The Catapult program is designed to encourage a balanced life of academics, extra-curricular activities and volunteerism to prepare youth for life. Students gain valuable leadership lessons and skills to help them develop the confidence and resources to create a successful life for themselves while building stronger communities.
Our Mission: to cultivate new leaders who will make a positive difference in communities across Nova Scotia. We focus on students with natural leadership qualities but limited opportunities.
Our Vision: to inspire, inform and empower Nova Scotian students so they have the confidence to reach their potential.
Our Core Values:
INTEGRITY: We believe in leading by example with our commitment to honesty, excellence and integrity.
INSPIRE: We believe in inspiring our students to recognize their capabilities and envision strong goals so they can reach their full potential.
EMPOWER: We believe in building skills and confidence to empower our students to become stronger individuals and community members.
RESPECT: We believe having respect for our own unique talents, abilities and backgrounds and those of others is the key to positive relationships
COMMUNITY: We believe in fostering a sense of belonging in Catapult and encourage giving back to our community.
Catapult is a non-profit leadership camp fully funded by corporate sponsorships. Registration, accommodation, meals and even transportation are provided at no cost to the student or school.
Catapult is uniquely Nova Scotian. Our students are nominated by teachers and 50 are selected from across the province. Selection is based on leadership potential and strong character despite life circumstances that could jeopardize their talents.
Racial Diversity & Anti-Racism Statement:
Throughout Nova Scotia and beyond, Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour deserve organizations, leaders, and communities that work harder to understand and address the systemic racism rooted in our society. We understand that we need to do better, to speak up and to take action.
As an organization, our students are at the heart of what we do and we are committed to conduct activities that will help our organization address racism and celebrate diversity in the days and years ahead.
Activities we will continue to develop and grow:
•Ensuring our students, staff and Board are representative of all races and cultures on an ongoing basis
•Participating in Culture and Diversity training at the Board level and bringing these experiences to our staff and students
•Conducting a Town Hall for students to share their lived experience
•Including Anti-racist and diversity focused programming in our camps
•Forming a Social Justice Committee which will be led by our youth to continue our ongoing education and exposure to anti-racist activities
Our vision is to inspire, inform and connect with youth across the province of Nova Scotia so they reach their potential. We must do our part to create a fully inclusive world so that all youth can reach their full potential.
Black Lives Matter.
Catapult has been operating since 2009. Our program includes:
1. Catapult Camp – held at Acadia University just prior to starting grade 10. World-class, our intense program inspires the students to believe in themselves and focuses on leadership development in all aspects of their lives (self, home, school, community).
2. Catapult Plus – an optional annual commitment following camp, Catapult Plus provides further support, guidance and inspiration through high school and the transition to post-secondary goals. The students complete a handbook of activities including: getting involved in an extra-curricular activity, life-long learning, setting goals, and community service via a pay-forward project. Catapult provides a summer conference along with mentorship (focused on career coaching), employment support and general guidance. Completion of the Catapult Plus program is a personal development credit on the students high school transcript.
3. Catapult Alumni – ongoing leadership activities are open to all Catapult alumni. Our students work with Catapult to lead an annual conference focused on current areas of interest. We also invite our sponsors to provide free workshops throughout the year to educate our students in areas such as filing individual taxes, banking, healthy living, and any other topics of interest indicated in our student surveys.
View some of our Catapult story at our Catapult YouTube Channel.
Catapult’s focus is on a group of teens who have strong potential yet are often overlooked and/or miss out on experiences and opportunities that develop personal growth and confidence.
→ Registration is not open to just anyone – campers must be nominated by their teachers. Each group is carefully selected to be diverse in terms of interests, accomplishments and backgrounds.
→ The age group is targeted at teens starting high school. This timing coincides with a maturing attitude and provides an ideal opportunity to learn life-enriching skills as they begin high school. Campers attend as an individual (we typically select only one student from a school). This offers a unique experience that allows each camper the freedom to be “anyone they want to be” without the influence of existing friends. At home, they may be on the outside looking in or on the inside wanting out, but at camp everyone arrives on an equal playing ground.
→ The program is very high-end with a level of quality that many of the students don’t normally access. This encourages them to set their goals high. Catapult believes that every student, no matter who their parents are, where they live, or what kinds of connections and opportunities life may have offered them, has the potential to make their dreams come true.
→ Catapult is situated on a university campus that offers inspiration towards educational goals. Catapult’s Directors are exceptional personalities with extensive international experience in teenage motivation. Counselors are recruited carefully to be positive role models and they receive extensive training creating an energized and highly capable staff team.
With a focus on students with limited opportunities, the group develops a unique and very powerful bond with each other and they inspire each other with their determination and ability to overcome challenges. The online peer network that results provides many benefits to the students as they move forward. Catapult focuses on life-leadership for our students in order that each and every student, regardless of their chosen direction, enjoy a diverse and rich life experience.
Following Catapult Camp, students have the option of continuing their leadership development with Catapult Plus which offers additional programs and support throughout high school.
My favourite catapult memory? Well the whole experience was my favourite.
I got to learn how to be a better leader.
It boosted my confidence and I made great friends!
~ Alexandra, Catapult 2012