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Junior Leader Training -- White Stag Leadership Development

Media Relations

The White Stag Leadership Development Program supports the White Stag Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation. First organized as the White Stag Steering Committee in 1958, the White Stag Association is a volunteer-led organization that provides year-round leadership education for up to 100 youth staff. The youth staff in turn plan and produce a week-long summer camp in several locations programs each year for up to another 100 youth.

Contact Information

Brian Phelps, Director of Leadership Development, Stockton, CA (209) 662-1991

Program Name

The White Stag Leadership Development Program and the White Stag Association are located in nothern California. There are other organizations outside the San Francisco Bay Area and Sierra Nevada that refer to themselves as "White Stag" but are unrelated to us and do not adhere to the same standards of open membership and do not practice the same methodologies and techniques.

Our Vision

Ten thousand youth learning leadership.

Our Mission

To enhance the quality and character of individuals and empower them to influence their communities and environment in a positive manner. We welcome individuals regardless of their background, association, previous experience, or organizational affiliation.

Facts & Stats

White Stag was founded on the Monterey Peninsula in 1958 by Béla Heinrich Bánáthy, a Hungarian emigre, an influential professor of systems theory, and a widely-read and respected scholar and author. With no outside support and entirely volunteer-led, the program has served more than 21,000 youth since its inception.

The Association is a Chartered Partner of the Boy Scouts of America and sponsors a Venture Crew. All participants are registered in the Association's crew. All of our programs are coeducational and operate in keeping with the principals of the Boy Scouts of America, including two-deep leadership.

The Association sponsors a camp each year. A large number of adults contribute a full weekend each month plus additional time to mentor, guide and develop more than two dozen youth staff. The youth, age 13-18, are entirely responsible for planning and producing a week-long summer camp at Camp Robert Cole for other youth 10½-18 years old.

What Makes the Program Distinctive

The White Stag program recognizes that youth learn best when their whole body and mind is engaged. We provide a hands-on, outdoors, physically challenging experiential education focus. We create an environment where it's safe for youth to try out new behaviors, to be the best they can be. We teach that the opposite of success is not failure, but to quit.

Mirroring the real world, we offer a coeducational learning opportunity. Youth are fully supervised at all times. We take a holistic approach to learning, giving participants an experience that affects their hands via outdoor skills, head via leadership skills, and heart via our spirit and traditions.

Program Structure

The program has three phases that are individually structured to address the developmental needs of youth depending on their age, maturity, and outdoors experience. Campers may choose from three phases:

Each phase is staffed by teams of youth staff and adult staff.

Protected Marks

The White Stag Leadership Development program is a unique program and participants develop a strong relationship with it and to our symbols. The White Stag Association does not permit other groups or organizations to use our symbols inappropriately or claim to represent White Stag when they do not. For details, see Identity and Branding.