Teen and Tween Programs
It can be hard to figure out your place in the world. As a young person with your whole life ahead of you, having the right guidance and support can make a real difference in figuring out who you are and what you can achieve. Whether kids come to the Y looking to explore their interests, or for support in navigating challenges, the Y is committed to nurturing children and teens and roots for their success. Our programs are designed specifically for Teens (ages 13 and up) and Tweens (ages 8-12).
Leaders Clubs help develop youth ages 12 to 18 as leaders while fostering a culture of service. With adult advisors, teens have role models and mentors who can have a positive impact on their lives as they grow in their desire and ability to be a positive force in the community.
YMCA Northeast Leaders School is the premier teen leadership conference in the Northeast. Located at the historic Silver Bay YMCA, this program serves Teen Leaders from five states. Leaders School offers leadership development in three core program areas, elective programming and a values based curriculum that help teens clarify their beliefs and ideas. Staffed by YMCA professionals and volunteers, this experience will provide your Teen Leader with a fun and fulfilling week that they will never forget. Click here to learn more and to apply online.
Youth & Government
YMCA Youth & Government is a national program of the Y that involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. Students from every corner of the U.S. have the opportunity to immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement and to, quite literally, practice democracy. Teens from across every state meet in their local Youth & Government groups throughout the year to discuss and debate issues that affect citizens of their state and to propose legislation. The program culminates with teens serving as delegates at their state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature.
Counselor in Training (CIT) and Leader in Training (LIT) Teen Leadership Programs at Camp
The camp environment provides a unique opportunity for youth to build leadership skills, particularly in assisting counselors with younger campers. The goals of CIT and LIT camp programs are to teach the general skills of leadership that can be used at school, home and community (not just at camp.) For younger camp leaders (ages 13-15), the curriculum includes working with younger kids at camp, but often includes community components like volunteering at senior centers or YMCAs. Counselors-in-Training or "CITs" are the oldest campers who typically want to apply for a job at camp the next summer, maybe as a Junior Counselor or some other supporting role. They need to learn more specific skills for working with kids and co-workers, and more experience planning and leading activities. Both programs give kids age-appropriate challenges that build their skills, confidence and capacity for working with people of all ages.