Grab the Torch Teen Leadership Camp

Grab The Torch (GTT): Bringing Mentoring Programs and Youth Philanthropy to Light
“The Next Generation of Leadership, Ethics, and Philanthropy”

Established in 2009, Grab The Torch (GTT) is a leadership, ethics, empathy, and philanthropy institute designed for independent, charter, and public high school students and rising college freshmen (ages 15-18) from across the country. GTT currently runs overnight programs in Colorado—Denver and Salida (June, co-ed), Massachusetts & Rhode Island—Boston & Newport (July, all-girls) and Maine—Freeport and Albany Township (August, all-girls). Each session has 20-25 students and runs for eight days and seven nights. GTT has been endorsed by ERB, NAIS, KIPP, and CT, NY, and CO Independent School Associations, among other organizations.

Through a combination of site visits and presentations, GTT gives students a dynamic and unique understanding of leadership, ethics, and service that is tailored to the local philanthropic organizations and opportunities near each institute. GTT also includes fun summer recreational activities, such as hiking, swimming, sailing, games, and watching movies.

Each day consists of five to six presentations, speakers, and/or activities that foster leadership skills, a deeper understanding of service, empathy and design thinking, broader knowledge of the nature of the non-profit sector, and so on. Students have the opportunity to hear the life experience and journey of each speaker into the non-profit world, including presentations by foundation leaders, development professionals, college admission representatives, street volunteers, grant writers, corporate marketing professionals, non-profit strategic planning professionals, and presidents of boards and foundations.

Visit their testimonials page to see written reviews from students, parents, and speakers, and see their video testimonials and overview here: (Overview) (One Student’s Experience) (Student, Parent, and Speaker Experiences) (Conscious Capitalism)

How to Apply:

The program application can be found online 
here, and please note that it includes a $10 application fee. The total cost of each program is $2,000, and these scholarships are each for $1,750.  To apply, visit the online application and complete the following steps.  Please ensure that you check off the military affiliated option at the beginning of the application!

1.)  Click “New User”

2.)  Select program location & dates and click “Continue”

3.)  Enter Camper and Parent/Guardian Information

4.)  Have Camper answer the following Application Questions (limit: 6,000 characters/question):

  • Why do you want to attend the Institute?
  • What do you expect to learn from your experience at the Institute?
  • What community service or service learning projects are you currently doing in school or in your community?
  • Please write an essay titled: ‘What are America's greatest needs?'

5.)  Click “Yes” to be considered for a Scholarship, and for “Reference” note:

  • Name: military family member

6.)  To pay the application fee:

  • Click the “Add a New Participant” menu and select your student, and click “Checkout”
  • Enter billing and payment information

Process: Students will receive an email confirming receipt of application, and if appropriate GTT will schedule a call to interview the student over the phone. Students will be selected based on their essays, interview, and a recommendation from their school, a leader from a religious/faith based organization, neighborhood partnership, or community organization. Students will then be contacted within five days of the interview. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis.


  • Cost: $2,000 (full and partial scholarships available).
  • Housing: students stay in boarding school dorms and bunkrooms during field trips, and are assigned a roommate upon arrival.
  • See website for information regarding meals and attire.
  • Selected students will be asked to provide health insurance and medical records.
  • Students DO NOT need to bring a computer.
  • Students DO NOT need to bring any additional spending money.
  • Chaperones include GTT CEO, GTT 30/30 Council Members, school volunteers and GTT alumni.


For more information
, contact GTT Founder Dave Aldrich at [email protected].