Best Leadership Summer Camps 2024

Kids in a business setting

There will come a time in everyone’s life when leadership skills will be needed. This could be when working with a team for a school project, delegating responsibilities at a job, or simply leading the charge when it comes to making important changes. 

The best way to set your child up for a successful future is by allowing them to learn these leadership skills early on in life. Leadership summer camps are a great place for them to learn to be more independent and solve problems while taking more responsibility. 

The Best Leadership Camps

1. Summer Discovery

Aimed toward middle and high school students, Summer Discovery has a range of leadership courses for you to choose from. You can pick from colleges in the United States or study abroad at one of their UK campuses. 

The camps range from 2 to 6 weeks in length and allow your children to meet successful business leaders as well as be taught the essentials of how to become a good leader, including thinking creatively and having a vision.

The pre-college programs typically offer around 4 hours per day of work balanced with time for leisure activities. This healthy mixture is a perfect way for kids to make friends and explore a new city. 

Summer Discovery has years of experience offering summer camps to over 100,000 students. Their list of colleges includes UCLA, University of Michigan, Wharton, University of Cambridge, and more. 

2. Army & Navy Academy

The Army & Navy Academy has leadership programs tailored for middle and high school students in 7 to 12th grades. Their unique leadership camp combines principles from junior officers’ training and is taught by senior army instructors. 

Campers learn everything from the importance of leadership and important life values. There are two options that you can enroll your child onto. There is a 2-week or a 4-week camp, both including a range of activities that challenge your campers physically and mentally to inspire growth. 

Kids learn the concepts of self-discipline and how to avoid and resolve conflicts. It’s great for boys who want to learn the skills of leadership in a military-style program alongside like-minded boys with similar aspirations.

They also have other programs on computer science, band, and athletics. Army & Navy Academy is one of the top-ranking private boarding schools in all of California. 

3. ESF Camps Young Leaders Program

The Young Leaders Program run by ESF is a 4-week session that’s open for students in 9th and 10th grades. They have locations in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

The purpose of the Young Leaders Program is to allow children to develop leadership skills through coaching and mentorship. Campers receive hands-on experience in their workshops and community service program. 

The great thing about ESF is that they prepare kids for future job opportunities. This is done by teaching children how to be positive role models and leaders.

Just be aware that children need to attend the full four weeks. Daily early pick up and late pick up are options. 

4. Brown Pre-College Leadership Institute

As a prestigious ivy league university, Brown’s Leadership Institute program lives up to the college’s recognition. 

Campers can attend 2-week in-person sessions or the 4-week virtual camp. These are suitable for those completing grades 10 to 12, although you need to be a specific age by the date set on the website.

At Brown Pre-College, you learn about complex social issues and how to come up with solutions like a leader. This includes issues regarding women, sports, law, and global health.

Through workshops and discussions, the programs help kids develop their own leadership styles. They can identify their own strengths and limitations and improve their skill set.

5. Northwestern CTD Civic Leadership Institute

Located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University offers the Civic Leadership Institute. It’s a 3-week course for middle and high school students entering grades 6-12. 

CLI is built to teach kids about social and political issues and let them express their own opinions through debates and activities. 

By creating an action plan for their topic of interest, your child can improve critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. They can also get involved with a local community organization or non-profit. 

Another good reason to choose CLI is that your child will get to listen to business and community leaders who are working to implement positive changes. Day and residential leadership camps are available. You click on the following guide to find more business summer camp options.

6. Peak Initiative 

The Peak Initiative stands for Potential, Experience, Access, and Knowledge. It offers a Leaders in Training program which lasts for an entire year and works to aid your child’s professional development.

High school students currently in grades 9 and 10 are more than welcome to apply. They can expect everything from community service to internships and coaching.  

With a 2-week internship at Lake Valley Camp and the chance to earn a scholarship, there is quite a lot to experience. Since it’s a year-long commitment, Peak Initiative shows dedication from students which always looks good on a college application. 

7. West Point Summer Leaders Experience 

The West Point Summer Leaders Experience is perfect if your child is interested in a military career. 

It’s a week-long camp run by current cadets and allows kids to access high-end facilities. Throughout the program, they’ll undergo military training suited to their age group and get involved with athletic activities to increase their teamwork skills.

West Point Summer Leaders Experience aims to prepare your child with all the skills they need to be a cadet. 

Students must be high school juniors and be 17 by the time they apply. This is a relatively high-intensity camp, so to qualify campers should be in decent physical shape and have a good academic record. 

8. Champittet & SILC Summer Leadership Camp

Located right by Lake Geneva in Switzerland, the SILC summer leadership camp can give outdoor lovers a rich experience. Campers stay in Lausanne, with the 2-week residential and 1-2 week day camps.

The highlight of Champittet & SILC Summer Leadership Camp has to be the emphasis on outdoor exploration. The camp works to develop skills through a variety of experiences including canyoning, hiking, rock climbing, and river rafting. 

Skilled mountain guides and senior trainers run each session. Aside from the fun activities they’ll get to undertake, it also incorporates leadership challenges.

Children aged 11-17 are welcome at this camp although spaces tend to fill up quickly so best to apply early on. This international school creates one of the most unique experiences any child can enjoy. 

9. Camp Kern

With Camp Kern, you’ll want to take note of the Leaders in Training (LIT) and Teen & Leadership Weekend Stay Over. 

Leaders in Training caters to 14-15 year olds and works to develop each child’s leadership style. This is all done through team-building activities and by getting involved in an awesome camp project. 

The Teen & Leadership Weekend Stay Over is for children 9-17. Your child stays over for the weekend for two consecutive weeks. 

Camp Kern is located in the US state of Ohio. Kids will develop a variety of skills including teamwork and a boost in confidence. The outdoors is a big part of the project, so participants can expect canoeing and river rafting. 

10. Norwich University Youth Leadership Conference 

The Youth Leadership Conference is based at Norwich University, Vermont. Also known as The Military College of Vermont, the camp held here is suitable for high school students who are in grades 9-12.

Youth Leadership Conference is recognized across the United States and offers your children a hands-on approach to learning. They’ll get to see what life is like at a military college.

There are courses on personal finance, the U.S. Constitution and the application process for ROTC scholarships. Youth also take participate in leadership activities and wall climbing and swimming lessons. It features both activities and lessons to keep students actively engaged.