Environmental Leadership Program

A Mass Audubon Naturalist leads a group in plant identification

Register Online >



2021 Brochure 11.34 MB

For teens entering grades 10 & 11; ages 15–17

Nature needs the next generation of environmental leaders to be ready. The goal of our Environmental Leadership Program (formerly Leaders-in-Training) is to equip and encourage teens to be effective environmental advocates and conservation leaders in their homes and communities. 

This program is perfect for:

  • Emerging youth environmental leaders
  • Teen environmental and climate change activists
  • Youth who are concerned about the global climate crisis and want to do something about it.

During each session, Wildwood staff challenge teens to develop their individual leadership and community-building skills and support them as they develop their own style and voice. 

Each teen will be given ample opportunities to practice leadership—through teaching, service, outdoor adventure, and more—among their peers and younger campers. Each group of Environmental Leadership Program participants (ELPs) will also focus on an environmental or conservation topic and how they apply their leadership skills to make a positive impact on the world. 

Environmental Leadership Program - Year 1

For teens entering grade 10

First-year ELPs participate in team-building activities, an environmental service project, and act as leaders and role models for their peers and younger campers. With the support and guidance of Wildwood staff, participants lead their peers in a program of their own creation. Off-site community service provides an opportunity to serve and connect with communities beyond Wildwood.

ELP Year 1 - Session A: June 20–July 3, 2021
ELP Year 1 - Session B: July 4–17, 2021

Leaders-in-Training leading stock market game at Wildwood

Environmental Leadership Program - Year 2

For teens entering grade 11

During their second summer of ELP, participants will dive deeper into the concepts of leadership, putting their skills into practice throughout the Wildwood program and beyond. Teens will leave with knowledge and experience in goal-based leadership and acting as a positive role model in their various communities. This session gives participants skills to build on for years to come—at home, at school, and beyond.

ELP Year 2: July 18–August 7, 2021

Second-year ELPs are selected by application and interview. Contact the Wildwood office at 866-627-2267 or email us for more information.

Program Details

  • At the beginning of each session, participants set goals for their experience together and work with guidance from their ELP director and facilitators.
  • ELPs will be involved in team-building activities and workshops that aim to develop their ability to succeed in a group of aspiring leaders.
  • Teens take part in an overnight trip during which they will plan and implement the elements that create a successful camp-out experience.
  • The program culminates with an environmental service project at Wildwood or in the surrounding community.

Leadership and Service at Camp and in the Community

Teens standing proudly behind a pile of trash bags after cleaning up a natural area

ELPs practice their skills by helping counselors and camp staff plan and lead camp activities, and serving as role models for the entire camp community. ELPs may also meet members of the Rindge community, visit other Mass Audubon sites, and explore new habitats.

Service Projects

ELPs will make a positive contribution to a natural area of their choosing and gain knowledge needed to identify environmental issues. Past service projects include roadside cleanup, creating interpretive signs along camp trails, and trail maintenance. We are happy to document volunteer service hours as requested for high school graduation requirements. You may bring forms with you to camp, or contact the Wildwood office after camp.

ELP Accommodations

LIT yurts at Wildwood Camp
LITs live in the Goodall Unit, a group of four yurts.

ELPs live in the Goodall Unit, a group of four yurts: two for boys and two for girls. A facilitator lives in each yurt with a group of ELPs. Here they can rest, relax, and share stories in a comfortable environment featuring picnic tables, benches, and a stone fire ring that was designed and built by a previous ELP group.