YMCA Northeast Leaders School (NELS)

Hosted by the YMCA of Greater Boston

YMCA Northeast Leaders School is the premier teen leadership conference in the Northeast. Located at the historic Springfield College, the program serves Teen Leaders from all the states in our region. Staffed by YMCA professionals and volunteers the program is designed to meet the needs of the individual teen by providing them with skill development and valuable personal and group living experiences.


Ryan’s Leaders School Story



Programming & Activities

Leaders School has a packed schedule with very little free time by design. Activities include

  • Leadership and teaching skills in Aquatics, Physical Education, and Special Interest areas
  • Character Development and Values Education in a diverse small group environment.
  • Elective programs in a broad area of interests
  • Special programs including an induction ceremony, banquet, and dance
  • Optional early morning activities, all school evening activities, even meal times are full of energy, learning opportunities and fun!


Goals & Objectives

  • Provide training to young people who demonstrate leadership potential
  • To offer a mentoring experience with volunteers and professionals
  • To introduce methods of teaching and leadership skills
  • To enhance leadership capabilities including teaching and performance skills in physical education, aquatics, recreation, character development, and other areas of YMCA youth work
  • To acquire the human relations skills necessary to translate personal values into positive action
  • To have the most amount of fun possible in 5-1/2 days!


Parent Information

Sending your teen away for 5-1/2 days may bring up questions and anxieties both teens and parents. Leaders School and the YMCA is committed to being a safe, inclusive environment for all. Check out our Parent FAQ for helpful information.