by invitation only.

Dates

Leaders in Training Session Dates
Participants are eligible to sign up for either Session One or Session Two of the Leaders in Training summer intensive.

LIT Session 1
Sun July 1st – Fri July 27th

LIT Session 2
Sun July 29th – Fri Aug 24th

Internship Dates
Note: Participation in the Trail Blazers Internship is by invitation only.

The program runs from July 1st through August 24, with breaks where interns are required to return home. Specific dates will be communicated to participants.

Ages, Cost and Registration

The Trail Blazers Internship is a full summer program designed for 17- and 18-year-olds who have previously completed at least one session of the LIT program. Participation in the Trail Blazers Internship is by invitation only. The Internship is a free program, with interns receiving a small stipend upon completion of their work assignment.

Our 4-week Leaders in Training program is open to current high school students ages 14 through 17. Participants must have completed 9th grade before entering.

All Trail Blazers programs are offered on a tier basis, loosely linked to family income. Your tier is self-selected during the application process. Our aim is to make summer camp possible for all kids who want a chance to experience Trail Blazers, and we look forward to working with you to make this happen.

TIER 1 (family income up to $30,000 annually)

  • Leaders in Training: $800

TIER 2 (family income $30,000 – $60,000 annually)

  • Leaders in Training: $1000

TIER 3 (family income $60,000 – $90,000 annually)

  • Leaders in Training: $1300

TIER 4 (family income over $90,000 annually)

  • Leaders in Training: $1700

Transportation is provided from Brooklyn NY and Newark, Elizabeth, and Paterson NJ for no additional fee.

A one-time annual fee of $50 per child will be added to each account during registration (not included above). If you are currently registered for a different Trail Blazers program, this fee may have already been paid.

IMPORTANT: Cost should not deter you from sending your child to camp! Additional discounts are available at ALL TIER LEVELS. Requests are honored after your application has been submitted. For more information, email us at registration@trailblazers.org.

 

How can I register?

To register for camp, click here!