Not Your Average Summer Camp!


Enter our raffle to win your free leadership summer camp experience



We Empower Tomorrow’s Leaders with the skills to change the world! 


Operation Leadership is the realization of a dream to bring elite leadership education to the ultimate summer camp experience.

This not a boot camp, but Operation Leadership does expose campers to former military leaders and their amazing experiences. These leaders bring the specific concepts and skills of effective leadership to life through engaging teaching seminars and motivational speeches, military-style leadership projects, and team-building leadership adventures.

Summer 2016

June registrations are now closed. 

Space for the July session is limited.  Register today!

We are currently accepting 62 girls and 62 boys for July 11-23.

A safe environment at an amazing location in Asheville, NC

YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly has one of the largest and most comprehensive challenge course facilities in the country, featuring eight different low ropes and high ropes climbing facilities. Also, enjoy mountain biking, pool parties, bonfires, and all sorts of other fun.

This is a camp for the driven, the motivated, those with a sense of purpose. It is the opportunity to be surrounded by other young people with these same traits, and a team of adults who are committed to their success.

Lodging & Meals
Free TIme
Save On Tuition

"Each year we receive far more applications than we will interview and hire.  It is difficult for applicants to distinguish themselves in the screening process based simply on where they went to school or their GPA. If I see that a young applicant has made the decision to develop themselves as leaders and communicators through a program like Operation Leadership, they really stand out. An interest in leadership and the willingness to apply themselves to it is a major distinguishing factor in our recruiting process.”

-Gary Thomson, CPA
Mid-Atlantic Managing Partner, Dixon Hughes Goodman


Leadership is a specific set of concepts and skills. Leaders are not born. They are raised, taught, mentored, coached, and developed. Our goal at Operation Leadership is to see exceptional young people who will get their degree in something other than leadership, receive advanced leadership education. They will have the opportunity to be exposed to graduate-level leadership coaching, to be mentored by expert leaders, and enjoy the best adventure and excitement that summer camp has to offer. All for the price of a traditional summer camp.

It occurred to us that young people who go to college to be doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers, coaches, accountants, entrepreneurs, etc., will likely get everything they need to begin their career after college. What they will probably not get in college is what they need to be truly successful... an education in the art and science of leadership.

Challenge Course

Operation Leadership’s team understands that leadership education has to be an experience. Leadership is best learned in a fun environment that inspires students to solve problems as part of a productive team. That is why most of the fun that Operation Leadership students participate in has a very specific leadership development or team building focus. The leadership principles discussed with teachers and speakers will be applied immediately in the camp environment.

Corporations spend big money sending their executives and middle managers to leadership events that involve team-building ropes courses and similar activities. That’s because they understand the importance of developing skills like emotional intelligence, selflessness, active listening, etc., to the success of their organization. At Operation Leadership, these valuable tools and insights are all part of the camp experience. Leadership is learned through practice. Operation Leadership simply makes that practice more fun, more challenging, more often.

Inspirational Keynote Speakers

Campers get to listen to true American heroes who are inspirational leaders and leadership experts.

Kirk Lippold

Commander Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.), author of Front Burner: The Attack on the USS Cole, knows what it takes to create the foundation for successful leadership that prepares teams to rise to any challenge they may face. In 2000, when the USS Cole was attacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists in the port of Aden, Yemen, Lippold and his crew distinguished themselves by saving the American warship from sinking in the face of one of the most brazen acts of terrorism prior to September 11, 2001.
With this unique and invaluable experience, Commander Lippold has briefed over 6,000 military officers, 2,000 federal and state law enforcement officers, and given over 300 presentations on this seminal event in the war on terrorism. A US Naval Academy graduate, Lippold has received the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Meritorious Service Medal among others.

Matt Eversman

First Sergeant Matt Eversmann's legendary leadership while facing the horrors of war cemented his status as an American military hero. Portrayed by Josh Hartnett, Eversmann was immortalized in the epic film, Black Hawk Down, which recounts the 18 harrowing hours when US soldiers in Somalia were trapped in a hostile district of Mogadishu. Young Rangers and Delta Force soldiers fought side-by-side, outnumbered and marked for death by an angry mob, until a rescue convoy was mounted. 

Committed to sharing the lessons he learned in the military, inspirational speaker Matt Eversmann focuses on motivating all people, be they soldiers, students, or employees, through values-based leadership, encouraging them to do their best and dedicate themselves to a cause. His courage and patriotism are unmatched, and his power as a motivational speaker is unrivaled.

Activities and adventures to teach and entertain

Operation Leadership is the realization of a dream to bring elite leadership education and training to the ultimate summer camp experience. We strive to provide that little extra that pushes our campers to strive to be a better version of themselves and have fun doing it!

Look at some of the amazing experiences you child will participate in during this 12-day summer camp. 

Zip Line Course

This is not an ordinary camp zip line! Campers will have a blast on over 3 hours of the steepest and fastest zip line in the United States through the trees of the Blue Ridge Mountains!

White Water Kayaking

If you are looking for a high-adventure, heart-pumping whitewater experience, this is it! One of the steepest commercially-run sections of whitewater in the Southeast, the Upper Green consists of continuous class II and III rapids and two class IVs. 


Now playing in all summer camp sessions


Why Operation Leadership Summer Camp?

“If you’re going to invest in summer camp for your son or daughter, you want it to be something special.

At Operation Leadership, summer recreational activities are peripheral to the real purpose of camp: enriching your child’s life in preparation to accomplish their dreams.”

Joseph Thompson-Sexton

Camp Director