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CTD Academic Summer Camps at Northwestern University

Taking Action

Grades 6 - 8

Course Cancelled

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Residential and Day Camp Options at Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

Session 1
June 25 - July 14, 2023 (no class on July 4)

Tuition Summer 2023
Residential Camp: $4,780
Day Camp: $2,660

Financial aid available for qualified students.

Become Inspired by Leadership and Service

Taking Action students investigate the root causes and proposed solutions to pressing social problems. Through academic research, small group work, and facilitated reflection, students enhance their communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, preparing them for a lifetime of leadership and civic engagement. 

Taking Action is a three-week course available through CTD's 6-12 Academic Summer Residential and Day Camps. The Taking Action course is open to applicants who will be in grades 6-8 at the start of the 22-23 school year. Please note, students must be 12 years old at the time the session begins to meet the minimum age requirement required by community partners for service-learning experiences. See here for additional details on application, eligibility and tuition.

Why Choose Taking Action?

Explore ideas in new ways through service-learning projects and interactive group work. Taking Action is a great course for students who learn by doing, and are inspired to make a difference.

Benefits Include:

  • An engaging 3-week curriculum examining pressing social problems through a critical lens
  • Opportunities to take part in meaningful service opportunities and learn about ways communities are working for change
  • A vibrant community to support and challenge you as you consider ways to take action on issues you care about
Curriculum Overview

Taking Action is where young student leaders gain a deeper understanding of complex social issues and learn how to make a difference in their communities. View a sample syllabus. 

TALS Curriculum Components

Class Meetings
Examine issues through a critical lens. Absorb and engage in academic research and topic-focused presentations by instructors. Dialogue with peers to identify diverse viewpoints and consider new ideas.

Meetings with Community Partners
Learn from inspiring partners about their work, career path, and ideas about innovative approaches for meaningful change.

Process course material through guided questions and activities that broaden your perspective and build critical thinking skills.

Service Projects
Partner with a local non-profit or community organization. Get an orientation to their mission, and support their cause with hands-on projects or tasks while earning service hours. All in-person service-learning projects will adhere to CTD and Northwestern University COVID-19 safety protocols, in support of CDC guidelines; see details here.

Meet with government, business, and nonprofit leaders at the top of their fields to hear their experiences and path to making change.

Build communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills with classmates through instructor-led activities.

Action Plan
Select an area of interest and synthesize your learning through a plan for change under the mentorship of your instructional staff.

Evaluations and Service Hours


All students receive a detailed narrative evaluation after completion of the course. The evaluation provides feedback on the student’s achievements in the course and outlines areas for further growth. Evaluations are sent via e-mail and able to be accessed via MyCTD.

Service Hours

Student evaluations include certification of service hours earned. Learn more about service hours awarded by CEP programs.

CEP is happy to complete any forms required for students to show proof of completed service hours; contact our office for assistance. 

Campus Life and Community

For details regarding living on campus, daily schedules, and Covid-19 health and safety practices please visit here.


Contact Us


"Everyone knows social issues exist and wants to help—this course teaches you how to do so.”
– Taking Action Student

Get Started on Your Journey to Taking Action.

If you have found the program and course for you, we’d love for you to apply.

2023 © Northwestern University Center for Talent Development