CYL is a unique summer camp experience for youth ages 14-18. This series of week-long programs brings young people together from all across Ontario to learn about and practice the International co-operative principles, communication, and leadership through games, team building and community projects. For over 50 years, the Co-operative Young Leaders Program (CYL) has been educating and engaging youth in co-operatives. Since its inception in 1967, over 3,300 young people have gone through the program, thanks to the co-operatives and credit unions that have supported it over the years!

In 2017, we also launched Base Camp, a weekend long retreat for youth, ages 12-13, which provides an introduction to co-operatives, credit unions and CYL.


To view the dates and fees for the 2019 program year, click on the 2019 CYL Program link. Feel free to share our 2019 CYL poster with your networks!

We bring together young co-operators from across Ontario with established co-op mentors in a relationship that embraces and enhances their leadership potential. 

CYL is an experiential learning program that integrates co-operative principles with teambuilding practices, empowers youth to be visionaries, and equips them with the change-making tools they need to excel. They develop self-confidence, learn from inspiring guest speakers, and have a lot of fun with camp-like activities. Who knew that public speaking, and business conceptualization could be so exciting!

The Benefits of Participating in and Supporting the CYL Program:

1. It fulfils a need to educate youth on co-operatives - and the values and principles inherent in the model,

2. It develops communication and leadership skills that youth can apply in all aspects of their lives,

3. It instills a sense of confidence and greater purpose among youth participants,

4. It provides adults with a unique professional development opportunity that helps strengthen their co-operative or credit union.

Program Overview

"CYL really does change your life." 

- Facilitator

Our CYL program is designed to provide youth ages 14 - 18, with an incredible opportunity to learn and practice communication and leadership skills. Held over July and August, youth participate in a week-long session that includes a variety of co-operative activities, while learning about the co-operative principles and business model. The immediate objectives of CYL are to increase their awareness of a different way of living and doing business, as they prepare to go out into the world, with the ultimate goal of furthering their engagement with the co-operatives and credit unions in their communities when they return home - and hopefully, throughout their lives.

CYL is also an opportunity for adults within the co-operative sector to further their own professional development, through both our facilitator training program, as well as facilitating a week of camp. Facilitators improve their own communication and leadership skills, while also expanding their knowledge of co-operatives. They then bring these new skills and learnings back to their co-operatives and credit unions, which is a win-win for both the facilitator and their organization! Learn more about the 2019 CYL program, including information on participant and facilitator registration and training.

Stay Connected with CYL!

Subscribe to the CYL Newsletter to stay informed about program information. 

Click here and choose the "CYL Newsletter" option.