top of page


When and where will the programs be held?

Dates and location for the 2023 Seminar will be announced soon. Participants must be present for the entire event, including overnight.

Directions, a parking map, and information on check in procedures will be provided when

you register for the seminar.

What is the cost to attend?


The seminar registration fee is paid prior to the seminar by the school, by a community organization or other sponsor, or by the student’s parents. Each high school handles this a little differently, so check with your guidance counselor to determine how your school manages registration.


The registration fee is paid to HOBY International; a percentage of this payment is then forwarded to the local seminar site to help pay for lodging, meals, transportation, and other seminar expenses. A large part of the costs for the Central Pennsylvania Leadership Seminar are subsidized by the generous donations and in-kind support that we receive from area civic clubs, community foundations, businesses and individuals.

The first student registered from each high school pays a $225 registration fee. The fee for additional students from that high school, or for students who register directly, is $395.

Your out-of-pocket costs may include travel expenses to and from the seminar, and purchases that you may choose to make at the HOBY Store.

How do I register?


High school guidance counselors may register students online, or may contact our Recruitment Team at with any questions or requests for assistance.


What happens after I am registered?


Once you have been registered for the Leadership Seminar, you will receive the Ambassador Pre-Seminar Materials containing everything you need to know. The planning committee will send this information to you approximately 6 weeks before the event.


Make sure to mark the program dates on your calendar now, and get ready for a memorable experience!


Is transportation provided?


Participants must arrange their own transportation to and from the seminar.

We strongly discourage students from driving themselves to and from the seminar. If it is necessary for a student to drive, our staff will collect and secure their car keys until the program ends on Sunday.


During the seminar, students will be transported on chartered school buses to an offsite volunteer opportunity on Saturday. Ambassadors will not be transported in private vehicles.


Who are the chaperones?


Facilitators are adult (age 21+) volunteer staff members assigned to a group of 8 or 9

students throughout the seminar. They encourage discussions, lead activities, and provide supervision for all activities.


Facilitators-in-Training are college students or young professionals (ages 18-20) who are teamed with an adult facilitator to assist with each group.


Our Staff is comprised of youth and adult volunteers who serve in various roles throughout the weekend. Many of our staff members are HOBY Alumni who were participants in the Leadership Seminar and other HOBY programs as high school sophomores, and who return each year to dedicate their time and energy to providing a similar experience for this year’s Ambassadors.

Any person who is responsible for the health and safety of HOBY program participants must be at least 21 years of age. Facilitators and Staff remain on campus or with the participants at offsite locations during the entire event and are available 24 hours a day.

What safety measures are in place?


During the seminar, participants under age 18 are required to practice the “buddy system” whenever they leave the larger group (restroom, water break, etc.).


We maintain an adult to student ratio of no more than 12:1 at all times. All volunteers over age 18 are required to successfully complete a background check, including the Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History report, the Pennsylvania State Child Abuse Clearance for Volunteers Having Contact with Children, and a Federal Background Check, including fingerprinting. These are the same level of requirement for all PA public school teachers.


Should an emergency situation arise while we are on campus, we will follow emergency procedures prescribed by the University. When we are off campus, we follow the emergency procedures of the facility that we are visiting.


Use or possession of alcohol, unauthorized or illegal drugs, tobacco products, and/or weapons of any kind is strictly prohibited for all participants and may result in expulsion from the program.

HOBY mandates the reporting of any reasonable, good faith suspicion of child abuse of any nature and threats of danger to self or others, including terroristic threats, to the appropriate authorities.


What should I expect when I get there?


At the Central Pennsylvania Leadership Seminar, you can expect:

  • To be exposed to important ideas, including opinions that may differ from your own

  • To interact one-on-one with decision makers in education, government, business and other professions

  • To jump in and discover more about issues impacting you and your community

  • To be challenged to make a difference in your community

  • To commit to devoting 100 hours to volunteer service in the next year to help make your community stronger, in any way you believe you can

  • To make new friends who are also committed to making a positive difference in this world

  • And to have more fun than you ever expected!


From the moment you arrive at a HOBY program, you will be treated like a leader and encouraged to think critically about a wide range of issues that impact your life and the world. We expect all Ambassadors to participate in all activities and discussions, and to respect their peers and our volunteer staff.


The program will not promote any specific political party, religion, or way of thinking, but is designed to develop critical thinking skills by actively involving participants in discussions and informal debate.


Being selected to attend the Leadership Seminar is an honor bestowed upon those who have demonstrated leadership potential through their actions and comportment at their schools and in their home communities. We expect the students who attend the Seminar to conduct themselves maturely and respectfully at all times, and to abide by the rules we have established for the weekend.


What happens at the Seminar?


On Thursday, you’ll check in to the residence hall and start getting to know your fellow Ambassadors and the HOBY staff. We will be on campus all day, and our schedule will include speakers and activities focusing on developing personal and group leadership skills. 


Friday, we will focus on group and social leadership, take a closer look into mental health and gratitude. Finishing up the night with some down time and a dance.


On Saturday we’ll break up into groups and visit area non-profits to learn more about their roles in the community and how and who they serve. We’ll also get to know some of the staff and volunteers who provide these valuable community resources and begin thinking about the ways that we can make a difference in our home communities. In the afternoon, we’ll log three hours of community service working on a project with these organizations. We’ll return to campus where we’ll hear from other Ambassadors about their volunteer experiences, participate in a panel with community leaders, and hear from a keynote speaker. An evening social activity and group time will cap off a long and rewarding day.


Sunday is our last day at the Seminar, and we’ll spend the morning learning how we can apply what we have learned at HOBY when we return home. We’ll talk to HOBY Alumni about their paths after the seminar and how to stay involved with HOBY. After some time for reflection and a last lunch with our groups, we’ll head to the closing ceremony. Ambassadors will reunite with their families at the conclusion of the closing ceremony and then check out of the residence halls.


What are the accommodations like?


The dorms are cis-gendered dorms, with a male dorm and female dorm. The residence halls are secured, and access to the facility is regulated by swipe card. Only HOBY participants may access these buildings. Our adult staff performs nightly bed checks of all student rooms.


Ambassadors will share a room with another participant of the same age group and gender. If the ambassador if non-binary or transgender, our staff will be in contact to ensure they are housed appropriately.  We cannot accept roommate requests. Bathrooms are communal. The rooms are air-conditioned. Participants must provide their own linens, pillow and towels. (A complete packing list will be provided with the Ambassador Pre-Seminar Materials.)


Are facilities accessible?


We strive to make our programs inclusive of all participants and ask that you please notify the Leadership Seminar Chair at of any accessibility needs by May 1, so that we can work with you to arrange appropriate resources.


What about meals?

All participants in HOBY programs will receive three nutritious meals each day and snacks in the afternoon and evening.


On campus meals are served at the Dining Hall. The dining hall offers all-you-care-to-eat meals, served buffet style. Usually at least two entrees are offered at every meal, plus the dining hall offers a grill, pizza station and a salad bar. The dining hall also includes an allergen-free station.


Off campus meals and snacks are planned by HOBY staff, and many of the components are contributed by local restaurants and grocery stores. All foods are commercially prepared. Please bring a refillable water bottle (or plan to purchase one at the HOBY Store when you arrive) to help reduce waste.


If you have special dietary considerations, please notify us when you register, and indicate your dietary needs. We plan to provide choices appropriate for the following preferences; however, if you have a special need that is not covered below, please notify the Leadership Seminar Chair at and we will work with you to accommodate your requirements.

  • I Eat Everything (no restrictions)

  • Pescatarian

  • Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

  • Vegan

  • Diabetic

  • No Pork

  • No Red Meat

  • Lactose Free

  • Gluten Free

  • Kosher

  • Halal

  • Peanut Allergy

  • All Nut Allergy

  • Shellfish Allergy


What should I bring?

A complete packing list and information on the HOBY dress code will be provided in the Ambassador Pre-Seminar Materials.

We participate in a variety of types of activities during the four day seminar, and we ask that you plan to bring appropriate attire for the following situations:

  • Thursday – T-shirt or polo representing your school or community, with jeans, khakis, or a skirt and comfortable shoes

  • Friday – Business Casual- blouse, blazer, collared shirt, polo, dress pants, khakis, skirt or dress, tie optional.

  • Friday Evening – Casual clothing complying with the dress code (if you wouldn't wear it to school, don't wear it at HOBY)

  • Saturday – HOBY t-shirt (which we’ll provide), jeans & closed-toe shoes. Be prepared for any weather conditions – we volunteer rain or shine! We suggest packing:

    • boots or old sneakers that you don’t mind getting dirty

    • jacket or sweatshirt

    • rain gear or umbrella

    • sunscreen and sunglasses or a hat

    • work/garden gloves

  • Saturday Evening – Casual clothing complying with the dress code

  • Sunday – Business Casual​


What if I am registered and then unable to attend?


If circumstances arise that prevent you from attending the entire program, we would like to give another student from your school the opportunity to participate. Please immediately go to the high school counselor or principal who registered you and inform him/her of your situation. Please also contact to let us know. Be sure to follow up without delay, because a cancellation fee may apply.


Students are not permitted to leave and then return to the Seminar for any reason, including school or sporting events.


What if I need to take medication or I become injured or ill?

At check in, the HOBY Healthcare Provider will collect all medications and will securely store them for the duration of the seminar. All medication must be provided in its original container as labeled by the pharmacy, and participants should only bring as much medication as will reasonably be needed during the event.


Proper administration and dosage of medication shall be the sole responsibility of the participant. HOBY will have no responsibility in seeing that the participant takes the medication as prescribed by the doctor and HOBY volunteers will not dispense prescription medication for participants during the event.


The HOBY Healthcare Provider will be available in the morning, at meal times, in the evening, and at other times as required so that Ambassadors can pick up medications as needed. Medications will be returned to parents/guardians at check out on Sunday.


The first responder in case of a medical emergency will be the HOBY Healthcare Provider, who will determine an appropriate course of action.  Please review and sign the medical release included in the registration materials so any required treatment at a local facility is not delayed in case of emergency. 


How can I contact my child?


As a courtesy to our speakers and presenters, and to help our Ambassadors stay engaged with the activities in our curriculum, we strictly limit use of cell phones and ask that all phones be silenced and put away whenever an activity is taking place.

Our schedule is very busy and we are on the go from early morning until late evening, so please don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from your Ambassador! We ask that parents/guardians, friends, and family members please do not call or text Ambassadors during scheduled activities. Parents/guardians will be given a copy of our agenda at check in.


You can follow along with our Seminar activities on social media:


No outside guests are permitted in or around the seminar facilities after Check In on Thursday or prior to the Closing Ceremony on Sunday. Ambassadors will reunite with their families after the Closing Ceremony.


In case of emergency, our staff will be available 24/7. Emergency contact phone numbers will be provided in the Ambassador Pre-Seminar Materials.


Who do I contact if I have questions?


If you have any questions about the Central Pennsylvania Leadership Seminar, please email Arielle Harleman, Leadership Seminar Chair, at

bottom of page