LCM Cuba field study 2019

Youth Leadership Development 2023: Academic Camps

Welcome to the 17th Annual League of Creative Minds, Summer Camps!  LCM summer camps are now being offered in three locations:  Palo Alto, Hillsborough, and San Francisco. That said, the academic team of teachers, and the original LCM curriculum will remain the same regardless of the various locations.

About the League Summer Camp Experience

The League of Creative Minds (LCM) summer program is currently enrolling students for the League summer courses, Summer 2023.  The League summer camp sessions are meant for serious academic students that relish intellectual deliberation and dialogue.  Students that enroll in League summer courses are curious about international policy, find fascination in history and philosophy, and/or hold a certain passion for parliamentary style speech and debate.  The League creates a particularly unique academic platform where play fuels learning and students learn through Simulations. 

About the League of Creative Minds (LCM):

LCM is a debate and diplomacy-driven, academic organization, that draws on an original curriculum created by LCM.  The majority of the content in both the year-round and the summer program is based almost exclusively on foreign policy.  Therefore, given the nature and the focus of the League, LCM engages high ability 6th though 12th graders in the world of academic deliberation through discussion and debate, analytical writing, and the development of life skills (such as critical thinking and analytical reasoning). To complement the academic complexity of geopolitics and foreign affairs in the League classroom, there is additionally a strong focus on public speaking, negotiation, and the exploration of moral and ethical values. League delegates participate and compete in a variety of debate formats in the year-round academic program. Delegates who are successfully admitted into the year-round academic program are by nature, genuinely interested in foreign affairs, and curious about the ever-evolving state of the world.  It follows that in the invigorating summer course sessions, students invariably reveal their distinct self-motivation and curiosity about the world, and inspiration through play to cement learning in a way that is not easily forgotten. This process cannot occur without a student’s desire to seek greater intellectual thought and reasoning.  Lastly, the LCM summer curriculum provides a glimpse into the topics, subjects and activities delegates experience in-depth during the LCM year-round program.

Intrinsic Motivation and Curiosity

The high level of academia in the introductory camp courses is meant to challenge and stimulate high ability middle school and high school students.    That said, prior academic knowledge of foreign policy is not necessary; instead the interest and motivation to engage in an academic, social, and diplomatic setting is required.  The League summer camps are designed for high-ability students typically in the top 10% of their respective academic class in school.   Given that the mission of LCM is excellence in academia, the League draws highly motivated students, and therefore all introductory classes begin at a dynamic pace and high academic level without exception.

Typical Day

During each week of an LCM summer course academic material is individualized to fit the personality of every specific group of students.  LCM summer camp students are well-supported to advance as much as they feel comfortable doing so, and is part of the reason why LCM summer camp students return, year after year.  The summer camp sessions themselves are interactive by nature, and every course each week has a particular theme that is adapted to the individual group of delegates in the course during that particular week.  Throughout the day students are split into various classes, which all follow a distinct set of activities every 50 minute class period.  

League classes follow a similar teaching method as most American law schools.  Therefore, classes are structured with the Harkness and Socratic Method in mind.  This equates to active classroom discussion that enables students to examine logic and strategy through realized critical thinking methods.  The primary goal of the League summer camps is to provide students with an exciting and enjoyable experience, while undergoing academic learning at the same time.  As such, LCM frequently receives feedback from summer camp students that they did not realize how much they were learning because they were having so much fun.  We believe this is due to the interactive and playful method the League courses hold.  

Summer course logistical information:

  • Each session is one week long from 9:30 to 3:30 p.m. Each day is composed of a variety of interactive and distinct activities.   
  • LCM summer camp students may enroll in a maximum of one single introductory week-long session only.
  • Each of the summer camp sessions are open to local, national, and international students. The integration of a diverse group of students adds to the experience and learning of all summer camp students.  
  • Dress code consists of a collared shirt or dress shirt and shorts, skirts or dresses at knee length.  We advise comfortable shoes and bringing a water bottle.  T-shirts, yoga pants, sports attire or pajama type clothing is not permitted.

How to Apply for a summer camp session:  Part I.

  1. Download the PDF application or complete the online application (links are on the right sidebar). 
  2. Mail in payment or pay online by credit card via Paypal.

After completing Part I. a spot is immediately secured in the summer course session. 

Part II.                                                                                                              y                              Following the initial application and payment (placement is secured), please upload:

  1. Most recent report card (copy), or teacher evaluation (if school does not assign grades), AND Covid Vaccine Card.
  2. One teacher recommendation. LCM teacher recommendation letters do not require a special form, and should be uploaded directly right here on the side bar.  Recommendation letter requirements and a confirmation of enrollment are sent electronically to each applying summer camp student after initial registration (Part I.) is completed.
  3. Summer camp students who enroll in the June sessions should upload their report card, and (teachers should upload) the letter of recommendation by June 17, 2023.  A one-time courtesy reminder will be sent in the weeks prior to the June deadline.  
  4. Summer camp students who enroll in the July sessions should upload their report card, and (teachers should upload) letter of recommendation by July 8, 2023. A one-time courtesy reminder will be sent in the weeks prior to the July deadline.  

Introduction to Debate (Model UN/Model Congress), Speech & Diplomacy, rising 6th & 7th Grade.  Camp Octavian.  

Tuition:  $1450 (day student); $2650 (boarding)

Session I:  June 12 - 16, 2023 (no boarding) @Palo Alto FULL
Session II:  June 19 - 23, 2023  Palo AltoFULL
Session III:  June 26 - June 30, 2023 @ UCSF Parnassus in San Francisco (no boarding) FULL
Session IV:  July 10 - 14, 2023 @Crystal Springs HS @Hillsborough FULL
Session V: July 17 - 21, 2023 @Crystal Springs HS @Hillsborough (two spots open)

Session VI:  NEWLY ADDED July 24 - 28, 2023 @UCSF (parnassus campus)

The Octavian sessions are the summer academic sessions exclusively for rising 6th and 7th grade students. These sessions are created so that the youngest students engage in public speaking, current events discussions, diplomacy, negotiation, intermediate writing skills, and the basic rules of procedure, in order to practice the fundamentals of debate.  Students that are curious about the League year-round program often begin as rising 6th or 7th graders in the LCM summer program.  

Introduction to Debate (Model UN/Model Congress), Speech & Diplomacy, rising 8th Grade. Camp Demosthenes. 

Tuition: $1450 (day student); $2650 (boarding)

Session I: June 12 - 16, 2023 (no boarding) @Palo Alto FULL
Session II: June 19 - 23, 2023 @ Palo AltoFULL
Session III:  June 26 - June 30, 2023 @ UCSF Parnassus in San Francisco (no boarding) FULL
Session IV:  July 10 - July 14, 2023 @Crystal Springs HS @HillsboroughFULL
Session V:   July 17 - 21, 2023 @Crystal Springs HS @Hillsborough (one spot left)

Session VI:  NEWLY ADDED July 24 - 28, 2023 @UCSF (parnassus campus)

This summer session is created with our 8th grade students in mind.  Summer delegates will partake in various methods of negotiation, strategy, and diplomacy.   The League curriculum is interwoven in particular focus areas of debate, and public speaking. There is special emphasis placed and in-depth discussion on moral and ethical questions on a variety of global topics.

Introduction to Debate (Model UN/Model Congress), Speech & Diplomacy, rising 9th to 12th Grade.  Camp Aurelian. 

Tuition:  $1450 (day student); $2650 (boarding)

Session I: June 12 - 16, 2023 (no boarding) @Palo Alto FULL
Session II:  June 19 - 23, 2023 @ Palo AltoFULL
Session III:  June 26 - June 30, 2023 @ UCSF Parnassus in San Francisco (no boarding) FULL
Session IV:  July 10 - 14, 2023 @Crystal Springs HS @Hillsborough
Session V:   July 17 - 21, 2023 @Crystal Springs HS @Hillsborough (3 spots left)

Session VI:  NEWLY ADDED July 24 - 28, 2023 @UCSF (parnassus campus)

This academic summer course is exclusively for rising 9th to 12th grade students. These sessions are meant for students interested in improving public speaking skills, engaging in negotiation techniques, and delving into geopolitics, world history, current events, and law.  Students are challenged to participate in various platforms of intellectual discussion and reasoning (logic) by engaging in various forms of debate, and advanced structured academic deliberation.

Advanced Policy Forum, rising 7th to 9th Grade.   

Session I: July 10 - 14, 2023 @ Crystal Springs Uplands (Hillsborough)
WHO:  Students with prior debate experience OR year-round LCM delegates.
Tuition:  $1650
  • The LCM Advanced Policy Forum (APF) is a 5-day gathering for any LCM year-round delegate or for any student that has prior debate experience, and is interested in a deep dive into policy, debate, and research with other experienced debaters.  The LCM Forum will feature intimate workshops led by LCM alumni as well as leading academics, government professionals, and members of the diplomatic core.  Guest speakers will include policy specialists, military leaders, diplomats, experts, and government officials.  Delegates will be challenged to refine their critical thinking, debate skills and diplomacy etiquette through individualized instruction and peer dialogue.  

Advanced Policy Forum, rising 10th to 12th Grade.  

Session I: July 10 - 14, 2023 @ Crystal Springs Uplands (Hillsborough)
WHO:  Students with prior debate experience OR year-round LCM delegates. 
Tuition:  $1650
  • The LCM Advanced Policy Forum (APF) is a 5-day gathering for any LCM year-round delegate or student with extensive and prior debate experience that is interested in a deep dive into policy, debate, and research with other experienced debaters.  The LCM Forum will feature intimate workshops led by LCM alumni as well as leading academics, government professionals, and members of the diplomatic core.  Guest speakers will include policy specialists, military leaders, diplomats, experts, and government officials.  Delegates will be challenged to refine their critical thinking with logic, debate skills, and diplomatic etiquette through individualized instruction and peer dialogue.  

LCM Field Study Program:  Summer 2023

Session I:  July 30 - August 9, 2023
Who:  Internal LCM year-round delegates  
What:  Hunger:  Food Insecurity, Land Injustice, and Malnutrition
Where:  Bolivia
How:  Please enroll with a tuition deposit under the instructions given via email.  Please reach out directly to Julie at:

LCM Language Classes:  Arabic   Limit 8 Students per language seminar.  In traditional LCM fashion we will intertwine elements of history and culture on the respective language of study.  The primary purpose of the LCM language classes is to speak either Arabic.

Delegate Feedback during COVID Times:  (from the year-round program) after ten weeks of ZOOM classes from March 11th - the end of May 2020.  LCM in-person classes resumed in September 2020 and will continue in-person always.  LCM has also added a permanent year-round online Zoom class offering (as of September 2020) given equally tremendous results on both platforms. LCM is back to full in-person classes.

Annabel G. 11th grade

Throughout my three years with LCM, I’ve learned more about debate, politics, and current events than I ever could in my high school classes. When we had to transition to online learning, I was worried that the classes wouldn’t be as engaging virtually as they are in person. However, I’ve found that the online classes are just as relevant and intellectually challenging. Through moving the program online, new opportunities were made available, such as hearing from speakers who are located far from the Bay Area.  Although we were unable to have our typical structured debates, we were still able to discuss topics in a constructive and inclusive way. In my opinion, the ease with which LCM transitioned to online learning in these difficult times represents the innovative thinking they foster.

Andrew Y. 8th grade

The classes online are quite good. As long as the internet is stable, you can hear the lessons well and also have the opportunity to ask questions. Debates can continue in much of the same way as well, with the chair able to pick people using Zoom’s "raise hand" function. The one thing missing from the public speaking element is actually seeing so many eyes looking at you as you’re speaking. This feeling is quite unique and not feeling the eyes from so many people makes the speaking seem a little less like public speaking and more like conversation.

Avani G. 7th grade

The LCM online program has enabled me to maintain my prior knowledge while expanding my skillset. From learning about economics to playing games involving negotiation and conquering the world, the program never fails to amaze and challenge me. My public speaking skills have further improved from the interesting topics and comfortable environment. All the faculty supply informational and engaging lectures that lead to new questions, class discussions, and overall educate delegates about how the world works. Thank you LCM for adapting so quickly during this unprecedented moment in history, and helping delegates pursue their love of Model United Nations.  

Cate W. 9th grade

I have really enjoyed participating in the LCM online classes. The LCM teaching staff have done an incredible job keeping the program just as engaging and informative. The online format has allowed for even more learning opportunities and has made it possible to have impressive guest speakers that may not have been available in person. Overall, I have had a wonderful experience with LCM over Zoom!

Dominic P. 11th grade

Online LCM has been great, I felt like the game of "diplomacy" we all played brought our delegation closer together, and during the first few weeks of quarantine it was a really wonderful diversion. We’ve had many esteemed and knowledgeable guest speakers lead portions of class, which has been incredible. Despite our limitations, discussions are thoughtful and intellectually stimulating. So many of my hobbies and extracurriculars are either closed or severely handicapped by the quarantine, and LCM has been one of the few that has been able to offer the same level of quality and engagement as their physical counterpart.

Helena F. 10th grade

Online LCM classes have been the highlight of my weeks. Despite the COVID-19 situation, quarantine has felt a little better hearing about other news. LCM established a connection between myself and the real world through online classes effectively. I enjoyed the experience.

Julian H. 7th grade

Doing LCM on Zoom has been one of the best experiences I have had these past months. The teaching, as usual, is fantastic and informative. During class, we have learned about everything from behavioral economics to animal welfare. Using Zoom, we have been having engaging debates on issues ranging from sanctions during this crisis to transitional governments. Teachers such as John and Olyvia have done a great job making sure we understand the topics we are debating and learning about. During these troubling times, doing LCM has been a bright spot in my life and is something I really enjoy. I highly recommend this course as it is a great way to explore complex issues while having fun.

Justin Y. 10th grade

There are two main things that I feel are important; the usage of expert speakers and a suggestion to increase the number of debates. I think that the various speakers that come to LCM are both engaging and intellectually challenging, however, with the Zoom format it might be a bit harder for a younger delegate to stay engaged while purely in listen mode. Personally, I find the class to still be engaging and fun. Another thing that is a bit different from the normal LCM class is the debates. I noticed that we have not had a ton of debates and it’s understandable but I still miss that aspect of LCM. As this applies to the summer program, I believe that a good moderator could go a long way to keeping the MS delegates participating and engaged. 

Mia K. 11th grade

I would say that the online classes have been just as engaging as classroom ones, with informative lectures about topics present in the media along with insightful discussions. The virtual format has also allowed for the unique experience of hearing from fascinating lecturers who would not otherwise be able to attend our class.

Molly C. 7th grade

When all my classes first started to go online, I was a little skeptical of how we would do LCM classes and debates via Zoom. I wasn’t sure how good the quality of learning would be. However, after the first online class, I realized how well the teachers handled online learning, for the number of things that were taught, did not go down, nor did the instructors’ enthusiasm. When we had debates, everyone’s participation and energy levels stayed the same as they would have during a physical class. I wouldn’t say there are any drawbacks to learning online, and extra courses such as Arabic and Mandarin were offered as supplements. There were many expected impediments from COVID - 19, but none came from LCM, considering how well the program handled the situation.

Nico D. 9th grade

LCM online class is truly fantastic. Being online has enabled us to hear from a wide range of speakers that might not otherwise be accessible to us while conducting class in a manner that is similar to normal. It has even allowed for extensions to the usual program, with classes such as Arabic and Mandarin occurring. In short, there is little that is detrimental with the new online program, with plenty of added benefit.

Noah S. 8th grade

LCM Classes on Zoom provide the same experience as LCM when it is in person, besides the conventions of formal debate. It is still very engaging and fun, as we still connect with our peers and teachers during class. During class in the past few weeks, we have discussed numerous issues going on in the real world today, helping me stay informed on politics during this pandemic. Overall, LCM classes on Zoom are a very nice way to spend my time during this quarantine and have helped me stay informed on current events.

Rohan D. 7th grade

I’ve enjoyed the online Zoom classes for LCM.  It’s almost like being in the classroom!  This month, I am very excited to learn Arabic. I really appreciate all the effort LCM has made to continue classes and add even more!

Ryan J.  6th grade

LCM was proactive and switched to Zoom seamlessly.  I enjoyed LCM classes (almost) as much as I had previously enjoyed live classes, and the teacher did a terrific job of keeping us engaged.  I applaud their efforts and look forward to seeing them live again next year.

Sadie C. 6th grade

LCM online classes were a really good way for me to continue my learning and keep current on world events.  It helped me to continue to grow my public speaking and debate skills.  Having this online class gave me something to do and participate in during quarantine.  I overall learned a lot about what is happening in the world, and I really enjoyed it!

Sam S.  8th grade

I like the online dynamic of the Zoom classes for LCM.  On Zoom, you can be muted, and you can unmute yourself when you need to speak.  This helps with the pace of the class so that more work and learning can be done.  The only thing I would try to remove, is the chat function, at least the chat function for "everyone".  I have had some experiences with this and I think it can be distracting to some delegates, it is a bit like passing notes in class.  People might get more caught up in the chat conversation than the actual speaker who came to speak about a topic they are passionate about.  Overall, it is a great, new, and interesting way to attend LCM!


*LCM has been sponsored by the Stanford School of Medicine for 13 consecutive years, and as of May 2022, LCM became sponsored by the Stanford School of Law.

It is essential that we enable young people to see themselves as participants in one of the most exciting eras in history and to have a sense of purpose in relation to it.

~Nelson A. Rockefeller