Who is eligible to apply to be a Camp Leader?

Applications for Camp Leaders will be reviewed and accepted throughout the year. All enrolled undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Missouri are encouraged to apply! For more information on the application process, please read our Camp Leader Page.

Who is eligible to apply to be a Camper?

Camper applications will be accepted from middle-school age students in Central Missouri (incoming 6th, 7th, and 8th graders). If your student is interested, please contact us.

How much does the Truman Youth Leadership Academy’s day-camp cost?

The total cost for each student is $150, which covers lunches, snacks, and some supplies for the week.  A limited amount of scholarships are available through community partners to students on a first come, first serve basis.

Is this affiliated with a particular political party?

No, our academy is non-partisan. While political parties and belief systems are past of the discussion in American political process, our lesson plans do not incorporate specific political parties or platforms. We make an effort to include elected officials from both parties to speak and engage with the Academy.

Parents & Teachers

My student is not in the middle school age range. Can they still sign up?

If your student is interested in participating in the Truman Youth Leadership Academy but falls outside of the middle school age range, please contact us. Priority will be given to incoming 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students, but we can talk more about your student’s interests and development to find out if the Truman Youth Leadership Academy might still be a good fit.

What is the Truman Youth Leadership Academy’s camp curriculum like?

The curriculum is based on the University of Missouri’s four core values: Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, and Excellence. Lesson plans include icebreakers, games, guest speakers, crafts, small group discussions, and a service project. Students establish foundational concepts based on familiar experiences in their own lives before expanding to more abstract concepts within our country and global community.

Who will be working with my child?

Most of your child’s experience will be in group settings, working with graduate and undergraduate students who have been chosen through a rigorous selection process, including a full criminal background check. Advisory faculty and staff from the Truman School of Public Affairs will also be helping, along with campus professionals and guest speakers.

Will lunch be provided?

Yes. Lunch will be provided each day, as well as a morning and afternoon snack. Children should eat breakfast at home before being dropped off in the morning. If your child has any food allergies or dietary restrictions, please let us know on their Camper registration paperwork.

Middle Schoolers

What types of things will I learn through The Truman Youth Leadership Academy?

We will work with you on developing your best self and making you into a stronger leader. We will talk about things such as positive body image, healthy friendships, volunteering, other cultures, going to college, and your future self. We will also carry out at least one community service project. The week is full of snacks, crafts, games, and activities- all while hanging out on MU’s awesome campus.

I’m not sure if I am interested in this camp. How do I know?

One of the coolest parts about the Truman Youth Leadership Academy is that you get to learn new things about the world around you. A lot of what we’re going to talk about is like a Social Studies class that you might take at school. If you’ve ever asked yourself how to be a good role-model, wondered how our country works, or thought it might be neat to be the President, then you should apply!

College Students

Why should I volunteer to be a Camp Leader?

Our community needs you! Development of leadership skills in youth is crucial and your mentorship can help to positively influence this age group. Research has shown that middle-school age students possess a very promising window of opportunity self-perception and career aspirations. Working with youth, leadership development, and giving back to the campus and community are good for both your resume and your heart.

I won’t be in Columbia for the majority of the summer, but I can plan on being there for the dates of the camp. Is this an issue?

Absolutely not. Camp Leaders must attend a training meeting in May (before finals & the end of the semester). From the time Spring semester ends until the camp begins, Camp Leaders have no in-person obligations and can easily stay connected electronically. Camp Leader duties during this time might include planning activities or workshops, as well as checking email regularly.

Learning more about the Truman Youth Leadership Academy has me interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Public Affairs. How can I find out more about the Truman School?

A degree in Public Affairs is a great way to work in applied public policy, public management, or non-profit management! For advising questions or to learn more, please contact the Academic Programs Office at the Truman School.

I’m an undergraduate student and I’m interested in studying nonprofit management. How can I get started?

The Truman School of Public Affairs is looking into offering course options geared towards undergraduate students. If this is something you would like to see offered, please contact the Academic Programs Office at the Truman School to indicate your interest.


I love this idea. How can I start something similar in my own community?

Please contact us we would love to help you get started!