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.
Tracks Offered and Track Qualifications
House, Senate, Media, Business, Advanced Business*, Mock Trial, Moot Court, Campaign, and Film tracks will be offered during LEAD 2024.
For a complete list of tracks, click HERE.
First-time students will be placed in the House Track.
Second-time LEAD students along with Onsite alumni who have not previously attended in person will be placed in the Senate Track.
Students may request to participate in an Advanced Track if they are entering 11th grade and have already completed the House Track. There will be a question on the registration form to request to be put on a waiting list to be moved to another track if space allows. One month before camp students on the waiting list will be moved to an Advanced Track if the track needs more students in order to keep team numbers even. After that point, remaining students on the waiting list may be moved to fill spaces created by last-minute cancellations.
Use our Track Finder to help you determine which tracks you are eligible for.
details and policies
- 2024 Dates: Week 1: June 16-21, Week 2: July 7-12, Week 3: July 21-26
- Location: Spring Arbor University (“SAU”), 106 E Main St, Spring Arbor, MI 49283 (www.arbor.edu)
- Tuition: The $449 registration fee covers all instructional materials, food and lodging for all five days! Scholarships, discounts, and financial aid available. See more under “Financial Considerations” below.
- Daily Events: Worship/Bible study; teaching sessions; legislative, judicial, business, campaign, media, or film track activities; dynamic speakers; entertainment; games and sports.
- Eligibility: Teenagers (13-19). First time students always participate in the House of Representative track. Those who have participated in an Onsite program can attend as a Senator. Find out which tracks you are eligible for here.
- Student Preparedness: While LEAD offers lots of opportunities for fun, the program is intended to foster a challenging environment for students to grow. Because of this, we suggest that parents of young teens consider when their teen will be prepared to come to camp. Our staff and volunteers are trained to help students thrive by supporting them in areas where students may struggle, but ultimately the students are completing the work themselves and participating as a team. In the House Track, (where all first-time students are placed), students read, analyze, and debate two legislative bills and work collaboratively alongside a team of other students to understand their bill and develop arguments for and against it. Additionally, all students are required to give a short speech at the end of the week defending their assigned position on their bills.
If you have questions about whether or not your teen can adequately handle the academic elements of camp (e.g. basic reading, writing, and comprehension skills), please reach out to our office at 517-321-6233.
- Learning Impairments, Mental Health, or Additional Accommodations: SSI will do what it can within reason to accommodate students with disabilities, learning impairments, or mental health concerns. It is important that you contact us to discuss any specific accommodations before registering to determine whether we are properly equipped and prepared to work with your child.
- What to Pack: For details on what to bring (and what not to bring), please see the LEAD Policies (below Financial Considerations). The dress code can be found further down in the orange “LEAD Dress Code Guide” drop down.
- Frequently Asked Questions: Find answers to other common questions in our Frequently Asked Questions below.
- Early-Registration Discount: Camp registration is only $425 when you register and pay in full by March 31st.
- Youth Empowerment Scholarship (YES): First-time students can receive a $100 scholarship toward the cost of camp. Call our office at (517) 321-6233 or click here to learn more and how to receive a scholarship code to use at registration.
- Referral Rewards: Students can earn $25 for every first-time student (excluding siblings) that comes to camp on your referral. Those who wish to be credited the $25 per referral must complete the referral form found on our discounts page here. Additionally, you can complete the Group Code form to receive a scholarship code for the $100 Youth Empowerment Scholarship that you can pass on to any first-time student.
- Financial Aid: Financial Aid may be available for those in serious need. Complete the Financial Aid application here, complete your LEAD registration, 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 $100, and previous financial aid recipients must pay a minimum of $175.
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.
- For more details about our discounts, scholarships, or financial aid, see our website here.
It is our desire to make LEAD 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 Campus Policies and sign the Student Conduct Covenant (see sections below).
While at LEAD, students will be under the supervision of staff, instructors, and crew. 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 crew 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 within approximately 2-3 weeks after the request is made. Due to costly administrative commitments, refunds will be honored as follows:
Full Refund Deadline
- May 27, 2024: Deadline for FULL refund – all weeks Any requests for refunds postmarked or phoned in no later than May 27th will be honored in full, including the deposit.
Partial Refund Deadlines
- Week One (June 16-21): June 3, 2024 Any requests for refunds postmarked or phoned in no later than June 3rd but after May 27th will be honored, minus the $50 deposit. After June 3rd, no refunds will be permitted.
- Week Two (July 7-12): June 24, 2024 Any requests for refunds postmarked or phoned in no later than June 24th but after May 27th will be honored, minus the $50 deposit. After June 24th, no refunds will be permitted.
- Week Three (July 21-26): July 8, 2024 Any requests for refunds postmarked or phoned in no later than July 10th but after May 27th 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, a student who wishes to switch to a different week 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.
Registration opens January 1, 2024 and closes at 11:59pm as follows:
Week 1: Sunday, June 9th
Week 2: Sunday, June 30th
Week 3: Sunday, July 14th
All activities are mandatory, and all students will be expected to participate in every activity unless prior permission is obtained to excuse a student. A copy of the final schedule will be available for parents to grab at student check-in. 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 of camp. Please be sure that your student does not have any commitments during the week of camp.
Check-in & Dorms
Camp check-in will be open from 5:15-6:15pm. After checking in, students will be directed to their dorm room and to drop off their luggage, after which they should go to student orientation which will begin at 6:30pm. Parents are encouraged to stay for the parent meeting at 6:30pm. Students arriving AFTER 6:30pm should check in and then go immediately 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 will be assigned their dorm room before camp. On the registration form, there is a field for students to indicate whether they would like to be assigned to room with a specific person. Students wishing to room together are responsible to coordinate with each other and MUST both request the other as a roommate in the appropriate field on the registration form. There is also a field where students can request suitemates who will not dorm in the same room but will be in the room connected by a bathroom. We cannot guarantee to assign suitemates as requested, but if we are able, we will do so. Dorm assignments cannot be changed at camp. Each dorm room accommodates two people. No student will be alone in a suite. Students will receive a dorm and/or room key during their stay at SAU; however, any students who lose their key will be responsible to pay for the cost of replacing it before checking out on Friday.
What to Bring (See a Sample Packing List Here)
Bedding: Blanket and sheets or a sleeping back, pillow, etc.
Toiletries: Towel, washcloth, body wash, shampoo/conditioner, hand soap, comb/brush, sunscreen, toothbrush, etc. Students may want to bring flip flops for the showers.
Supplies: Bible, pen/pencil, notebook, alarm clock, cell phone (for limited use*), fan (some dorms may not have AC), reusable water bottle.
Umbrella: Students should bring an umbrella in case of rain.
Clothing: Casual clothes for time spent on campus, athletic clothing for sports including closed-toed shoes (required), and enough business casual/business formal outfits for presentations and trips to the Capitol or other venues. Students are encouraged to bring some warm clothing (a long-sleeved shirt, hoodie, or jacket). Please make sure all attire is within the LEAD Dress Code. For more details on the dress code and for an outline for specific event standards see the LEAD Dress Code Guide below.
Games/Entertainment: While we provide some materials at camp for free time activities, students are also encouraged to bring their own materials such as sports equipment (basketball, volleyball, soccer ball, tennis racquet and balls, spike ball, etc.), board games, or musical instruments. Any items brought to camp should only be used during the designated free times and must be used responsibly. SSI LEAD is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Spending Money: Only needed to buy camp gear, pop, snacks, and/or supplies from vending machines or the SAU campus store.
Snacks: The registration fee covers three meals per day, but students are also welcome to bring snacks to keep in their dorm if they are so inclined. Students are expected to clean up after themselves if they will be eating in the dorms. Keep in mind that a roommate may be allergic to food that was brought. If that is the case, please be considerate of that roommate’s allergies. Students may use the refrigerator and microwave available in the dorm kitchen, but the stove will be off limits.
*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 and must be outside of the specified cell-phone free areas on campus. Students are encouraged to contact home during their free times. Other electronic devices are prohibited unless given permission. Students should not bring computer equipment (unless given prior permission for advanced track use), electronic entertainment devices, gaming systems, or any motorized vehicles (including skateboards, scooters, etc.). Additionally, no weapons, double edged knives, or controlled substances may be brought to camp.
If in doubt, call the SSI office at (517) 321-6233 and we will let you know if you should bring it.
Note to Parents: Please take the opportunity to go through your student‘s luggage with him/her and discuss what constitutes appropriate and professional 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. If we are made aware of dietary needs, we will be sure to provide alternate foods when meals are served that a student cannot eat; however, there is always a risk of contamination. 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 Spring Arbor 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 will do what it can and within reason to accommodate the special food needs of allergic students. 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.
Please see our LEAD Campus Policies and Student Conduct Covenant sections below for a list of the rules students are expected to abide by while at camp.
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 for more information if you are concerned. (517) 321-6233.
LEAD Campus Policies
- Students are expected to behave respectfully toward SAU staff and campus, LEAD crew and speakers, and other students.
- Students are expected to respect campus policies on physical interactions.
- One guy and one girl may not be alone in a secluded area (this includes going for a walk around campus).
- Nametags shall be worn around the neck at all times when outside the dorm rooms.
- After meals, students should bus their own dishes and clean up after themselves.
- See Student Conduct Covenant section below
- Students may not leave campus unless they make previous arrangements with an SSI staff member and communicate with the staff member before leaving. Students who leave campus without permission will be asked to call home and have a parent or guardian come and pick them up.
- Students may not order food to be delivered on campus.
- Students must be accompanied by a crew member when using certain areas of campus such as the MAC, the gym, and other areas. A complete list will be covered in dorm orientation at camp.
- Certain areas of campus will be off-limits to students as SAU staff will still be working while we are on campus.
- Respect SAU’s rules (see below)
- Students are not allowed in the opposite gender’s dorm building.
- Students are to remain in their dorms from 10:30pm to 7:00am. Students who wish to go running early in the morning will need to arrange this with a crew member. Students must run in pairs if they are going to run before 7:00am and must stay on campus during their run.
- Students may not switch rooms mid-week.
- Students may not use the stove or oven in the kitchen.
- By 11pm students must be in their own dorm room with the main light off.
- Alert a LEAD crew member of any injuries incurred during the week.
- Medication will be available in the LEAD office. Students are welcome to bring their own medication, but all prescription and over-the-counter medication must be turned in at check-in and will be distributed by the Camp Medical Coordinator. Any students who bring their own medication assume responsibility to meet with the Camp Medical Coordinator when arranged to take medication and must agree not to share medication with any other individual.
- Students who are too ill to attend a scheduled session should reach out to an SSI staff member or the Camp Medical Coordinator (phone numbers will be given at camp).
- Please label all belongings and keep cash and other valuables on your person. SSI is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
- No food, candy, beverages, gum, etc. will be permitted in the Capitol Building or courtrooms.
- Cell phones may not be used in the Poling Center, the Library, the Cafeteria, or the Chapel area. Students may use cell phones during free times outside of those locations. The consequences for using a cell phone in the prohibited areas are as follows:
- 1st offense: Phone is confiscated for the session
- 2nd offense: Phone is confiscated for the day
- 3rd offense: Phone is confiscated for the week
- We do encourage students to call home, and if a phone is confiscated, students may still use the phone in the presence of a staff member or use a staff member’s phone.
SPRING ARBOR UNIVERSITY STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT
Alcohol and Tobacco: Students are obligated to abstain from the use, possession or distribution of alcohol (including “near-beer” or drinks with any alcohol content) or tobacco (including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, hookah, vaping and e-cigarettes).
The University has established the following policy regarding illegal drugs, marijuana, mind-altering substances, prescription and non-prescription drugs.
- It is a violation of University policy for any student to use, manufacture, possess, sell, trade, offer for sale or offer to buy illegal drugs, or otherwise engage in the illegal use of drugs on or off campus.
- It is a violation of University policy for any student to be under the influence of, or possess in his or her body, blood or urine, any illegal substances in any detectable amount.
- It is a violation of University policy for any student to use prescription drugs illegally — that is, to use prescription drugs that have not been legally obtained or for a purpose or amount other than as prescribed.
- The possession or use of marijuana, including prescribed medical marijuana, is prohibited on- or off-campus.
- It is a violation of University policy to possess drug paraphernalia.
Lounges: Lounge conduct is expected to be appropriate to the area. Each individual who uses a lounge should take responsibility for keeping it clean, orderly, and well-maintained. Lounge furniture is not to be removed.
Quiet Hours: Quiet and study hours are an established necessity of community living to provide everyone an opportunity for adequate study and rest in their room. Quiet hours are from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. During quiet hours, all residents and other persons in and around the residence halls are expected to refrain from making or causing noise or any other disruption that infringes upon the rights of residents to study, rest or sleep. During quiet hours, all sound must be contained within a resident’s room.
Courtesy Hours: Whenever quiet hours are not in effect; noise levels must be kept at a minimum and are subject to LEAD Crew discretion. Speakers are not permitted on windowsills and, at no time, should amplified sound be directed out windows.
Damages: Occupants are responsible for damages that occur in their residence. The residence is defined as everything from the exterior entry door to the exterior of the window(s). Damages within the residence should be reported to a LEAD Crew member and will be recorded, including information on who will specifically be held responsible for the damage. Damage to common areas such as hallways, bathrooms, stairwells, lounges and all the corresponding fixtures and furniture within these areas will be charged to individuals responsible. In cases involving group negligence, the University reserves the right to assess fines and or other disciplinary action to the group.
- Occupants are expected to keep their rooms clean.
- Nails, screws, duct tape or other adhesives that cause damage or leave sticky residue on the walls or surface may not be used.
- Candles, including candle warmers, and incense are not permitted, lit or unlit.
Miscellaneous Policies and Procedures
Sports in Campus Housing: Sports are not allowed within campus housing as considerable damage, injury and excessive noise can occur.
Kitchens: Each residence hall and village house has a kitchen space with full-size stove, microwave oven and sink. If allowed to access the kitchen, students are expected to clean up after themselves, washing utensils, appliances and the sink immediately after use.
Housekeeping/Maintenance Services: Light bulb replacement, plumbing repairs or emergencies, heating/cooling problems and housekeeping inquiries should be brought to the attention of a LEAD Crew Member.
Spring Arbor University, Student Statesmanship Institute, and/or LEAD are not responsible for lost or stolen items or items damaged in residential spaces. The following suggestions are made for your protection:
- Insure and mark all valuables.
- Always lock your room and secure your window.
- Report all losses or thefts to a LEAD Crew member and it will be appropriately reported.
- Respect University property as you would respect your own belongings.
- If you notice something happening that seems suspicious, report the matter to a LEAD Crew Member immediately.
In Case of Fire
The Spring Arbor Township Fire Department has recommended the following procedures in case of fire. Check the door of your room. If your room door seems cool and there is no evidence of smoke in the hall:
- Open the door cautiously, keeping your body braced against it. Keep one hand on the knob and the other hand over the door opening to detect any in-rushing heated air.
- If the halls appear safe, proceed rapidly out of the building. Close all windows and doors behind you but leave them unlocked.
- Go to the nearest exit and leave the building.
- Meet quickly at your designated meeting place so that all persons can be accounted for.
ALPHA/GAMMA – south of main entrance, by the oak tree
DELTA – west side of Delta, near Ogle Street
OGLE & POST VILLAGE – courtyard
GAINEY HALL – by volleyball court
ANDREWS HALL – campus lot west of College Street
If your door is hot, you may be trapped. Do not open the door. Instead, follow this procedure:
- If you can safely exit the window, by any means do so. Otherwise hang a sheet out the window to signal rescuers.
- Seal the cracks around the door using cloth articles. This helps create a barrier against heat and smoke.
- If possible, open the windows slightly at the top and bottom to let fresh air in and smoke out of the room.
- Wait to be rescued.
If you must move through a smoke-filled area, move quickly in a crouching position. Heat and smoke rise, and dangerous gases settle near the floor.
Severe Weather Procedures: In case of a tornado warning, students are expected to take immediate action and go to the basement or lowest portion of any building. Being in a narrow passageway, such as a lower hallway is advised. Stay away from glassed-in areas. Students should not return to their rooms until the “all clear” signal is given.
TORNADO WATCH – means weather conditions are right for tornadoes to develop
TORNADO WARNING – means a tornado has been sighted or indicated on radar
POLING CENTER – Use lower-level hallway
STUDENT LIFE CENTER – Use the hallway by the Holton Health and Wellness Center and the hallway leading to the computer lab
LIBRARY – Use the interior of the lower level
VILLAGE HOUSES – Use lower-level floor away from windows
GAINEY & ANDREWS HALL – Use first floor hallways
LOWELL HALL – Use basement
WHITEMAN-GIBBS SCIENCE CENTER – Use the lower floor by the restroom area
MCDONALD ATHLETIC CENTER (MAC)- Use the central portion of lower floor hallway
SMITH MUSIC CENTER – Use inner hallway by the band room
Students who are physically unable of moving to the aforementioned areas should seek assistance or move to the center of the hallway in which they live, away from windows, etc. The township emergency siren will sound when there is a TORNADO WARNING. This signal sounds at noon of the first Saturday of each month as a test.
Firearms, Weapons and Fireworks
- Firearms, bows and arrows, concealed knives with blades longer than three inches, realistic looking toy guns, B.B. guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns and other weapons of any type are not permitted to be carried, stored in campus housing or vehicles, or possessed by students on campus.
- Homemade and commercial incendiary devices, such as fireworks and bottle bombs, are not permitted and are a serious threat to personal and campus safety.
- The possession or use of such items on campus is not permitted. Violations will be subject to significant accountability action including fines and/or civil action.
Fire Safety Equipment
Fire safety equipment (fire alarms, extinguishers, exit lights, sprinkler heads and detectors) are located in strategic areas of the residence halls. Use this equipment only for emergencies. Tampering with fire equipment or triggering a false alarm violates local and state laws. Individuals who use fire extinguishers or trigger a fire alarm as a result of an irresponsible act or fail to evacuate campus housing in a timely manner during an alarm will be subject to a $300 fine and possible civil action. Intentionally setting fires in the residence halls, the corresponding rooms, hallways, bathrooms, etc. is dangerous and illegal. University accountability action for such offenses may include civil action.
- Exterior doors of campus housing are always locked. Secured doors must not be propped open. An unsecured door jeopardizes the privacy and safety of residence areas. Remember to carry your key card for building access.
- Do not walk alone at night from one building to another. Avoid shortcuts and dark, isolated places when walking or jogging at night.
- Exercise caution and courtesy as a pedestrian. Yield to oncoming traffic. Cross streets at designated crosswalks. Walk or jog against (facing) traffic. Assume that vehicle drivers do not see you.
Student conduct Covenant
You will need to agree to this Student Covenant & Permission to Attend when registering. Please be sure to read this together with your student. Each student will be expected to abide by this covenant or face appropriate consequences, possibly even being asked to leave.
The Student Statesmanship Institute’s summer program, LEAD, is Michigan’s premiere biblical worldview and leadership training program for teens. We hope your experience here will be enjoyable, rewarding, and challenging. The instructors, staff, and crew are committed to helping you grow as a leader, and they are looking forward to you being here. 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 Dress Code Guide section below).
- I will not drink alcoholic beverages or use tobacco in any form while at LEAD; 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 and keep myself, my belongings, and my room neat and clean.
- I will display a servant attitude toward my fellow classmates, instructors, staff, crew, and Spring Arbor University staff.
3. LEAD is an environment conducive to learning and personal growth and one in which you can make friends and not be distracted by outside influences.
- I will not bring to LEAD anything that would detract from this goal (including but not limited to the items described in the Details and Policies section above). Neither will I use the computer or internet inappropriately when doing research.
4. LEAD is held at Spring Arbor University and visits other venues such as the Capitol Building, Hall of Justice, etc. We believe it is important to present a clear testimony for Jesus Christ among our neighbors and in the community.
- I will respect the property, privacy, and rights of others, whether associated or not associated with LEAD or SSI.
5. 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 submit to the authority of staff, instructors, and crew, and obey the rules including those given in this Student Conduct Covenant.
I have read and agree with all of the above. I have also read and agree to abide by the LEAD Policies in the Details and Policies section above and the LEAD Campus Policies (found above) which includes the Spring Arbor University Student Code of Conduct. 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.
PERMISSION TO ATTEND LEAD
Parent or Guardian must sign for students under 18 years. Student must sign if 18 years or older:
I do hereby give permission for my/my child’s attendance of the Student Statesmanship Institute’s (SSI) LEAD Summer Program, at Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan during the summer of 2024, and further state that:
- I am the parent or legal guardian of the named child and I possess all the rights, powers, and privileges of a parent or legal guardian; or I am at least 18 years old and I possess all the rights, powers, and privileges of a legal adult.
- I personally assume, on my/my child’s behalf, all risk for any harm, injury, or damages that may befall me/my child or is caused by me/my child.
- I give permission to be transported/for my child to be transported to and from activities by hired and/or adult volunteer drivers.
- I give permission to Student Statesmanship Institute and Spring Arbor University to use my/my child’s photograph, video, oral and/or written comments to promote SSI.
- I agree to hold Student Statesmanship Institute, the owners and lessees of any premises used to conduct classes or activities, their sanctioning institutions, agents, officers, directors, and employees harmless and indemnify them from any injury, loss, damage, or claim of any nature arising out of or related to my/my child’s participation in the classes and activities of LEAD, specifically including any negligent act or omission of the above.
- I have read and agree with all of the above and I support Student Statesmanship Institute in its endeavor to provide the best possible learning environment for every student. I acknowledge that this is a legal document and I will be bound by my agreement to its terms.
lead Dress Code Guide
At LEAD we challenge our students to a higher standard of maturity and professionalism even through our dress code. We recognize that families have different tastes, views, and convictions on what constitutes professional and appropriate dress. At camp students are required to abide by the LEAD Dress Code. One reason for this is that students interact with guest speakers and instructors, including Supreme Court justices, state and federal legislators, judges, lawyers, legislative staffers, business professionals, and more. If these standards are not met, SSI staff will work with students to ensure they comply with the dress code.
- Shirts must be worn at all times and should cover the area that would be covered by a tank top. (If you’re unsure what that means, see our Dress Code FAQ page here.) Shirts must not show any part of the lower back or midsection.
- Underwear should not be visible at any time.
- At any time shorts (or skorts) must be finger-tip length.
- The shortest part of a skirt or dress (solid fabric, not sheer) may not be any higher than a hand’s width above the knee.
- No sagging shorts or pants.
- Any holes in clothing may not reveal skin that would otherwise be required to be covered (e.g. holes in jeans must not be in areas that the standards for shorts would require to be covered).
- Hats may not be worn during or chapel.
- No pajamas outside of dorms.
- No crude/derogatory language or images on clothing.
Specific Event Standards (Make sure that all attire is in dress code)
During the week at LEAD, students will be involved in various activities requiring different levels of dress. Please ensure that your student brings clothing to fit the following categories (see below for how many times each track is required to wear each category):
- Business Formal – For Gentlemen: Business suit; collared, button-up shirt and tie/bowtie with dress pants. Dress shoes.* For Ladies: Dress; or dress shirt/blouse and dress pants/skirt. Dress shoes.*
- Business Casual – For Gentlemen: Dress shirt/sweater or polo, dress pants. Dress shoes.* For Ladies: Dress shirt/sweater or polo, dress pants or skirt; Dress shoes.*
Any clothing allowed in Business Formal may be worn for Business Casual.
- Casual: Jeans, slacks, shorts, sweatpants/athletic pants, t-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, sneakers, sandals, flip-flops; any clothing allowed in Business Formal or Business Casual.
- All students will wear casual for daily dress during the week. NOTE: Shoes or sandals must be worn at all times in any building (excluding the dorms).
- All students should bring (and wear!) a pair of closed-toed shoes for the campus-wide activity Tuesday afternoon. Closed-toed shoes are required for sports and outdoor activities.
*Flip-flops/slide-ons/athletic shoes are not considered dress shoes
- House and Senate students wear business formal two times for trips to the Capitol on Wednesday and Friday and business casual once for a press conference on Tuesday (although nice jeans are acceptable to be worn instead of dress pants or a skirt for this event). Students may wear Business Formal for the press conference if preferred.
- Business and Advanced Business students wear business formal once for the investor presentation and business casual once for a group photo.
- Campaign students wear business formal once for the Wednesday debate. Additionally, students will conduct a door-to-door poll on Friday immediately before the campus group pictures. They should plan on wearing a business casual shirt and comfortable walking shoes. Students will be positioned at least in the second row so that only the shirt will be clearly visible in the picture.
- Media students wear business formal two times for Capitol trips on Wednesday and Friday; students who are interested in being an anchor for the broadcast should be prepared to dress more formally for 1-3 broadcasts. Media students wear business casual once for the House press conferences on Tuesday (although nice jeans are acceptable to be worn instead of dress pants or a skirt for this event).
- Mock Trial students wear business formal two times (for the Wednesday pre-trial and the trial on Thursday or Friday). They wear business casual once for a group photo.
- Moot Court students wear business formal once for their arguments on Friday and business casual two times on Wednesday and Thursday during practice rounds.
If you are concerned about not having enough clothing that fits these categories, thrift stores or discount racks are an excellent place to find them. If you have any questions about our dress code, you can visit our Dress Code FAQ page here.
Please call the SSI office at (517) 321-6233.
Speakers and Instructors
Click here to see our LEAD 2024 speakers and instructors. New speakers will be added as they confirm.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age is my child eligible to attend?
Any teenager (13-18) entering 9th grade 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 18. 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 arrange a visit. Visitors must check in at the LEAD Office upon arrival on campus. (Those arriving for presentations do not need to check in.)
If my child is flying in, will there be a shuttle from the airport to campus?
If you are flying to Michigan and will need a shuttle to campus, immediately after you submit your registration and before you buy a plane ticket, please call our office (517-321-6233) to discuss your flight plan with our staff.
What if my student is reluctant to attend LEAD?
Some students are reluctant to attend LEAD for the first time; however after they experience camp, we receive an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. From last year’s student evaluations, we found that 93% of our students had a positive experience and 91% of our students wanted to return to LEAD. Students have said that LEAD is “…the most fun I never thought I’d have” and “the biggest adventure of my life.”
Can I send mail or packages to my child while at camp?
Certainly! You can address items to:
Conference Services SSI – Recipient’s Name
106 E. Main St.
Spring Arbor, MI 49283
Items that are mailed should be sent with enough time to arrive by Thursday at the latest to allow enough time for the item to be delivered to the student. Recognize that SSI LEAD is not responsible for items that arrive too late or are lost.
What are the housing arrangements?
We house everyone–students, staff, and crew–in the guys’ and girls’ dorms. Dorm rooms are assigned, but students may request a specific roommate on their registration form. We are very serious about keeping students safe and ensuring they are chaperoned during camp. Additionally, campus security patrols the campus each night.
Do you assign dorm rooms?
Students will be assigned their dorm room before camp. On the registration form, there is a field for students to indicate whether they would like to be assigned to room with a specific person. Students wishing to room together MUST both request the other as a roommate on the registration form. There is also a field where students can request suitemates who will not dorm in the same room but will be in the room connected by a bathroom. We cannot guarantee to assign suitemates as requested, but if we are able, we will do so. Dorm 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 Poling Center, the Library, or the Chapel and Cafeteria of the Student Life Center) while in track specific events, 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 (517-321-6233×2), 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 formal dress is required for the final legislative sessions, trials, business meetings, media’s on-air anchors, etc., and 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!
See the LEAD Dress Code Guide section above to find a detailed description of the dress code.
4407 W St. Joe Hwy