Youth Development Summit


If you are a YMCA staff member passionate about your work in the areas of early childhood, after-school programming, or working with teens, the Youth Development Summit is for you!

This innovative conference will empower attendees through personal and professional leadership training that will help them improve their programs, strengthen their teams, and truly influence the lives of the youth they work with. The Youth Development Summit is also an approved conference for YMCA Leadership Recertification credit*. 

More information coming soon.

*recertification credit applies to staff who have earned the Multi-Team Leader Certification or the Organizational Leader Certification.

Examples of Previous Workshops:

From Ideas to Initiatives-Strategies for Empowering Staff and Supporting Children using Character Development Practices

With a topic as broad as "Character Development," it is often difficult to find a starting point. How do you zoom in on the big picture? How to you bridge theory into practice? The simple answer is through trial and error, but common sense is not always common practice. This workshop will share a variety of CDLI-inspired strategies that have been implemented within our afterschool program to empower our staff and support the children in our care. Through sharing our successes (as well as our not-so-successful teachable moments), we hope to instill participants with the confidence to go from concept to concrete, turning their grand ideas into initiatives.

Enhancing Character Development Through STEM

This session will explore hands-on strategies to incorporate Character Education into your STEM projects by enhancing Responsibility, Relationship Building, and Personal Development.

Creating Transformational Space: Program Structure that Inspires Student Voice and Choice

In this workshop we will explore the ways program structure can help to increase students’ social emotional learning skills. We will focus specifically on the area of relationship building within programs and how to create spaces for youth to develop self-management.

Character Development in Youth Sports

Character Development in Youth Sports will demonstrate the program structure of the implementation of character development in youth sports at the Jerry Long Family YMCA. Workshop will take you step-by-step through a season of youth sports with an enhanced focus on character development. The program includes intentional communication with parents, volunteer coaches and staff along with a "Word of the Week" program, goal setting program, additional visuals, and a unique magnet puzzle.

Effective Communication for Site Leads

Mean what you say and say what you mean! Effective communication for afterschool site leads will give participants an opportunity to identify the benefits of effective communication and then develop strategies to use with parents, colleagues and school personnel. Participants will study common causes of communication conflicts and have a chance to practice effective strategies to use.

Leading with Equity

Join us in a strategic planning session that works to weave together Character Development and Diversity, Inclusion, and Global frameworks. Through facilitated and participatory dialogue, we will explore how DIG work operationalizes Character Development practices. As a team, we will identify strategies, barriers, and solutions that work towards advancing Youth.

The Power Of Sharing Ideas!

In this workshop you will learn about how you can make your program 1 percent better by utilizing your community and peers. This sounds easy, but why don’t we do this more? Are we afraid to ask for help because this may show weakness? Are we just content on doing what we have always done? We will answer these questions and talk about the website I created at www.youthprogramfire.com to help you find that fire again. My hope is that you share and steal one idea to take back to your team and programs! #BetterTogether

Let Us Play! A New Approach to Old Games

Tired of seeing your staff play the same old games? Come learn new ways to modify all the old classics into brand new games. This session will present the evidence-supported LET US Play principles of removing Lines, eliminating Elimination, reducing Team size, identifying Uninvolved staff/children, and modifying Space, equipment, and rules of games commonly played in camp to maximize children’s physical activity. Dress comfortably and plan to be active.



Improving Staff Performance and Program Quality Through Coaching

A coach is a program professional who helps someone improve. This workshop focuses on helping staff improve through one-on-one consultation. The idea is to maximize productivity in the manager-staff relationship by starting with a foundation of respect and support. How can coaching elevate program quality? Increase organizational capacity? Develop leadership competencies? Come to this workshop to find out!

Planning with Data for Continuous Improvement

Assessment and evaluation can supply a wealth of valuable data about the quality of a youth program. But assessment just provides the data - a list of numbers and words. Learning from the data and really using it effectively is a must for an efficient quality improvement system. That's what Planning With Data is all about. This session will prepare participants to develop effective program improvement plans and to take this planning process back to their program settings.

It’s Hard to be Great at Your Job if Your Job is All You Do.

Raise your hand if you feel like you can never get ahead. Do you feel like your work life consumes all your time even you are off? Are you a self-proclaimed workaholic? If you answered yes, this workshop is for you. Let me take you on my personal journey to find more time and balance in my life. 


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 84 Blue Ridge Circle Black Mountain, NC 28711

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At YMCA Blue Ridge, we impact lives for a lifetime.