Frequently Asked Questions
What are the eligibility requirements to enroll?
Louisiana residents between the ages of 16 and 18 are eligible to attend YCP. Applicants should have a strong desire to complete a structured and disciplined program, and must attend an interview in order to apply.
Where are the three Louisiana YCP locations and when do they start?
Louisiana operates three Youth Challenge Programs. Each camp conducts two classes per year, and is open to applicants throughout the state. Camp Minden near Shreveport begins classes every February and August. Camp Beauregard near Alexandria begins classes every January and July. The Gillis W. Long Center near Baton Rouge begins classes every April and October.
Are graduates obligated to join the military?
No. Although YCP is administered by The Louisiana National Guard, students are not required to join the military. All students take the ASVAB, and interested graduates that meet specific eligibility qualifications and requirements may enlist in the military branch of their choice.
Do all students earn their high school equivalency diploma while in residence?
During the 5 month Residential Phase students attend daily classes with certified instructors and work at their own pace to improve their math and reading skills in order to increase their individual grade level. Those students who meet state eligibility requirements are provided the opportunity to test for their high school equivalency diploma.
Are there any educational opportunities for students in the program?
In collaboration with Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) near Shreveport, LA, The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program is proud to offer students exciting educational opportunities while enrolled in the Residential Phase of YCP. Students who qualify to participate in the BPCC program have the potential to earn up to 15 hours of college credit. In addition, YCP graduates are also eligible to attend and earn scholarships to the Job Challenge Program that provides vocational skills and entry level certification to aquire critical career skills.
Is this a boot camp?
No. This term is often affiliated with the court system. YCP is a military style alternative educational program. Students cannot be sentenced or court ordered to attend. The decision to attend should be made by the applicant and family. Each year a diverse group of teenagers from all across the state, and from all walks of life successfully complete the program.
When can I visit my cadet?
During the 5 month Residential Phase there are opportunities for cadets to visit family and friends. Each camp hosts two Family Days. Additionally, cadets are sent home for an extended weekend visit during scheduled home passes. Otherwise, students correspond with family and friends through letter writing, and place phone calls home once per week.
How much does this program cost?
There is no tuition associated with the program. All uniform, meal, educational, and housing costs are provided free of charge!