Not Your Typical Summer Camp.
LEAD inspires teens to find their ultimate identity in Christ and their highest calling as His ambassador. Throughout this week-long camp, students build key life skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, and communication through virtual leadership simulations. Teens leave equipped to go out as courageous Christians in a corrupt culture and empowered through relationships built with leadership-minded peers and mentors.
ANNOUNCING LEAD ONLINE: A Special Message from SSI President, James Muffett
Dear Friends of SSI,
Due to the ongoing situation with the virus and Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders, our partners at Cleary University have closed their campus for the summer. This means that we are unable to hold the LEAD Summer Program as planned.
However, we are excited to announce LEAD Online, a new hybrid program that will take place through an online, interactive platform. Our new LEAD Online pilot program will be held during the currently scheduled LEAD weeks. Our goal is to preserve the essence of the LEAD experience in this new format as we continue to engage students through dynamic biblical worldview instruction and practical leadership training.
We are all disappointed that we are unable to physically host our students this year, but we are excited for this new opportunity that God has provided. Please join with us as we continue the ministry of SSI.
during the statewide shelter in place order, the SSI Office is continuing to operate with staff members working remotely. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. You can call us at (517) 321-5233 or email email@example.com for prompt assistance.
House, Senate, Business, Mock Trial, Moot Court, and Campaign tracks will be offered during LEAD 2021.
For a complete list of tracks, click HERE.
details and policies
- Tuition: Your registration fee covers all instructional materials, food and lodging for all five days!
- Daily Events: Worship/Bible study; teaching sessions; legislative, judicial, business, campaign or media track activities; dynamic speakers; entertainment; games and sports.
- Eligibility: High school-aged teens. In other words, students entering their first year of high school through those just having graduated from high school are eligible to attend. Find out which tracks you are eligible for here.
First-year summer students always participate in the House of Representatives. Those who have participated in an Onsite program can attend as a Senator.
- What to Pack: For details on what to bring, what not to bring, and dress code, please see the LEAD Policies (below). SSI does not assign dorm rooms.
- Location: Cleary University, 3725 Cleary Dr., Howell, MI (www.cleary.edu)
- Frequently Asked Questions: Find answers to other common questions on our FAQ page.
- Early-Registration Discount: To qualify for the $430 early registration tuition, all fees must be paid in full by March 15th.
- Group Discount: Tuition is only $420 per student when registering with a group of 10 or more and full payment is received by SSI no later than March 15th, provided at least 10 people have registered with the group at that point. After this date, group tuition is $450 per student. To qualify for a group discount, every participant must fill out his/her own registration form, and all forms must contain the name of the contact person and the group name. All names must be on the contact person’s list in order to be valid. All groups must be pre-established by filling out the form at ssionline.org/lead/discounts. Register as a group and save up to $40 each!
- Financial Aid: Financial Aid may be available for those in serious need. Complete the Financial Aid application here, fill out the registration form, and send in a minimum $50 deposit. See our financial aid page for more details. Please note that first time financial aid recipients must pay a minimum of $80, and previous financial aid recipients must pay a minimum of $160.
- NOTE: Please send as much of your tuition as possible when registering. A $50 minimum deposit is required to reserve a space. All balances must be paid in full two weeks prior to the week attending
We are excited that you have chosen to attend LEAD. It is our desire to make this a profitable, enjoyable, life-changing experience for everyone involved. While we expect no problems from the students, it is important to define the boundaries and lay the foundation for expectations and conflict/problem-solving ahead of time so everyone is aware of policies and procedures. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office at (517) 321-6233. All students are required to read the LEAD Policies and sign the Student Conduct Covenant.
While at LEAD, students will be under the supervision of staff, instructors, and chaperones. Our goal is to have the ratio of volunteers to students at no less than 1:10. SSI staff will be on location at all times. The staff, instructors, and chaperones will clearly communicate our expectations to students.
LEAD Cancellation Fee / Refund Policy
Students who are unable to attend LEAD during the week for which they registered may request a refund of their registration fee. All refund checks are mailed approximately 2-3 weeks after the request is made. Due to costly administrative commitments, refunds will be honored as follows:
Full Refund Deadline
- June 1, 2020: Deadline for FULL refund – all weeks Any requests for refunds postmarked or phoned in no later than June 1st will be honored in full, including the deposit.
Partial Refund Deadlines
- Week One (June 21-26): June 8, 2020 Any requests for refunds postmarked or phoned in no later than June 8th but after June 1st will be honored, minus the $50 deposit. After June 3rd, no refunds will be permitted.
- Week Two (July 12-17): June 29, 2020 Any requests for refunds postmarked or phoned in no later than June 29th but after June 1st will be honored, minus the $50 deposit. After June 24th, no refunds will be permitted.
- Week Three (July 26-31): July 13, 2020 Any requests for refunds postmarked or phoned in no later than July 13th but after June 1st will be honored, minus the $50 deposit. After July 8th, no refunds will be permitted.
NOTE: If a student is dismissed as a result of disciplinary action or leaves to go home for any reason (illness, etc.) during his/her week at LEAD, no refund or partial refund will be issued. Likewise, no one may attend in his/her place.
Alternatives to Refunds
Attend a Different Week – Students are encouraged to attend a different week of LEAD, as space allows, rather than not come at all. We will make every attempt to make adjustments where possible. Therefore, if a student wishes to switch to a different week, he or she must make that request to the SSI office as soon as possible. If no room is available in another week, a refund may be issued according to the policy outlined above.
Transfer Registration – A registration may be transferred to a different student provided registration has not yet closed for the week in question. Please call the SSI office immediately if you are thinking of transferring your registration to another individual. In any case, new registration forms will be required.
Financial Aid – There are many deserving students who want to attend LEAD but simply can’t afford it. Consider helping them by transferring the tuition money to the Financial Aid Fund.
All activities are mandatory, and all students will be expected to participate in every activity unless prior permission is obtained to excuse a student. The final schedule will be distributed at registration. While students attend LEAD, it will be very important that they get enough sleep to meet the challenging itinerary.
Note to Parents: Students should plan on staying on campus during the entire week. Please be sure that your student does not have any commitments during the week of camp.
Students should not plan on leaving campus during the week.
Registration & Dorms
Dorms open at 5:30pm and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. No student will be alone in a suite. A student may request to be randomly assigned to a dorm and roommate by indicating it on the registration form. Unless requested, SSI does not assign dorm rooms. Registration opens at approximately 6:00pm. Students may go to the dorms and select their room if they arrive on campus before 6:00pm. Students arriving between 6:00-6:30pm should register first, go select their dorm room, and then return for student orientation. Students arriving AFTER 6:30pm should register immediately and then go to student orientation. Their luggage can be left in the designated area. They will have an opportunity to set up their dorm room later in the evening. Students wishing to room with each other should arrive early enough to claim a room together as rooms cannot be saved for those who have not yet arrived. Parents are encouraged to stay for the parent meeting at 6:30pm.
Students will receive a room and/or dorm key during their stay at Cleary; however, any students who lose their key will be responsible to pay Cleary for the cost of replacing it before checking out on Friday.
What NOT to Bring
Do Not Bring: Stereo, video, or computer equipment (no laptops or tablets unless given prior permission), electronic devices (such as games, drones, iPods, or CD/MP3/DVD players), amplified musical instruments, flammable materials, or controlled substances. If in doubt, call the SSI office at (517) 321-6233 and we will let you know if you should bring it.
Students are welcome to bring their phones with the understanding that to foster a learning atmosphere, cell phone use will be permitted only during free times in the dorms or outside. Students are encouraged to contact home during their free times.
Note to Parents: Please take the opportunity to go through your student‘s luggage with him/her and discuss what constitutes appropriate, professional, and modest clothing as outlined below and to ensure no items are brought from the list above.
Please note on the Health Information section of the registration any special dietary needs, restrictions, or allergies that will require any degree of consideration. Students with diets that prohibit gluten, dairy, nuts, or meat will be provided alternate meals when the main dish contains those ingredients. Students are responsible to monitor the food they consume and should ask the kitchen if they are ever uncertain whether or not the food contains something they should not eat. Cleary University and SSI cannot guarantee allergen free food, and cross-contamination is always a risk. There is also a possibility that manufacturers of the commercial foods used could change the formulation at any time, without notice. Participants concerned with food allergies need to be aware of this risk. Neither Cleary University nor SSI will assume any liability for adverse reactions to foods consumed or items one may come in contact with during the week of participation. SSI must be made aware of a participant’s allergies and special needs requests at least three weeks prior to the start of the program. If you have additional concerns, please contact our office at (517) 321-6233.
Learning Impairments and Mental Health
It is important that we are aware of any learning impairments or mental health concerns beforehand so that we can properly prepare to work with your child. Please be sure to include information in the Health Information section of the registration about any impairments or mental health concerns your child has. We will contact you for more information so that we can plan for the support necessary for your child and ensure a positive experience. SSI will do what it can within reason to accommodate students with learning impairments or mental health concerns.
Issues and topics debated, including bills for the Mock Legislature and/or cases for the Mock Trial, may be controversial or sensitive in nature. Please contact SSI or see the FAQ section for more information.
Dress Code Guide
While we recognize that families have different tastes, views, and convictions on what constitutes professional, modest, and appropriate dress, all students attending LEAD are required to respect and comply with the following. If these standards are not met, SSI staff may ask a student to immediately change his/her outfit to comply with the dress code.
Students should wear neat, clean, modest, and activity-appropriate clothing. No crude language or images on clothing. No ragged clothing, please. Hats may not be worn during lectures or chapel.
Casual: Jeans or shorts, t–shirts, sneakers, or sandals
Nice Casual: Khakis/dress pants or skirts, with collared or dress shirt, and dress shoes (no flip-flops)
Business: Collared shirt and tie with dress pants or suit for gentlemen; dress, skirt, or dress pants with blouse or business suit for ladies
Ladies: At any time, shorts must reach mid-thigh. Skirts and dresses (solid fabric) must touch the middle of the knee at all times if no leggings are worn. If leggings are worn, the skirt or dress may not be any higher than a hand’s width above the knee at any time. Leggings or similar bottoms must have something worn over them. No low-cut tops, racerbacks, spaghetti or thin straps. Shirts must cover the lower back, the front, the midsection, and bra (including straps). No pajamas outside of dorm rooms.
Gentlemen: No sagging shorts or pants. Shirts must be worn at all times. Shirts must not show any part of the lower back or midsection. No pajamas outside of dorm rooms.
Specific Event Standards
- Teaching Sessions: Casual. Shoes or sandals must be worn at all times in the Johnson Center and Chrysler Hall.
- Sports or Outside Activities: Closed-toed shoes are required. All students should bring close-toed shoes for the campus-wide activity Tuesday afternoon.
- Legislative Track: There will be two trips to the Capitol (Wednesday and Friday) for which the dress code will be business attire, so gentlemen should wear a dress shirt with a tie and dress slacks, or a suit; ladies should wear a dress or modest blouse with a skirt or dress slacks. Make sure that all attire is in dress code. House students will also hold a press conference during which the dress code will be casual with the exception that no shorts, clothes with holes, or flip-flops will be allowed.
- Business Track: Business dress for the Thursday evening presentation and nice casual for a group photo.
- Judicial Tracks: Business dress for the trials on Thursday and Friday and Moot Court arguments on Friday. Nice casual for a group photo.
- Media Track: Business dress for two media tours, Capitol trips on Wednesday & Friday, filming, and a group photo.
- Campaign Track: Business dress for the Wednesday debate and filming of campaign ads. Nice casual for possible tour and a group photo.
If you are concerned about not having clothing that fits the dress code or event standards, thrift stores or discount racks are an excellent place to find them. If you have any questions, please call the SSI office at (517) 321-6233.
Find our complete dress code guide HERE.
Student conduct Covenant
The Student Statesmanship Institute’s summer program, LEAD Online, is Michigan’s premiere biblical worldview and leadership training program for teens. We hope your experience will be enjoyable, rewarding, and challenging. The instructors, staff, and chaperones are committed to helping you grow as a leader, and they are looking forward to you participating. The development of leadership skills includes taking responsibility for your own life and conduct, and the foundation for all behavior at all times can be summed up in the word “respect.”
Please read the following carefully.
“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8
1. The Bible says that Christians should “think on things that are excellent” and “avoid all appearance of evil.”
- I will maintain the highest moral standards and maintain a clear personal witness through proper conduct and appropriate dress (see the LEAD Policies for our standards, found here: https://ssionline.org/lead-online-details-and-policies/).
- I will not drink alcoholic beverages or use tobacco in any form while participating in LEAD Online; I will not use any type of illegal substances, use offensive language, etc.
2. Leadership involves self-discipline, which means accepting personal responsibility to do those things which are expected of you “as unto the Lord.” Christian leadership involves servanthood. Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.”
- I will be prompt and attentive in all classes and activities.
- I will display a servant attitude toward my fellow classmates, instructors, staff, and chaperones.
3. LEAD Online is an environment conducive to learning, personal growth, and friendship and strives to remain free from distractions and outside influences.
- I will not bring anything that would detract from this goal to the LEAD online learning environment, nor will I use the computer or internet inappropriately at any time.
4. The Bible commands us to submit to authority. It is our desire that each student has a teachable spirit and is willing to be cooperative, obedient, and respectful to any person in God-ordained authority.
- I will obey the rules and submit to the authority of staff, instructors, and chaperones, and obey the rules including those given in this Student Conduct Covenant.
I have read and agree with all of the above. I understand that I will be expected to abide by this signed covenant. I further understand that if I choose not to abide by this signed covenant, I will face appropriate consequences, possibly even being asked to leave.
Why Should I do LEAD Online?
While we recognize that having camp in person would be the best scenario, LEAD Online still has many benefits!
LEAD Online House and Senate tracks not only offer an opportunity to grow by participating in worldview and leadership lectures and the legislative simulations, but they also are counted toward a student’s eligibility for other tracks. Students who participate in House with LEAD Online this summer can jump right into the Senate track for LEAD next year. LEAD Online Senate students can go on to participate in Business, Media, Mock Trial, Moot Court, or Campaign next year.
Also, because of the reduced cost for LEAD Online, a first-time student could participate in House and Senate through LEAD Online and join an advanced track next summer, or even participate in LEAD Elite this summer. For advanced track students, LEAD Online offers a rare opportunity. Never before have students been able to spend so much time in advanced worldview lectures or been given such freedom to debate their bills!
At What Age is my child eligible to attend?
Any teenager entering 9th grade through the age of 19 is eligible to attend. Deciding which age is most appropriate to send your student is up to the parent, depending on the maturity level and whether or not the student can handle the rigorous schedule and challenging curriculum.
What is the average age of first-time students?
First-time students vary in ages from 13 to 19. Over the years, there has always been a good balance of older and younger participants. First-time students are split into committees and caucuses, and each group is purposely made up of students of all ages, so no one group has any advantage over another during debates on Friday.
Is there any way I can participate in LEAD with my child?
Yes! We can almost always use more chaperones. Visit the volunteer section of our website for more information. Parents are also welcome to sit in on any session at LEAD. Please contact us to let us know if you’ll be visiting.
If my child is flying in, will there be a shuttle from the airport to campus?
We are offering a LEAD Airport Shuttle from Detroit Metro Airport only. The approximate travel time is 1 hour depending on traffic.
If you are flying to Michigan, after you submit your registration the SSI LEAD staff will contact you with further information, including shuttle arrival and departure times.
What if my child is reluctant or does not want to attend LEAD?
This is a common question because LEAD is very unique and the experience is very different than what most teens expect. As it turns out, the vast majority of parents who chose to send their children in spite of their objections expressed their amazement with the 100% attitude change and were glad they made the decision. Countless teens have said that LEAD is “…the best thing my parents ever made me do,” and “…the most fun I never thought I’d have.”
What are the housing arrangements?
We house everyone, students, staff, and chaperones, in the guy’s and girl’s dorms. Dorm rooms are not assigned unless requested (see below), but are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. During our opening orientation meeting, all the students learn about the invisible barbed wire separating the two dorm buildings, patrolled by invisible guard dogs, and aided by two invisible watch towers, complete with invisible snipers. While we spoof a bit here, we are very serious about knowing where everyone is at all times and who is chaperoning. Additionally, campus security patrol the campus each night during LEAD
Do you assign dorm rooms?
Unless specifically requested on student registration, SSI does not assign dorm rooms. Rooms are filled on a first-come, first-served basis by students reserving their room as they check into the dorm. If two students want to room together, they can arrive together (as early as 5:30pm when the dorms open) and reserve a room together. Both students must be present to reserve the dorm room. The rate at which dorms fill up each week depends on how many students are attending. While dorms don’t usually fill up right at 5:30, the closer you arrive to dorms opening, the more likely you will be able room together.
If students would prefer to have their dorm room and roommate assigned, they may indicate this on their registration form. SSI will assign their dorm room with another student who has requested being assigned a dorm. These assignments cannot be changed at camp.
What if I need to contact my child during the week?
Don’t worry! While students may not bring cell phones or other electronic devices into the main buildings (the Johnson Center and Chrysler Hall) where lectures and team meetings are held, they can use their phones outside or in their dorm room during free times. If you need to contact your student in an emergency, you can call our camp number (989-272-2776), and a LEAD staff member will be able to either pass on a message or put your child on the phone.
Is there a swimming pool or lake?
No. No need to pack a bathing suit.
Is a sport coat/blazer/full business suit required for Friday’s final session?
No. Business attire is required for the final legislative sessions, trials, business meetings, media’s on-air anchors, etc. While a sport coat or suit is not required, the guys should at least wear dress slacks with a dress shirt and tie. However, those wishing to dress it up a bit more should feel free to do so!
To find a detailed description of the dress code, go HERE.
Speakers and instructors
LEAD 2021 Speakers to be announced.
View a full list of LEAD Online 2020 speakers and instructors HERE.
If you have concerns about your ability to afford the LEAD summer program, read more about our financial aid opportunities HERE.
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