YOUTH LEADERSHIP CAMP
Camp Taloali, Stayton, Oregon
Virtual YLC: July 5 – July 17, 2021
The NAD Youth Leadership Camp (YLC), established in 1969, is an intensive educational four-week summer program for deaf and hard of hearing high school sophomores and juniors. Campers are referred to as Leaders throughout the program. The camp provides leaders the ability to develop their scholarship, leadership, and citizenship (SLC) qualities outdoors. Leaders experience self-discovery, learn about self-identity, confidence, and self-esteem and understand many things about themselves. The NAD YLC is also an extension of the activities and training offered by the Jr. NAD.
Today, the NAD selects 64 deaf and hard of hearing Leaders from all over the United States. The YLC program is designed to provide deaf high school Leaders with the training and educational opportunities necessary to transition to opportunities in higher education, meaningful employment, and leadership development. The following activities are part of our specialized program to identify and promote each deaf and hard of hearing Leader’s self-advocacy and leadership skills:
- Analyze and evaluate each Leader’s leadership style, team-building skills, communication, and interpersonal skills through evaluations as well as observing their ability to work with peers and staff.
- Provide training in outdoor activities, including a Discovery low ropes course, to encourage teamwork, self-confidence, and communication skills.
- Host daily workshops on various topics including self-advocacy, peer mentoring, communication, media, career exploration, personal discovery, leadership development, and disability rights.
- Bring Deaf professionals and role models to provide leadership seminars and train Leaders about different education, vocational, and leadership opportunities available after their high school graduation.
- Promote literacy interest by allowing Leaders to create media content for the camp newsletter, Daily Drum, as well as social media video content from their media class.
- Instruct Leaders how they can gain a better understanding of Deaf Culture and history, as well as their disability and civil rights to better equip them with tools for life after high school.
- Introduce Leaders to different options for post-secondary education and training opportunities.
- Provide hands-on training and opportunities to use self-advocacy skills through various activities.
Our YLC program emphasizes interactive activities that offer deaf and hard of hearing youth the opportunity to fully absorb and understand leadership lesson plans through ‘learning by doing,’ and adopting the old Chinese proverb: “Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I’ll remember. Involve me, and I’ll learn.” This dynamic program builds character, positive interpersonal skills, optimal conflict resolution development, and informed decision-making skills.
Leaders are responsible to cover their application fee, tuition, and travel expenses. Our leaders receive donations and Vocational Rehabilitation support in order to attend YLC. Community and business members, including NAD YLC alumni, team builders, and guest presenters, are actively involved in this program. Each of them makes a lasting impact on the program!