Teen Programs

YMCA Teen Summer Programs

At the YMCA, teenagers have opportunities to get involved, give back, and develop leadership skills that will help them in school, life, and their future. With two programs geared to middle school and high school students, the Y is where teens can discover their potential and become inspirations to others -- as young people, as community members, and as tomorrow’s leaders.

  • LEADERS IN TRAINING: In Leaders in Training, pre-teens and teens, ages 11 to 14 meet for three-day sessions for nine weeks over the summer. On Tuesdays, they explore global problems facing society and how they, as leaders, can help solve them. Wednesdays are dedicated to fun yet challenging service projects. On Thursdays, teens end the week with a theme-related field trip. We also offer Before & After Care during Leaders In Training. For Before Care, register hereFor After Care, register here
  • SUMMER OF SERVICE: In Summer of Service, teens ages 15 to 18 meet five days a week for up to six weeks. Geared to teens who are very interested in service, the program empowers them be involved in the planning process of in-depth projects to be performed during the four weeks. On weeks five and six, teens participate in Counselor in Training sessions. 

What to expect

Leaders in Training and Summer of Service stand out from typical day camps. While they are fun and engaging, the programs challenge teens to work hard and put their all into serving others.  Teens are called on to participate in discussions, work as a team and fully engage in all service projects. Youth of all abilities who are willing to put in the time and effort are welcome!

Camp Locations

Leaders in Training

27151 E. Lakeview Dr., Aurora, CO 80016 | Get Directions
720 870 2221
Hours: Tues., Wed., & Thurs: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. | Before and After Care is available for additional cost 7 - 9 a.m & 4 - 6 p.m.
Contact: Kara Williams - kwilliams@denverymca.org | 720 870 2221

Weekly Themes and Field Trips

May 30-June 1: Week 1 - Global Problem: Water Water is a renewable resource, but the world’s supply of groundwater is steadily decreasing. This week’s project focuses on where we get our water, the impact of water on a local and global scale, and how people can help preserve and sustain this resource.

Field Trip: Cookout and swimming (Reservoir, beach, or pool to be determined)

June 6-8: Week 2 - Global Problem: Food Food can be a way to bring people together, support community, and learn about different cultures. But when we have food, we don’t always think about what it would be like to go without it. This week, teens will help in ways that make an impact for those who struggle to get a healthy meal.

Field Trip: Red Rocks Amphitheatre Loop

June 13-15: Week 3 - Global Problem: Education Access to quality education is a significant issue for young people worldwide. This week’s project will explore the role of education, the value of life-long learning, and the importance of school and teachers.

Field Trip: Denver Museum of Nature and Science

June 20-22: Week 4 - Global Problem: Health Healthy living is a focus at the YMCA. This week, teens will examine their own health, how to stay healthy, and how to educate and motivate others in the community to be healthy as well.

Field Trip: Denver Zoo

June 27-29: Week 5 - Global Problem: Environment A healthy environment is essential to everyone. This week teens will discover ways people and communities can support the resources and beauty of our environment. Again for the third year, teens will partner with the Aurora Mental Health Center to care for a community garden.

Field Trip: Denver Botanic Gardens

July 4-6: No Camp

July 11-13: Week 6 - Global Problem: Energy Energy is an important factor in our community. In this project, teens will explore different forms of energy and how we can improve the way we use it.

Field Trip: Boondocks Fun and Food

July 18-20: Week 7 Global Problem: Conflict It can be difficult to understand the conflict happening in the world. This week, teens will investigate the struggles taking place today and will give back to those addressing conflict by making care package for servicemen and women through Operation Gratitude.

Field Trip: Water World

July 25-27: Week 8 Global Problem: Shelter Many people struggle to find adequate shelter all over the world. Teens will address the differences in homelessness around the globe and work to understand how we can support those who have very little.

Field Trip: Denver Outlaws v. Chesapeake Bayhawks

Aug 1-3: Week 9 Global Problem: Waste There are many ways in which waste can affect our world. This week, teens will examine waste and explore how to make an impact in recycling, reducing, and re-using.

Field Trip: Elitch Gardens

Summer of Service

Hours: Mon - Fri: 6:30 am - 4 pm
Contact: Kara Williams - kwilliams@denverymca.org | 720 870 2221

Weekly Themes

June 12-16: Week 1 Team - Building and Leadership This week will focus on developing leadership skills and the ability to work with others. Teens will take part in projects planned by YMCA staff and discuss plans for the upcoming weeks.

June 19-23: Week 2 - Water Issues Teens will examine water issues throughout Colorado and work with organizations that support water conservation and water safety throughout the metro area. 

June 26-30: Week 3 - Health and Environment  Through the exploration of healthy living and environmental concerns, teens will help lead urban renewal projects, such as the Aurora Mental Health Center community garden.

July 3-7: No camp

July 10-14: Week Choice Service Week  This week, teens will use their previous experience and work together to create and carry out a unique project based on their interests.

July 17-28: Weeks 5 & 6 Counselor in Training  In the first week of this two-week session, teens will take part in conflict-resolution training, obtain CPR and First Aid certification, learn skills in working with young children, and plan activities. The second week, teens will work closely with young campers by leading activities and supporting YMCA staff.