21st Annual TLT Youth Leadership Conference

Conference Mission
The purpose of the TLT conference is to show young people their potential as leaders, to teach them leadership skills, and to identify ways they can become participating citizens in their communities. The conference is also intended to inspire and energize professionals who work with youth.

TLT Design

Conference Guidelines

We ask that agencies only send youth that genuinely express an interest and desire to attend. Requiring youth to attend contradicts the goal of fostering youths' capacity to impact change and self-determination. Please do not "high pressure" youth in their decision-making about attendance by highlighting the chance for a trip out of town or a cool boat ride. We really want youth that are committed to building their leadership skills and to connecting with other youth that want to do the same. Voluntary participation helps to lay the foundation for a positive and rich experience for all attendees.

Similarly, we ask that you choose adult chaperones that are committed to ongoing support of youth in their efforts at becoming leaders in their communities, agencies, or programs. It is our hope that attendance at this conference will help with the development of youth-adult partnerships in programs throughout the state.

We have included some guidelines to help make your TLT experience a success:


  • Registration is from noon - 2:00 PM.  Conference starts promptly at 3:00 PM. Plan to arrive at UMD early to allow time to park, carry in baggage, register your group, get dorm keys and assignments, and find your rooms.
  • The conference opening begins at 3pm. Plan to arrive at UMD at least one hour before then to allow time to park, carry in baggage, register your group, get dorm keys and assignments, and find your rooms.
  • Choose the youth you bring to TLT very carefully. Are they mature and responsible? Can they abide by the expectations of full participation in conference activities, no drugs, alcohol, or sexual activity?
  • Be familiar with behavior expectations for youth attending the TLT conference. They are included in the registration materials. Give a copy of the expectations to each registered youth and review the expectations with them.
  • Praise youth for positive behavior. Encourage them to be role models. Encourage them to take risks and speak out in workshops. Reward any positive behavior you see by giving a pink ticket.
  • Check in with your youth and verify their full participation by eating meals with them. Consider having youth keep a journal on the workshops they attended. Help youth apply what they learn in workshops to their lives and communities.
  • Do not hesitate to confront any of the youth at the conference or to speak with their youth worker, if you see behavior that is not appropriate.
  • Make it clear to youth that they should not be in the dormitories during the day. If your youth are "missing" during the day, go look for them in the dormitories.
  • Check to make sure youth are in their dorm rooms after the dance on Wednesday and after the cruise on Thursday. If they are not in their rooms, it is your responsibility to get them to their rooms.
  • Know your youths' medical histories, as well any medications they are taking. Make sure youth bring MA cards and/or parents' medical insurance information with them. Consider bringing a first aid kit. There is not a nurse on duty at UMD.
  • Before you leave for TLT, arrange a plan for returning a youth home, if their behavior violates conference expectations. Will a foster parent or parent come to Duluth to get the youth? Will one of your group's youth workers take the youth home? Or will your entire group have to return home?

Who Should Attend

  • This conference is for those youth who do not typically recieve recognition for their true leadership qualities and potential.
  • Youth must be Agency- Sponsored/ 16-20 years of age.
  • These are often identified as "at risk" youth.
  • They are not usually represented in other youth leadership training.