The National Student Leadership Conference

Garrett Bolen, Staff Reporter

Over the summer I had the opportunity to attend a camp that truly changed my life. Hosted at various different colleges across the nation, the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) gives students a chance to learn about specific fields of professions that may interest them.

NSLC offers 20 different programs covering topics such as business, government and law,  leadership, performing and media arts and STEM fields. These programs are all held around the nation at major colleges and universities.

Though NSLC offers many different programs, I attended the one on medicine and healthcare at the American University. During the nine day camp, we stayed in the dorms on campus. In that week and two day period was a multitude of activities and experiences that took up the entire day from  7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The activities ranged from exploring Washington D.C. at night to visiting the SiTEL medical training facility in Baltimore. Various activities took place right in the university, such as watching an open heart surgery, listening to guest speakers, and learning how to suture from a surgeon and practicing on a pig’s leg. For events such as guest speakers, we had to dress in professional attire. As there were times to be casual, there were also moments that called for  a certain degree of seriousness and professionalism.

Though we gained a lot of experience related to medicine and healthcare, the camp also heavily emphasised on leadership, as mentioned in the acronym. Every couple days everyone would get together and listen to presentations hosted by Jay Caputo, the NSLC Leadership Facilitator. Along with the presentations we would do activities related to leadership.

At first, I, along with many others, thought that the presentations were going to be generic and boring. However, by the end of the camp I had learned so much about myself and made strong bonds with those around me. This was a crucial part of the camp, and isn’t put in the name for no reason.

I went into the camp expecting it to be just like summer school and was wondering why I even bothered going, but after my time there, I came to realize what an incredible experience it had been. I am so grateful to get the opportunity to go to a camp like this and would highly recommend it to anyone who has the chance to do so.

In order to enroll, students must enter their NSLC ID sent to them through an invitation letter and fill out an application. If they did not receive an invitation, they have the opportunity to apply for one with a merit application. As this program provides an opportunity for incredible experience, it is quite costly.

The average cost for an institute  is about $3,000, but prices may vary depending on the program. This being said, the cost is well worth it and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is able to do so.