2013 Teen Leadership Institute

/ Thursday, December 12th, 2013 / Comments Off on 2013 Teen Leadership Institute

Due to the current national teen unemployment rate at 24%, young people are facing a crisis to obtain the employment and skills they need to succeed in the job market. The Summer Fund partnered with Bank of America, Hale Reservation, and Boston Private Industry Council last spring to provide job preparedness training sessions to over 100 Boston teens through our Teen Leadership Institute.  Continue reading and learn what the Summer Fund is doing to better prepare teens for summer employment in the Greater Boston Area! 


In addition to the Summer Fund’s goal to provide underserved youth with high-quality summer programs, we believe that young people need to be better prepared and have the academic know-how, technical abilities, and workplace skills to successfully obtain and hold a summer job.  But in 2011 only about 50% of young people ages 16 to 24 held jobs.  Historically, summer camps and programs hire local teens to fill camp counselor and counselor-in-training (CIT) roles.  In Greater Boston, as the demand for high-quality summer programs rises, the need for skilled staff at these programs is even greater.

While the need for teen summer employment opportunities are more pressing than ever, the pipeline of eligible and skilled teens for these jobs has decreased. Public and private funding for teen jobs programs, like the Boston PIC, has become tighter as communities weather the downturned economy. Often, teens are hired late in the school year or summer season, placed in ad-hoc jobs, and given little or no training. Summer camps play a critical role in providing jobs for teens.  Summer camps play a critical role in providing jobs for teens, but the challenges of effectively engaging and training these teens often creates staffing issues that can negatively impact the overall program quality.

Summer Fund, Bank of America, Hale Reservation, and Boston Private Industry Council have partnered to improve the preparedness of teen employees working at summer camps throughout the Greater Boston area. The Teen Leadership Institute trained over 100 teens from almost twenty Boston Public Schools on the skills necessary to be an effective camp counselor.   The training curriculum included: bully prevention, financial literacy, conflict resolution, leadership development, and CPR certification.  Teens that successfully completed both the leadership institute training and their summer employment were presented with a certificate of completion and a small stipend at the end of the summer.

Beyond summer employment training, the Teen Leadership Institute (TLI) required participating camps to complete a “work based learning plan” for each teen hired.  This consistency tool helped camp supervisors to focus teens on developing workplace skills like communication, collaboration, professionalism, problem solving, and initiative.

As part of the Summer Fund’s mission to ensure that underserved youth in the Boston area have access to a wide variety of affordable, high-quality camp-based recreational and learning opportunities, it is similarly important to us that a camp’s staff is strong so that underserved children receive a quality summer program experience.  By training teens to be effective counselors and mentors within our camps we are better able to provide enriching summer experiences for the children you work with.

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Summer Fund Fact

Fifty-eight organizations operating at 93 sites in Greater Boston received general operating grants from the Summer Fund in 2017.

Our Impact

When I was thirteen, MetroLacrosse changed me by giving me the opportunity to learn how to be a leader on and off the lacrosse field. I have learned how to solve problems both individually and cooperatively (like communicating in ways other than just using my voice), how to respect and learn from the people around me including my peers and mentors, how to play on a team of players who are my opponents during the season, and maybe most importantly for me, how to allow other’s voices to be heard.

— Victoria D’Elia, former camper MetroLacrosse Teen Summer Programs

Random Quote

The Summer Fund provides 60% of the total number of groups we serve for our summer programs, which yields 35% of our total participants and 40% of our participant fees. The impact of the Summer Fund on YES’s Outdoor Adventure Program is substantial. It provides the opportunity for more than 250 participants to receive introductory, one-day outdoor experiential education excursions, which we hope will leave them yearning to come back for more.

— Youth Enrichment Services (YES)