Imagine a community where adults and youth make personal and social responsibility a priority, where people use their unique skills and talents to make their community a better place, where creative solutions, positive actions, and kind words are the catalyst for change. The Vietnamese Culture and Science Association (VCSA) would like to invite you to share in a special vision for our community development.

The commitment to lifelong learning, achievement, and improvement usually begins at an early age. Young people who have accepted leadership roles in their organization or community and demonstrated an early commitment to others should be encouraged and supported in their development. With the rising of the Vietnamese-American population in North America and the emerging of many youth-led community organizations, there is a growing demand to have a positive environment where young community activists can sharpen their leadership skills, network with their peers, and share their experiences over the years of community involvement. With that in mind, since 1998, VCSA has organized the annual Youth Leadership Development Camp, namely Len Duong Camp (or “Embark on a Journey”).

The camp program is carefully designed to empower young Vietnamese-Americans to become effective leaders in their respective organizations through leadership education and hands-on experience. Each year, Len Duong Camp provides approximately 250-300 young people with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills in a camp setting. Participants are exposed to the concepts, elements, and the process of leadership, learn to recognize group dynamics and to understand its effects on the leadership process, and enhance their powers of analysis relating to critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and conflict resolution.

In community service organizations, collaborations are frequent and essential for the success of delivering the desired impacts. Indeed, the Len Duong Camp project involved collaborations and partnerships between VCSA and many other community-based groups, educational institutions, small businesses, and corporations. We are especially fortunate to receive support from LEAP (Leadership for Asian Pacific, Inc.) for providing leadership development workshops and seminars at the camp since 2003.

In the past twenty years, Len Duong Camp has served over 4,500 young community activists and students. In this unique environment, campers have sharpened their leadership skills and realized their potential as future leaders. They return each year more motivated, more equipped for and committed to community involvement. Based on the feedback we have received from campers and on tracking actual campers’ community involvement, the impact of these camps has been one of the biggest success stories in the Vietnamese American community.

VCSA has fully committed its support and resources to this strategic project. A staff of 40 volunteers contributes approximately 6,000 hours of service to Len Duong Camp project each year. This project has proven successful in the past years.

Our Goal:

The goal of VCSA’s Youth Leadership development camp is to develop future leaders for Asian-American communities, especially focusing on Vietnamese-Americans. 

Our Objectives:

  • Increase by 10 percent the number of campers who will be taking active leadership role after the camp (as measured by the number of youths who will become officers of their respective organizations after attending the camp)
  • Increase volunteerism by 20 percent (as measured by the number of youths involved in community activities after the camp)
  • Build a network where young people can share experiences and ideas
  • Encourage friendship and open possibilities for the future collaboration of Vietnamese-American youth-led organizations across the nation in community projects
  • Build cultural heritage awareness to bridge the generation gap in the Vietnamese-American community; increase by 15 percent the number of campers who become more committed to learning about their roots and their cultural heritage.

Our Target Groups

  • Young community leaders or the young professional already involved in community projects.
  • Leaders of other youth-led organizations with a strong interest in community involvement.
  • Vietnamese American Student Association officers for all U.S. and Canada universities. 
Measure Of Success
  • Request evaluations from campers and post the results on our Web site
  • Count the number of campers who become officers in their local community organizations after the camp.
  • Track the number of campers involved with community work and see an increased by 15 percent (i.e. 15 percent of campers after the camp are inspired to become leaders or active members of an organization); gather first-hand accounts.
  • Encourage campers to help organize the next camp Len Duong.