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Leadership Programs 
for Kids

Central Florida Boy Scouts

Central Florida offers a diverse selection of opportunities for developing leadership skills in kids and teens.

Leadership training helps young people cultivate confidence, critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Whether your child is curious about scouting, law enforcement, community service, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), there’s a club, camp or academy for every interest.

4-H Youth Development Programs of Orange County

The Orange County 4-H Youth Development Program uses a learn-by-doing approach to help youth gain the knowledge and skills they need to be responsible, productive citizens. This mission is accomplished by creating safe and inclusive learning environments, involving caring adults and utilizing the expertise and resources of the University of Florida and the nationwide land grant university system. 4-H has three major project areas: STEM, Healthy Living and Citizenship/Leadership. 4-H works with the university faculty to develop a research-based educational curriculum that is both age-appropriate and useful for clubs or in schools. There are several youth leadership clubs available, including Understanding 4-H Councils, What is County Council? and 4-H Youth Council Constitution and Bylaws. Camps and meetings are being held virtually this fall. For more information, availability and a complete list of programs, visit the website: sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/orange/4-h-youth-development.

4-H Youth Development Program of Seminole County

The Seminole County 4-H Youth Development Program offers clubs that focus on a variety of project areas for youth ages 5–18. Leadership projects are available for youth of all ages through clubs and individually. Programs run from September 1 through the end of the school year. 4-H youth summer camps offer an opportunity for teens ages 14–18 to serve as camp counselors. All programming, including Youth Council meetings, is currently being offered virtually. For more information, availability and a complete list of programs, visit the website: seminolecountyfl.gov/departments-services/leisure-services/extension-services/4-h-youth-development.

Central Florida Boy Scouts

The Central Florida Boy Scouts Council is one of the largest youth-serving agencies in Central Florida, instilling timeless values of character, citizenship and leadership in each young man and woman who enters the program. The Central Florida Council provides educational-based skills and activities. Currently, there are over 20,000 Scouts and more than 6,000 volunteer leaders. The Central Florida Council also owns and operates the Leonard & Marjorie Williams Family Scout Reservation and provides an outstanding outdoor experience for youth and adults. Meetings and events are currently being held virtually. For more information and updates, please visit the website: cflscouting.org.

Girl Scouts of Citrus
Girl Scouts of Citrus

Girl Scouts of Citrus is the leading organization for girls in Central Florida. The organization focuses on creating opportunities for girls to discover their own potential, connect with their peers and adult mentors and take action in big ways. The core experiences of Girl Scouts include fun and a sense of community and sisterhood in a new and innovative way. At Girl Scouts, girls will prepare for a lifetime of leadership, success and adventure in a safe, no-limits place designed for and by girls. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience provides a collection of engaging, challenging and fun activities like earning badges, going on awesome trips, selling cookies, exploring science, getting outdoors and doing community service projects. Each Girl Scout will lead her own adventure and team up with other girls to choose the exciting, hands-on activities that interest her most. Along the way, she’ll gain important skills in four areas that form the foundation of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Outdoors; Life Skills; and Entrepreneurship. Programs are currently being held virtually, and the Girl Scouts at Home programming provides opportunities that can be done safely at home. For more information, visit the website: citrus-gs.org/en/about-girl-scouts/our-council/about-council.html.

Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron
Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program

Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 60,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. In its Air Force auxiliary role, CAP performs about 85% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP focuses on Aerospace Education, Emergency Services and Cadet Programs. The program is open to youth ages 12–18, and they offer rolling admission throughout the year. Currently, meetings are being held virtually. For more information, contact Squadron Commander Lt. Bryan Booth at bbooth@flwg.us or visit the website: fl242.flwg.us.

Leadership 4Girls

Leadership 4Girls empowers girls to be effective leaders, to confidently achieve their goals, to positively influence others and to live a successful, balanced life. Leadership 4Girls is dedicated to preparing girls for a lifetime of success. The organization coaches every girl to develop inner confidence and unwavering competence that will stay with her for a lifetime. Leadership 4Girls offers summer camps focused on learning leadership skills, navigating social media, building quality relationships and friendships, working effectively in groups, negotiating challenging situations, identifying personal strengths and encouraging and motivating others. For more information, visit the website: leadership4girls.org.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office Explorers Program & Teen Academy

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Program is designed for young people ages 12-21 who are interested in law enforcement. The primary function of the Explorer Program is assisting the Sheriff’s Office through community service projects while learning about the many aspects of the criminal justice system. By being a member in this program, youth can broaden their outlook and understanding of the real world of police work. Included in the program are patrol procedures, traffic stops, arrest techniques, crime scene investigation, firearms safety, traffic control, search and seizure, crime prevention, first aid and fingerprinting. Once an Explorer reaches the age of 16, he or she can ride as an observer with uniformed deputies and specialized units. In addition, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office offers a Teen Academy for students ages 13–17. This free weeklong academy is held during the summer. For more information about any of these programs, visit the website: ocso.com/Services/Administrative-Services/Support-Services-Division/Explorer-Post-61.

Seminole County Sheriffs Cadets Explorers
Seminole County Sheriff’s Cadets & Explorers

place once per week and are currently being held virtually. Sheriff’s Cadets are trained in what law enforcement officers see and do on a daily basis. They tour the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office facilities (jail, tech services and communications center) and see demonstrations from a variety of Sheriff’s Office specialty units. Cadets learn life skills, perform community service and get involved throughout the community through fundraising activities. When Cadets progress to 9th grade, they become a Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Explorer (Youth Deputy). Explorers further their education in law enforcement, attend and compete in competitions, and are permitted to “ride along” with deputy sheriffs while on patrol. Kids who are interested in either of these programs should visit the website and complete an application. seminolesheriff.org

Seminole County Sheriffs Youth Academy
Seminole County Sheriff’s Youth Academy

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Youth Academy Summer Camp is an exciting and interactive weeklong academy designed to educate youth in the community about current safety challenges and provide them with an inside look at the programs, training and technology used by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. There are no physical requirements, and it’s a free course taught by members of the Sheriff’s Office leadership team, deputy sheriffs, investigators and other agency staff. The camp is open to youth attending grades 6–8. Applications for next summer’s camps will be available in the spring of 2021. For more information, visit the website: seminolesheriff.org.

Written by
Betsy Jewell

Betsy Jewell is a Central Florida-based content creator and mother of two teenage boys. When she's not providing career coaching to teens and young adults, you can find her behind the microphone hosting the High School Hamster Wheel podcast.

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Written by Betsy Jewell


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