Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering about something not covered here? Call us at 517-321-6233!
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 the 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 in the Capitol.

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 to LEAD, is there 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.