What is Leaders Club
Leaders Club is a teen character and leadership development program that serves teens ages 12 to 18. It is organized for the purpose of providing knowledge, training, and experiences to teens so that they become strong leaders in their communities, fosters a spirit of service to others and to shape a healthy lifestyle in Mind, Body and Spirit.
We have a Junior Leaders Club for Middle School youth (6th – 8th grades) and a Senior Leaders Club for High School teens (9th – 12th grades).
Goals of the Leaders Club Program
- Leadership Skill Development
- Volunteer & Community Service to Others
- Character Development
- Social & Emotional Growth
What Teens Get from the Program
- Skills for job/career success
- Volunteer service hours for school, honor society, etc.
- Strong sense of self and purpose
- Resiliency and emotional maturity
- College recommendations
- A network of friends they’ll have for life
- Exposure to diverse groups, backgrounds, cultures, and ideas
- Caring adult role models both regionally and their home club advisor
The goal of our YMCA Leaders Club is to hire their Leaders Club teens as sports instructors, swim instructors, lifeguards, camp counselors and childcare staff. Some even end up as YMCA Professionals in Aquatics, Sports & Recreation, Camping, Childcare, and other positions!
The Leaders Club Environment
Leaders Club is a welcoming, judgement free environment that emphasizes positive peer relationships, provides hands on learning experiences, and fosters growth through the YMCA’s Core Values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. To this aim our clubs have the following ground rules:
- One Mic – One person speaks at a time
- Accept & Respect Others, their rights & opinions
- Avoid Put Downs
- Option to Pass
- Expect & Accept Unfinished Business
- Speak for Yourself
- You’re Responsible for Your Own Learning
Leaders Clubs are staffed by adult YMCA staff. Our YMCA screen staff through background checks and provide training in positive youth development principles and techniques.
The advisors help facilitate the program with club members, provide opportunities and training, and chaperone teens on volunteer service trips, regional events such as rallies, and other club related activities.
Time & Commitment
Being part of a Leaders Club is a commitment. Teens are expected to attend club meetings and activities as well as volunteer at their Y or in their community. A core part of the program is that teens take an active role in planning and facilitating club activities. Like many other youth programs the more time, effort and energy a teen puts into Leaders Club the more they’ll receive back.
Days and times for meetings, club activities and other commitments vary YMCA to YMCA. We recommend talking to your local YMCA’s Leaders Club advisor about the expectations of their specific program.