Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for the Center for Conservation Leadership program?
CCL is targeted to current freshmen and sophomores living in Lake County, IL. Special consideration given to current juniors.

How many students participate in CCL each year?
Each year, CCL enrolls 12-18 students from a variety of schools and communities throughout Lake County, IL.

Do I need to have prior experience camping or in the outdoors?
There is no experience necessary to participate in the program. Just an interest in getting outside!

How do I apply?
You must complete all three components of the application:

To do this, download the application from our website and send it in or complet the application online (see links above).

Give the recommendation form to a teacher or someone outside your family who knows you well. Ask them to send it directly to CCL. The instructions are on the form.

Who can write my letter of recommendation?

  • An adult who knows you well but is not a member of your family. This can be a teacher, coach, employer, church or youth group leader, etc.
  • Ask your recommender to complete and return the recommendation form before the specified date. The recommendation is confidential and should be returned directly to us by email or mail. The instructions are on the form.
  • If your recommender returns the recommendation to you, the envelope should be sealed with the recommender’s signature over the flap. Return it directly to us without breaking the seal.

When will I know if I have been accepted into the program?
Students are accepted into the program on a rolling basis. We will notify you of your acceptance 2-3 weeks upon receipt of your completed application materials. All students will be notified by April 15th.

What happens after I am accepted into the program?

  • When accepted, you will need to complete an Intent to Enroll form and submit a non-refundable $200 deposit.
  • You will receive a packet of information including health forms which you and your parents/guardians will complete and return to CCL by the specified date.

What is the $200 deposit?
This deposit secures your spot in the program.  All students are required to submit this.

The CCL program is expensive, what if my family can afford the tuition cost?
CCL will not turn away a student for financial reason. Though our generous donors and supporters, CCL provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships.

How do I pay my tuition?
Once accepted into the program, remaining payments may be made by credit card, check, or cash.

What does my tuition cover?
Your tuition covers all expenses for the year-long program including:

  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Lodging
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Guides
  • Workdays and workshops
  • Field Trips

Who can apply for a scholarship?
Anyone who would not be able to participate in CCL without financial assistance.

How much aid can I receive?

  • Financial assistance is awarded according to need or merit.
  • Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit a $200 non-refundable deposit.
  • The typical award ranges from $500 to $2,800. Please do not apply for more assistance than you need.

What do I need to apply for the scholarship?

Northern Wisconsin trip questions

How do we get to Northern Wisconsin?
Students and staff travel together on a group bus or van. The group departs and returns to Lake Forest Open Lands, 350 N. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest.

Who are the other students on the trip?
Other high school students from various schools throughout Lake County, IL.

Who supervises the trip?
2 – 3 trained CCL staff supervise the trip. CCL also works with experts, teachers and other professionals at the places we visit in northern WI.

What sorts of training will the instructors have?

  • All CCL staff have Diversity, Harassment, First Aid and CPR training as well as experience working with teens.
  • We work with experts in the various places we visit. These professionals have extensive expertise in their field and experience working with teens and college students.

What gear do I need?
A What to Bring list is included in your acceptance packet. You do not need new or expensive clothing or equipment for the trip. All camping and other necessary gear will be provided for you.  CCL has sleeping bags and other equipment for those who need these items

May I bring my cell phone?
Students do not bring cell phones on the Wisconsin trip. There is limited cell service in the area and students are able to better become immersed in the natural world without this distraction.

How will be my family know how I am doing?
Families can keep up with students through social media. CCL staff post trip and student updates and photos on Facebook and Instagram.

What if there is a medical or other emergency?
Families and students will be contacted through staff in case of an emergency. There are medical personnel available throughout the trip.

Do I need money while we are on the trip?
You do not need to bring any money. The tuition or scholarship includes all food, lodging and transportation. If you would like to by a souvenir, you can bring a small amount of money but is not necessary. You are responsible for any money you may bring.

What if I can’t swim?
You do not need to know how to swim to participate in any activities. Personal floatation devices (PFDs) are worn by all students at all times when on or near water.

What do we eat? Can food allergies and other dietary needs be accommodated for?
Nutritious and tasty breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are provided daily. We accommodate all allergies and dietary restrictions.

Where will we be sleeping?
Students sleep in gender divided cabins, dorms rooms and tents. Students bring sleeping bags or use those provided by CCL. It is not necessary to bring any bedding.

For additional questions, please contact us at or 847.910.4610.

Conserve. Inspire. Lead.