Co-op Leadership Camp Applications Now Being Accepted from Students and Sponsors

Applications for this summer’s Cooperative Leadership Camp are now being accepted from high school students across North Carolina who want to attend as campers, and from cooperatives that would like to support the camp as sponsors. This year’s week-long overnight camp will be held June 15-19.

Hosted annually by the Cooperative Council of North Carolina at the North Carolina FFA Center at White Lake, Cooperative Leadership Camp aims to give rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors a better understanding and appreciation of the cooperative business model and foster leadership qualities, financial responsibility and team building skills. All campers are sponsored to attend by cooperatives or Cooperative Extension 4H Clubs. Co-op leadership campers are also eligible for the $1,000 Jim Graham college scholarship, which they can apply for during their senior year of high school.

During the camp, students organize a T-shirt cooperative, including election of a board of directors, selection of a manager and design and production of t-shirts. Campers also participate in interactive workshops and presentations, along with small group sessions focused on leadership development and team building activities. Other features include outdoor recreation, a talent show, awards night and team competitions.

The cost to send a teen to camp is $395, which includes bus transportation to and from the camp and food and lodging for the week, along with all camp programs and events. Online applications from campers must be completed before April 30, and cooperatives interested in sponsoring a camper can fill out an online form. The council is also seeking adult staff to serve as camp counselors for the week.

Campers participate in the Reality of Money session, which helps teach them how to budget in the “real world.”

Last year, campers were sponsored by 10 electric cooperatives across the state including: Blue Ridge Energy, Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative, Central Electric, Edgecombe-Martin County EMC, Four County EMC, Lumbee River EMC, Piedmont Electric, Surry-Yadkin EMC, Wake Electric and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.

The mission of the Cooperative Council of North Carolina is to bring the state’s cooperatives together to connect, educate and promote the success of all cooperatives. The general membership of the Council is made up of cooperatives including farm credits, credit unions, farm supply, rural electrics, rural telephones, retail co-ops, food co-ops and marketing cooperatives. Learn more about the Council, cooperatives and Co-op Leadership Camp at