Summit Highlights: Yale University

Experience Summit adventure at Yale University!

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Join one of our longtime Ambassador Leaders, Meghan Kendle, as she explores the sights and experiences of the Leadership in Action Summit at Yale University. For the students attending the Summit this summer, adventure awaits!

Founded in 1701, Yale University has created a global impact by educating world leaders for more than 300 years. In fact, four Yale graduates signed the Declaration of Independence! Yale was the first planned college campus in America and is home to the oldest literary review in the country — The Yale Literary Magazine was first published in 1836.

Yale is also home to one of only 49 Gutenberg Bibles left in existence. Located inside the Beinecke Libarary (pictured above), the Gutenberg Bibles were the first books created using movable type. Before then, everything was hand-copied! At more than 550 years old, when you see this Bible, you’re getting an incredible look at living history! Beinecke Library is visually stunning as well. Known for its rare books and manuscripts, the library has glassed-in bookcases stacked 6 stories high! In place of windows, outside light filters through thin panes of marble to help protect the library’s precious contents from harmful sunlight.

For sports fans, Yale University has a rich history of athletics. In 1843, New Haven Harbor hosted the first collegiate rowing races. The first modern baseball was developed at Yale in 1865. Fifteen years later, Walter Camp, now known as the Father of Football, created the modern version of the sport during his tenure at Yale. In 1897, the first game of 5-man basketball was played at the university.

Built in 1921, Harkness Memorial Tower is located at the heart of Yale’s campus and, at 216 feet tall, towers above nearby buildings. Each Friday evening in the summer, you’ll see people gathered in lawn chairs at its base, ready to enjoy a summer concert of its 54-bell carillon. Be sure to keep your ears attuned during the Summit for the tower’s renditions of current radio songs as well as classical music.

Yale’s host city, New Haven, was originally home to a small tribe of Native Americans, the Quinnipiak. This indigenous tribe agreed to sell land to the Puritans with the stipulations that the Quinnipiak be protected and retain land for their tribe. The Puritans agreed to the terms and began building the city we see today. The town of New Haven was planned on a nine-square grid with The Green designated as a common public space which is still in use today. While walking through campus during the summer months, you just might see and hear concerts taking place on The Green attended by hundreds of New Haven’s residents.

During your Summit, you will have the opportunity to grow as an individual, as a future leader, and — most importantly — as a team member. The United Way service project you complete with guidance from the organization’s dedicated staff not only awards you service-learning credit but also allows you to make a direct and immediate impact on the local community.

To affect your own community, you will work with your teammates and your teacher leader to create a Lead2Feed community action plan. This plan, or one that you create using the same steps, can be implemented to address a need you identify in your home community. Both at the Summit and back at home, you’ll have all the tools you need to lead through service!

The ropes course challenge is one of the many popular activities students attending the Summit at Yale get to experience. Test your limits on both the low- and high-ropes courses. Fantastic staff members from the challenge course are trained to help you conquer obstacles both physically and mentally while keeping you safe. Whether you’re taking the first step up the ladder or reaching the end of the course, you’ll find your teammates and your teacher leader cheering you on! Rely on your group! You’ll be amazed at the bonds you develop in this afternoon of outdoor adventure.

Get ready for New York City to welcome you onto its bustling streets! You’ll explore the “Big Apple” by foot and motor coach, getting the chance to see famous landmarks like Central Park and shop in Times Square. The M&Ms World Store is a must-see! Before your day-trip ends, you will also have a chance to visit the 9/11 Memorial Park in Lower Manhattan and see the beautiful fountains that have been erected where the Twin Towers once stood.

Finally, if attendance at Yale is your ultimate goal, you’re in for a treat! Student who attend our Leadership in Action Summit will have the chance to hear directly from current Yale students and college admissions advisors. During the Collge Life Panel, Ambassador Leaders can ask questions about the college application process as well as the perks and challenges of college life at Yale. These discussions give our students valuable insights about what they can do to prepare for their post-high school life, no matter which college or university they’ve set their sights on.

The Summit at Yale is a week packed with irreplaceable learning and life experiences. We’re so excited to see you there and help you step up into leadership!


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By Meghan Kendle

Meghan, an educator from Oregon, has been an active member of Ambassador Leaders for years and has traveled the world with students. She’s a dedicated educator, traveler, and musician. After living and teaching in Australia, she considers the country her second home.