Youth Leadership Development Programs

Hale’s Youth Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) teach enthusiastic teens to lead. LDPs build communication skills, teach problem solving, and prepare them to serve as counselors, coaches, and guides—and after completing the program, their next step may very well be a summer job at Hale! Our community of young leaders inspires and educates campers, and has a lot of fun along the way.

Are you ready for an LDP?

LDPs are a lot of fun, but they’re also a serious commitment. Moving up from being a camper to a leader can be an adjustment!

You should ask yourself several questions to gauge your readiness:

  • Do I have a sincere desire to work with children?
  • Would I like to develop and improve my leadership abilities?
  • Is an out-of-doors work experience right for me?
  • Am I ready to become a role model for younger children?
  • Can I handle the responsibility of being a counselor, coach, or guide?
  • Am I ready to put others’ needs ahead of my own?
  • Do I have the ability to work well with others in a variety of situations?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you’re headed in the right direction!


Hale’s 4-week LDP curricula build on themes as camp sessions progress.

Weeks 1 and 2: Learn and Explore—Over the course of the first two weeks, participants will learn what it means to be a leader in the outdoors. You’ll learn about workplace policies, organizational structures and routines, and practice hard and soft skills related to working in outdoor settings and with youth. You’ll also explore several Hale programs and various positions. Along with all of that learning and training, there’s fun in store, too! You’ll engage in camp activities, an off-campus event, and other opportunities to enjoy summer at Hale.

Weeks 3 and 4: Apprentice and Lead—After exploring opportunities at Hale and with guidance from program supervisors, you’ll choose which “trail” you’ll take to continue learning. You’ll shadow staff members for longer periods of time, begin assisting activities or instruction, and ultimately take responsibility by leading a portion of the day for a group.



This LDP focuses on Hale Day Camp.

Cohort 1: June 26–July 21, $1,995
Cohort 2: July 24–August 18, $2,105

Hale’s Counselor-in-Training Program develops communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills among Hale’s next generation of counselors. Senior counselors coach these aspiring role models during multi-session blocks throughout the summer. CITs participate in professional development, teambuilding, and challenge course activities and are embedded with camp groups to observe program operations in action.


This LDP focuses on Hale Mountain Biking Camp.

Cohort 1: June 26–July 21, $2,195
Cohort 2: July 24–August 18, $2,325

Hale’s Coach-in-Training Program helps enthusiastic young riders develop as engaging leaders. They learn what it takes to be a successful coach, counselor, and mentor—both on and off a bike—and how to support campers’ social and emotional development. As they come to appreciate the inner workings of summer camp, many apply to join the ranks of our staff the following year.

Guide-in-Training (a.k.a. Expedition)

This LDP focuses on Hale Adventure Camp.

Cohort 1: June 26–July 21, $3,105
Cohort 2: N/A

Expedition debuts in 2023. This LDP helps aspiring guides learn the skills necessary to counsel campers and manage trips like those we run in Hale Adventure Camp’s Frontcountry and Backcountry divisions. The 4-week experience teaches participants what it takes to be a team member. Participants learn hard and soft skills in the great outdoors, spend time working with campers in younger divisions to pass on their knowledge, and pursue industry-recognized certification in Wilderness First Aid. The culmination of this experience is a 5-day backpacking trip in the White Mountains.


Successful applicants treat the application and hiring process just like any job application. In that spirit, applicants should communicate directly with the camp directors. Caregivers may help in certain ways, such as suggesting how to communicate with working professionals, or providing résumé or interview tips. At the same time, remember that we seek candidates who are independent, mature, and self-motivated. Caregivers who cultivate these traits allow their teens to take responsibility for their application.

Please be aware space is very limited—not everyone who applies is accepted into our LDPs. Also keep in mind that no matter what your admission decision may be, you will gain valuable experience in the job application and interview process.

Application Checklist

  • Complete the LDP Application. The priority deadline to apply is Nov. 30, 2022. All applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, space permitting.
  • Select a group interview date. You’ll be prompted to select dates when you apply.
  • Attend your group interview. These will be hosted in person at Hale.
  • Receive your admission decision. Summer 2023 applicants will receive their decisions one week after their respective interviews.
  • Accept your spot in the program within two weeks. If we do not receive your acceptance within two weeks, it may be offered to other candidates.