Camp Leaders

Download Application Here:

Important Deadlines

The deadline for the 2020 Camp Leader Application will be April 8th.

There will be a formal training session in late spring and bi-weekly meetings prior to the Academy.

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2017 Camp Counselors, Sean McLafferty & Ellen Dohen; and 2017 Camp Coordinators, Luke Dietterle & Sam Dicke –  craft their own strategic initiative for the City of Columbia

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2017 Camp Counselors Ellen Dohen and Sean McLafferty look on as campers begin the Odyssey High Ropes Course at MU Venture Out

Former Camp volunteer Tyler Zentz leads a group on a Selfie Scavenger Hunt
2015 camp volunteer Michael Kelly leads a group discussion on leadership styles

About the Academy

The Truman Youth Leadership Academy is a week-long summer day camp that promotes empowerment through civic involvement and leadership through the University of Missouri’s four core values: Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, and Excellence.  By motivating youth to pursue leadership roles in their schools, churches, and local communities, we can inspire them to guide their generation to positions of great responsibility and opportunity into the future.

Your Role

Camp Leaders will be involved in the curriculum development, as well as the camp facilitation itself. Applicants must be available for a training meeting the week before the camp, as well as the camp dates from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM.  The ideal Camp Leader should be self-starting, enthusiastic, resourceful, patient, good with children and serve as a positive role model on campus and in the community.

Application Process

You can apply through either of the following options, we encourage you to contact our Camp Coordinator via E-Mail:!
– Submit the application via email or in-person at the Institute of Public Policy located in Middlebush Hall! Selection of Camp Leaders will be done through both an application and interview process.

Students who pass both the application and interview phases must also consent to a criminal background check.


What to expect from the Academy Experience:

Luke Dietterle, 2018 Academy Coordinator

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Luke surveying progress during the Marshmallow Challenge

Being a part of the 2017 Academy was a truly rewarding experience. Seeing the intelligence and passion of the campers on display every day was inspiring and has me excited to be a part of the camp going forward. In only a matter of days I had the chance to witness the campers grow and change; coming out of their shells, getting in front of their peers and delivering speeches, and working together to solve problems. There were more than a few times that I thought to myself, “I would vote for this kid!”

With the political culture becoming increasingly divisive in our country, the kinds of experiences that the Truman Youth Leadership Academy provides are more important than ever. The Academy is fortunate to have so many willing partners to help the campers respectfully engage in difficult dialogue about the challenging issues of our time – something crucial for the next generation of young people. Hearing the perspectives of these bright young minds and getting the opportunity to work with them has me optimistic about our future.

Sam Dicke, 2017 Academy Coordinator

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Sam on the Odyssey High Ropes Course at Venture Out

Serving as a Camp Coordinator for the Truman Youth Leadership Academy was for me both a personally and professionally rewarding experience. From working with the numerous groups and organizations to plan and execute the academy, to those who volunteered, and to those who attended, all made our camp a huge success.

As an alumnus of the Truman School of Public Affairs, I got to experience the growth of the program through the lens of working with such an impactful nonprofit. My favorite activity from the week was participating in the Venture Out High Ropes Course. While the exercise was challenging and pushed the team to the edge of our comfort zones, it also helped facilitate tough decision making, instrumental to developing youth leadership and group cohesion. I wish continued success for the program, and cannot wait to see how much the Academy grows in the years to come!