Leadership Programs


Leadership Program Applications will be sent out in the early Fall to age appropriate campers. The deadline for applications is October 15th

The Start of Leadership is LEA. The Camp Hazen LEA program is the pinnacle of camp leadership programs. The workshops that you take part in and experiences that you have will change your perspective on who you are and what you are capable of.

Being a LEA means that you are willing to commit yourself to learning and to working hard in order to give yourself the opportunity to grow and develop as an individual. You will learn to step outside of your comfort zone and to challenge yourself. You will gain confidence and learn to use and embrace your strengths.

The LEA program is for teens entering the 11th. Successful completion of the program enables participants to apply to become an Assistant Counselor the following summer.

Unlock the secret to Leadership Intelligence

By taking part in the LEA Program, participants will have a full three weeks of leadership workshops, teambuilding, planning activities, participating in camp program areas, and contributing to the camp community.
An optional fourth week is dedicated to obtaining an American Red Cross Lifeguard certification.

Leadership Workshops

Bully Prevention Values Discovery Safety as an Attitude
Communication Skills Leadership Styles Strife Guarding
Public Speaking Program Planning Expanding Comfort Zones
Developmental Assets Customer Service Child Abuse & Prevention
YMCA World Service Conflict Resolution Problem Solving

How to apply

The application process involves completing a written application and essay response as well as a candidate interview.  For more info on the program, or to receive an application, please contact the Camp office.


History of our LEA program

Howard Bunting, Director 1955-1977 and namesake of our Dining Hall, was a big believer in recruiting staff from within. To accomplish this, there needed to be some training cadre turning campers in to counselors. He and Coach Geissler, Assistant Director at the time, sat down and worked out a plan for doing this, calling it the LEA program, short for half of a leader. At the start, boys spent their summers in training to become the next generation of Hazen staff. Their days were filled with classes and practical exercises in leadership which became reality twice each week when the LEA’s took over the cabins when counselors had days off and were away from Camp. The best of the LEA’s would rise the following year to become Assistant Counselors and eventually full-fledged staff members once they reached college age.

Our LEA program of today has stayed true to many of the core goals that were created over 60 years ago. Now we describe LEA as the beginning of leadership, and the program is split into 3 areas of focus. The first one being leadership development. The participants take part in many seminars to work on their individual leadership style; examples of these seminars include public speaking, conflict resolution, goal setting, time & stress management, communication skills, and equality & inclusion. The second section is under the theme of camp logistics. LEAs get a glimpse of the behind the scenes of camp by helping with tasks in the office, camp store, kitchen, and health lodge. By working along the staff in these areas for a small period of time, the LEAs learn not only the hard work that goes into running a camp, but the passion and commitment that people from many walks of life that help make it happen for the kids we serve. Finally, the LEAs learn more about working with children. Here they take workshops on camper management, lesson planning and gender roles. They also spend time observing and assisting in program classes. A key role our LEAs have is during our traditional Beach Party time (free time). LEAs are on ‘strife guarding’ duty – they are taught to look for the child that may seem a bit less connected with other campers, or to jump in with some of the pick-up games that are going on, or just sit around and join a conversation. This is often a time the LEAs talk about most, as they enjoy being that mentor to the younger campers and knowing they have had a positive impact on their camp experience.

We strive to have some participants from overseas join our LEA program and it adds a whole other dimension to the experience. It gives our ‘local’ teens a chance to open their eyes to the global world we live in and puts a face to what would otherwise be just a name of a country.  The partnership Camp Hazen YMCA has had with BRAYCE over the years has added such depth to the LEA program (tradionally during Session 1 of the LEA Program).  Not only are these young adults from an entirely different culture, but the communities they come from are a stark contrast to that of Madison, CT for example.  It gives the other LEAs a chance to check their privilege, and to appreciate all the opportunities they have and the doors that are open to them.  When we have the opportunity to add global diversity to our programs, it teaches us that although we all are unique and have our differences, fundamentally we are very similar; we laugh, we cry, we sing, we get embarrassed, we make friends and at the end of the day we all want them same thing from life – to feel connected.


Information for Parents of LEA's that are applying to be Assistant Counselors

Available Dates

LEA's Session 1

June 23, 2024 to July 12, 2024

LEA's Session 2

July 14, 2024 to August 2, 2024

LEA's Session 3

August 4, 2024 to August 23, 2024

Lifeguard Training - 1

June 23, 2024 to June 28, 2024

Lifeguard Training - 2

June 30, 2024 to July 5, 2024

Lifeguard Training - 3 (Hybrid)

August 18, 2024 to August 21, 2024


Tier 1      Tier 2       Tier 3       Tier 4

$4035     $3785     $3535       Open Doors Financial Assistance Application

Lifeguard Training is complimentary when accepted into the LEA program - a refundable deposit of $250 is required.