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July 14–19, 2024

Do you ever think a career in lodging and resort management, food and beverage management, or event management might be fun? Do you like teams and enjoy using your creativity? Do you see yourself working with people? Do you ever think you want to own your own business one day?

You can find out about all the opportunities in the wide, wide world of hospitality management that can be yours by applying to this leadership program — COYHL Summer Program in Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management. During this six-day overnight summer program (that includes living in Penn State dorms) you will,

  • explore what it takes to succeed in different hospitality enterprises
  • learn from Penn State Hospitality Management faculty and students
  • visit various hospitality businesses, Penn State’s University Park campus, and interact with industry people who are alumni of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management
  • receive a digital badge for your completion of the Penn State COYHL Summer Program

What is the Cost of This Program?

This 6 day residential camp is valued at over $3,000 but is available to you for $1,500 because of the generous philanthropic support provided by our industry and community partners. Spaces are limited. Additional scholarships may be available; contact Please see the FAQ page for more information on deadlines that apply to payment and reimbursement.

What is the COYHL Summer Program All About?

It is YOUR opportunity to explore your interest in Penn State and the world's largest industry — hospitality management. The COYHL Summer Program is a six-day program for high school rising juniors and seniors to learn and experience a mini-hospitality program. While working with our team, you will learn about college life here at University Park, sample what a college course may look like, learn from renowned faculty, meet hospitality management majors and enjoy an "unforgettable, Penn State experience."

This unrivaled introduction to hospitality management is taught by Penn State’s world-renowned School of Hospitality Management, among the oldest and most recognized programs in the country, and supported by our recruiters, employers and alumni. Exploring how you might succeed in one of the many diverse types of hospitality businesses and related careers and learning about how you can succeed in college are benefits of the program. Through presentations, hands-on experience, guest speakers, software simulations, and more, this program will introduce you to the broad range of the hospitality industry, to the major employers, and to the trends that influence this competitive industry.

During the summer program you will:

  • Develop an understanding of the size of the hospitality industry, the diverse types of jobs, career paths, and skills you need.
  • Examine the primary business models and ownership structures in the industry and identify how hospitality owners and investors are among communities must successful employers and entrepreneurs.
  • Learn about the changing trends of the traveler, what defines good service and the importance of superior guest engagement.
  • Learn about business communication, how to present yourself to company recruiters, and the other skills needed to succeed in hospitality as well as many other career situations.
  • Experience first-hand what it takes to run different restaurant operations, both in a professional kitchen facility, and also in restaurant management.
  • In-person tour separate styles of lodging establishments, from major American brands to independent businesses.

All of this will be capped off with a recognition ceremony where all participants will receive a Penn State COYHL Summer Program certificate of completion and a Penn State digital badge.

Informational Sessions

To arrange an information session for your school, please contact Amit Sharma,

A sample of one day in the Penn State COYHL Summer Program:

  • Each day will consist of multiple 45-minute sessions.
  • There will be in-person visits to hospitality businesses.
  • Lectures and engagement opportunities will be integrated throughout the program.
  • Students will have the opportunity for interactions with industry executives and SHM alums.
  • Students stay in Penn State dorms and will have an immersive experience.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible students for the COYHL Summer Program must:

  • Be a rising high school junior or senior during the summer program offered.
  • Be in good academic standing in your high school.
  • Demonstrate an interest in or aptitude for hospitality management as demonstrated by jobs you work, volunteering, or by the observation of a teacher, coach, or employer.
  • Be interested in preparing for and pursuing a college degree as a life goal.

Information on How to Apply

Fill out and submit your application using our online form. In addition to this online application, please submit via email the supporting materials listed to (Address to Colette Rodger):

  1. One Letter of Recommendation/Endorsement: You need to obtain one letter of recommendation or endorsement from a high school counselor/faculty. The counselor/faculty should comment on your interest and commitment to attend the COYHL program.
  2. Parent/Legal Guardian Approval is required.

Please note the dates/deadlines below:


Scholarship Timeline:

  • Scholarship deadline to apply: April 1, 2024
  • Notifications of scholarship: April 19, 2024
  • Must register for scholarship on or by May 2, 2024

Application Timeline:

  • Application deadline to apply: April 19, 2024
  • Notification of acceptance to camp: May 1, 2024.  
  • Must register for camp on or by: May 15, 2024 

Cancellation 32-59 days before the camp start date: 50% refund

Cancellation 20-31 days before the camps start date: 30% refund

Cancellation less than 20 days before the camp start date: NO REFUND

Students should plan for the following schedule:

  • Check-in: Sunday, July 14, 2024
  • Departure: Friday, July 19, 2024

Summer Camp FAQs

What is involved in the application process? 

The application is an online submission that collects general information about the prospective camper. A parent or guardian should complete the general information portion of the online application. Students interested in attending a summer camp will also be provided with a brief, 100-150 words or less, essay detailing why they wish to attend camp as part of the application process. 


When is payment for summer camp due? 

No payment is due at the time of application. If a student is selected to participate in the summer camp program, a fee of $1,500 or the scholarship amount will be due by June 14th upon receiving notification of acceptance into camp. Tuition includes instruction, housing, food, program materials, field trips, and activities. 


Are there any scholarship opportunities? 

Yes. At the time of application, students will be automatically evaluated for a scholarship. Applications must be submitted by May 1st to be considered for a scholarship. For the dates for the scholarship, please view the following. Students who apply before the deadline will be notified of their scholarship award by April 19, 2024. 

Is this a day camp or an overnight camp? 

This overnight camp runs for a week, from Sunday to Friday. Check-in is on Sunday, from 12 pm – 2 pm. 

Check out on Friday, from 1 pm – 2 pm. 


What are the daily hours of the camp activities? 

Activities generally start at 8 am and end at different times, depending on the day of the camp. Usually, they end between 4 pm and 5 pm each day. 


Are meals provided during the camp? 

Yes. All meals are provided at the cost of the camp. Campers are welcome to bring snacks to keep in their dorm rooms. Each room has a small refrigerator and a microwave. 


How are dietary restrictions/food allergies handled? 

Campers will specify any dietary needs during the camp registration process. All dietary accommodations will be documented and implemented. 


How will housing be provided? 

Students will be housed on campus. Campers are assigned two students per room. Room assignments will be based on gender identification. 

What oversight will be provided in the dorms? 

Campers will always be supervised by Penn State School of Hospitality Management counselors. The housing commons desks are maintained 24 hours. University staff will be housed in the building to assist with any problems or emergencies. 


How will roommate assignments be determined? 

Roommate assignments are made by program staff. Mutual requests for preferred roommates enrolled in the same camp will be honored. Occasionally, a camper may have a single room based on the enrollment numbers. Please submit special requests for a single room in advance for consideration. 


Do participants need to bring any equipment or is everything provided? 

No equipment is needed during the camp. 

Registration for 2024? 

Once students have been notified of camp admission decisions, the deadline to complete registration is May 15, 2024. The scholarship deadline to complete registration is May 1, 2024 


Will transportation to campus be provided? 

No. Penn State employees cannot pick your child up at the airport or bus station. If a camper requires transportation, please contact UBER, Nittany Express, or Happy Valley Ride Taxi. 


Who are the counselors and instructors for the camp? 

Counselors are current Penn State School of Hospitality Management students who have been identified through a rigorous selection process, completed background clearances, and will remain with the campers 24 hours a day. Camps are taught by Penn State School of Hospitality Management faculty and staff, who also have all clearances. 


How will campers’ medications be handled? 

Medications will be collected at check-in, and parents/guardians will submit the Daily Medication Log. Medications collected will be kept in a lock box that will always be with the lead counselor during the camp. If you have a medication that requires refrigeration, please notify Colette Rodger ( 

How will medications be administered? 

Campers must self-administer their medication. Counselors will not administer ANY medications to campers, nor can they buy or provide any medication, including over-the-counter drugs (Tylenol, Advil, cough medicine, etc.) 


After Checking in, then what happens? 

After checking in, parents/guardians and campers will take the luggage to their dorm room and help them settle into their assigned rooms. After that, parents/guardians will return the camper to the check-in area. The parents/guardians will then say goodbye, and the camp begins. The camp director will meet with the entire camp to review policy/procedures, the camp itinerary, etc. Weather pending, a tour will usually proceed. 

Are there any mail services provided? 

Mail services are NOT available for youth camps unless prior arrangements have been made with Dion Dillon. 

What is the cancellation/refund policy? Refunds for camp cancellation are as follows: 


Scholarship deadline to apply: April 1, 2024 

Notifications of scholarship: April 19, 2024 

Must register for scholarship on or by May 1, 2024 




Notifications of acceptance to camp: May 1, 2024 

Must register for camp on or by: May 15, 2024 


· Cancellation 32-59 days before the camp start date: 50% refund 

· Cancellation 20-31 days before the camp start date: 30% refund 

· Cancellation less than 20 days before the camp start date: NO REFUND

Important Information for Parents

Please review the Youth Programs Ethics and Compliance web page before camp starts. Penn State employees are not permitted to transport or arrange transportation for a minor attending a youth program.

Food allergies must be disclosed to the camp planner in advance at or 814-863-5100. Learn more at Penn State Campus Dining (814-867-5277,

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the camp planner at at least four weeks prior to your arrival.

COVID-19 Update

All HHD youth camps will follow all University COVID-19 guidelines that are in place at the time of camp. You can learn about Penn State’s current COVID response and view up-to-date policies and frequently asked questions on the Coronavirus Information site. Anyone who registers before the guidelines are announced will have the option to cancel their registration with no penalty if they choose. For more information, read the COVID-19 Guidelines for Residential Camps PDF.


For legal reasons, the University cannot release the names or phone numbers of other participants, not even to those who want to carpool.

Medical Information

Staff members will refer medical emergencies and illnesses to University Health Services, or the Emergency/Outpatient Department of Mount Nittany Medical Center, or Penn State Health Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy. A parent or guardian must complete the health questions as part of the registration form to grant permission for any medical attention required during the program.

Health Notice

Please help lessen the spread of any contagious diseases. The exclusion of ill persons from public, school, and group gatherings is key to lessening the spread of illness. If you are ill, please remain at home during your illness and recovery. If you have a fever (100˚ F or higher), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends limiting contact with others until you have been without a fever for at least 24 hours.

Medical Fees and Insurance

The University does not provide medical insurance for campers.

In the event of illness or injury requiring treatment, hospitalization, or surgery, family medical insurance must be used. Parents or guardians will be billed directly for any medical care given at University Health Services, Mount Nittany Medical Center, or Penn State Health Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy.

University Health Services does not have contracts with any health insurance companies and does not send bills to insurance companies. Patients will receive an itemized bill at the end of a visit and will receive a statement from the University Bursar as well.

The University urges that participants be covered by some form of personal medical insurance. Be sure to provide your insurance company’s information where indicated on the program registration form.

The parent(s) or guardian(s) of a participant requiring medical treatment at University Health Services, Penn State Health Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy, or Mount Nittany Medical Center will be notified of the treatment within 24 hours. We know how important timely notification is for insurance claims, so it is extremely important for you to list the following in the designated areas of the form: the numbers of your daytime phone, home phone, and cell phone, and your family physician’s

Contact Us

Program Content Questions:

Registration Questions:

Physical or Dietary Accommodations Questions:

  • Colette Rodger, Conferences and Institutes, (Please contact us at least four weeks prior to your arrival.)

Penn State is committed to equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment for all persons. It is the policy of the University to maintain an environment free of harassment and free of discrimination against any person because of their actual or perceived age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, physical or mental disability, religion, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information or political ideas. Discriminatory conduct and harassment violate the dignity of individuals, impedes the realization of the University’s educational mission, and will not be tolerated. This access is extended to all university-sponsored youth programs, including 4-H. The needs of any participant in a youth program will be discussed privately with that child’s parent/legal guardian on a case-by-case basis with the goal of promoting a safe environment and quality experience. If you have any questions, please contact the program manager, Colette Rodger,