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Leadership Activities for Teens

Updated: Feb 2

When I was younger, hearing the term ‘teen leadership activities’ often came with a sense of dread. Immediately I would assume that these activities would be boring and unmemorable; so I never wanted to participate, and thought of myself as far from a leader. I was never the loudest person in the room; I wasn’t one to raise my hand, and I would shudder at the thought of giving a speech in front of people. Maybe you’re feeling nervous just reading these thoughts, too.

That all changed when I attended The YES Camp. The YES took what I thought leadership was, acknowledged it, but also expanded on it. They defined leadership in a new and exciting way for me. While leaders could still be successful giving speeches and being loud, the word was also suddenly associated with things like growth, self-awareness, empathy, cooperation and resilience. These are things that we all value and all want to improve whether we’re a teenager or not.

The activities we use at The YES help with teen leadership development at key moments of their lives; and they allow us to understand that the identities we take, or the way we choose to perform come with different benefits and disadvantages –– being able to pinpoint them can allow us to work with them instead of against them. Activities shouldn’t tell teens if they are a leader or not, but what kind of leader they already are and how they can be challenged to grow. Whether you’re a more mindful planner, or a loud and energetic motivator, there are valuable roles for every teenager to fit into. At The YES, we make sure that we can help teens explore who they are and who they want to be through a variety of leadership activities that are engaging, educational, fun and inclusive. Keep reading below for some of our favourites!

1. Spider Web

What You Need: Yarn or rope, and two trees or sturdy poles