Building Better, More Responsible Teens

By Delorese Gregoire, director of Winners’ Camp Hawaii Leadership Academy

Since I founded Winners’ Camp three decades ago, more than 15,000 teens have participated in the weeklong program, learning to better themselves, set goals and improve academic success.


Image 2 of 2

Teens take part in a Da Vines behaviorial exercise at a recent Leadership Academy camp PHOTOS COURTESY WINNERS' CAMP

“Camp was one of the best times I have ever had in my life. I really learned so much that I know will help me in school.”—Alicia Clark, graduate

“This leadership program is one of the best investments we made in our son Koa. Parent day was worth the whole tuition.” —Lani, parent and community leader

“At Winners’ Camp, no matter the challenges we face and circumstances we end up in, we learn the skills to face them and the core values to live by.” —Dylan Encarnacion, graduate

What is Winners’ Camp all about?

Our facilitators include graduates, experienced professional counselors and prominent business and community leaders. Teens learn to make positive choices by practicing the 5 R’s of character building:

• Respect: being mindful of others’ feelings

• Responsibility: owning their choices

• Resourcefulness: being creative and thinking independently

• Restraint: being selective in their choices

• Resilience: bouncing back from challenges and moving forward.

Campers participate in experiential activities to anchor their breakthroughs, both emotionally and physically, to their everyday lives. One of the significant events at Winners’ Camp involves a series of rope courses, where teens learn about trust by relying on others to help them.

Students also improve their school studies by discovering how they best absorb knowledge, whether they are visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners, and how they can become “whole brain thinkers.”

Family day is a key component of the curriculum. Parents, grandparents and teens share goals and learn proactive language tools that inspire open communications.

Teens enjoy a serene retreat with comfortable dorms, delicious home-cooked meals, new friends and new pathways to success.

I grew up in a series of abusive foster homes. Escaping to Hawaii saved my life. I started Winners’ Camp to share with teens the lessons I learned through my hardships and my successes.

The next Leadership Academies are March 23-27 and July 19-25.

Winners’ Camp is a nonprofit educational organization with a tax-deductible 501(c)3 status. We are always searching for donors with a heart for kids. Please send a deserving teen to camp by donating via our website. More information about the camp and partial scholarships is available at