Our Program

Curriculum Model

The C5 program includes carefully sequenced, age appropriate learning experiences that provide a seamless flow of learning and growth across a five year program. Participants must begin the program in year 1 and progress through year 5. Each year includes curriculum in four key areas: Leadership Development, Social Awareness, College and Career Preparation and Community Activism. The program year begins with a summer signature experience that sets the goals and teaches the skills youth will need to be successful during the next year. The five Summer Signature experiences include: Camp Leadership U; Camp Leadership U2; C5 Bridges – Rexam Leadership Challenge; Road to College and the ACT Now Summit

During the school year participants learn new skills and integrate the skills they have learned over the summer into their life at home through the C5 Pathways program, the year round community based program that supports and guides participants during the school year. C5 Pathways includes: group learning events, group project planning and individual responsibilities and coaching.

To download a pdf describing the C5 program click here. 

Leadership Development Curriculum

The C5 leadership development curriculum helps youth develop the skills, self-knowledge and attitudes needed to intentionally and positively influence the actions of others. It emphasizes learning about leadership, practicing leadership and applying these skills to planning tasks and hands-on opportunities in C5, in their schools, in organizations and in their communities.

Leadership U. Curriculum

Leadership U is the signature leadership development curriculum for C5. The curriculum includes 14 modules that target basic leadership skills and concepts in the first year; 13 modules that expand the participant’s leadership skills to practicing leadership processes in the second year and 18 modules for exploring leadership as part of the Bridges program in the third year. In each year the modules introduce leadership skills, concepts, practices and processes and provide a framework for leadership learning throughout the program. Click here for the list of Leadership U Modules and information on accessing these modules.

Practicing Leadership in the C5 Environment

In years one and two, youth learn leadership basics and practice them in the relative safety of the C5 environment. Flints practice leadership on a daily basis during Camp Leadership U in their cabin and activity group. Lanterns extend their leadership to supporting Flints in a variety of ways and take on leadership for all-camp experiences. As part of the Lantern experience, cabin and activity groups are presented with 4 – 8 leadership challenges designed to engage participants in small group problem solving and planning experiences (usually lasting from half a day to 2 days). 

Each year, C5 participants receive increasing responsibility for decision making and leading within the program. Youth are given responsibility for decisions and group management. Serving as “leader of the day”, youth receive significant feedback from adults and peers on their performance. The intent is for youth to practice their skills in a variety of environments and use this experience to build a sense of preparedness to lead at home, school, and in their community.

Throughout C5, directors create opportunities for youth to lead at a variety of levels – publishing newsletters, speaking at board events, participating on planning committees, leading activities during the summer and during Pathways, etc. 

By the 4th and 5th years, participants have significant leadership roles on committees, work in individual roles with directors, make presentations at Pathways events and organize events like service projects, and leadership conferences for C5 participants. Coaching and learning are integrated into the experience and the resulting debrief. In addition participants take the lead in planning and presenting at the Road to College and the ACT Now Summit.

Social Awareness Curriculum

The Social Awareness curriculum builds greater understanding of social issues and how they impact our perceptions of our selves, others and the world. Youth learn about themselves, how to appreciate those who are different form them, and develop skills for dealing with issues related to peers, families, their communities and the world.

SAP is the signature C5 social awareness and diversity curriculum. It is a series of 90 minute sessions with an age-appropriate message that is presented 1-2 times each week during the summer experience in the first two years and integrated into the third through fifth years curriculums as part of either summer programs or Pathways. Across the five years the modules follow five themes:

  • Media and Culture
  • Relationships
  • Diversity
  • Fears and Pressures 
  • Action Central

The C5 SAP curriculum includes a series of 23 modules. Each experience is typically supported by videos, activities, discussions, and journaling. Click here for a list of the Social Awareness Modules and for information on accessing copies of these modules.

College and Career Curriculum

The college and career curriculum provides an understanding of the value of a college education in reaching life and career goals, opportunities to visit campuses, opportunities to connect with people from different employment sectors, coaching and mentoring on the path to college: high school class selection, grades, standardized tests, and assistance with key tasks like applying for college, scholarships and financial aid. 

The C5 approach to career development focuses on self-assessment and career exploration. Youth need first to understand their interests, skills, values, personal style, goals, etc. Then, they need to learn about as many career options as possible and assess whether these are a good fit. C5’s goal is to help youth see the connection between a 4-year degree and career success by connecting them with individuals and environments that can help them to expand their perspective on opportunities for the future.

C5’s role in preparing youth to be ready to successfully apply for college is to keep them aware of requirements and timelines and closely monitor their progress, providing coaching where necessary. Monitoring includes reminding them to take the right steps at the right time such as enrolling in a college prep curriculum beginning freshman year, taking ACT/SAT’s in their junior year, and applying for financial assistance during their senior year. 

C5’s goal in this area is to create a college-bound culture & monitor each individual’s progress on high school and college action plans.

Community Action Curriculum

The Community Action curriculum is sequenced to equip youth with the skills needed to become active change agents in their community over the course of the five years. Community Action is important for a number of reasons:

  • Youth learn to assess community assets and needs and identify avenues for making positive change.
  • Youth are empowered by their impact and the recognition that they can make a difference in their community
  • Community service and advocacy are excellent laboratories for youth to experiment with and employ the leadership skills they learn through C5. 
  • Youth learn valuable job skills through their community service, volunteerism and activism

As youth participate in the C5 Community Action curriculum they are guided through three stages:

  1. Community Education: Youth & adults learn about their community and the value of giving back to the community. 
  2. Community Service: With adult help, youth engage in community service projects and reflect on what the experience was like for them.
  3. Community Development: Youth identify a need or issue, take action, engage adults and other youth in the process, and make meaningful change in the community.

In the early years, youth are engaged in direct and indirect service in their communities. They learn about opportunities for service that are available to them by visiting service providers in their neighborhoods. They learn and practice a community mapping process in their community.

In the latter years, youth are shown how to assess the needs of a community and to identify actions that meet those needs. They are engaged in recruiting sponsors, soliciting resources, and organizing their own projects. They organize younger C5 participants to assist with these projects. Emphasis shifts to serving communities beyond their own as part of the C5 Bridges and the Road to College programs. 

Youth are introduced to advocacy as a means to changing their community. In their last year in the program, participants are invited to design a “Medallion” project that addresses a community issue that is significant to them and utilizes leadership and community action skills they have gained over their four years in the program. Over the course of the five years participants engage in 250 hours of Community Service as a part of the C5 program.