Youth Preparedness Camp

Summer 2020
San Marcos, TX

“I had an absolutely incredible time at camp. I learned so much - not just about disaster preparedness and Incident Command System, but about leadership and teamwork!”

- Keyanna Ortiz-Cedeno, 2014 camp attendee

The mission of the Texas School Safety Center's Youth Preparedness Camp is to increase emergency preparedness in Texas communities by providing youth with emergency response, action planning, and leadership skills that enhance their capacity to assist their local communities in creating a culture of preparedness.

Each year the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) at Texas State University selects teams of individuals to attend the Youth Preparedness Camp.

Application Process

The application period for the 2019 Youth Preparedness Camp has now closed. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments please feel free to contact Cynthia J. Arredondo, Program Manager - School Safety Education, by email at or by phone at (512) 245-3908. To begin to team application process click the button below.

Who Should Attend?

Prior to camp, 26.8% of participants strongly believed they could help their community be more prepared for a disaster, compared to 56.1% of participants post camp.

Do you want to help your school and community be more prepared for emergency situations? Could you benefit from a camp where you will learn basic response skills, teamwork, and action planning, all in a stimulating and fun environment? If so, the TxSSC’s Youth Preparedness Camp is for you.

The TxSSC Youth Preparedness Camp is designed and delivered using a youth-led, adult assisted process. A youth-led, adult assisted model is one where students are essentially the decision makers and the adults act in a supportive role. Youth participants must be entering grades 8-12 in the following school year.

Why Should I Attend?

Prior to camp, 43.9% of participants strongly believed youth could be leaders in their community, compared to 68.3% of participants post camp.

Participants (including the adult sponsor) receive a full 20 hour Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training that includes a CERT certificate of completion, develop a community action plan as a team, and acquire the leadership skills needed to address emergency preparedness in their schools and/or communities when they return home - all of which is achieved while having one of the most exciting weeks of summer!

Where Will the Camp Be Held?

Prior to camp, 7.3% of participants strongly believed they knew how to appropriately treat the "three killers", compared to 70.7% of participants post camp.

During camp, all participants, including the adult sponsors, will stay in dormitories at Texas State University. Meals will be served in the university cafeteria at specific times. All camp related activities will occur on the grounds of the university.

Texas State University
601 University Dr.
San Marcos, Texas 78666

Camp News

Summer 2018 Youth Preparedness Camp

Youth Preparedness Camp

On June 17, 2018, youth from Grady ISD, Italy High School, Calvin Nelms Charter High School, Madrigal Youth Center – Keystone Leadership Group, W.B. Ray High School Safety Committee, and all five states within FEMA Region 6 arrived at Texas State University to attend the Texas School Safety Center's Youth Preparedness Camp. Additionally, a special group of youth from across Texas also attended representing the State Youth Preparedness Council. These groups came ready to receive emergency response training, leadership development, and planning skills that would allow them to lead, or in some cases, strengthen preparedness efforts in their schools and communities. The camp spanned five days (June 17-21) and was held on the campus of Texas State University.

As part of the program, youth and their adult sponsors completed a 20-hour Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. The CERT training included classroom-based and hands-on lessons pertaining to fire safety, basic first aid, search and rescue, incident command system (ICS), and disaster psychology, among others intended to prepare youth for an emergency event. Each group also developed a community specific action plan aimed at further preparing their local community when they returned home. The action plan is a project related to school and/or community preparedness that the youth group, with assistance from their adult sponsor, will implement in their community over the next year. During this five-day planning process, groups developed an objective, identified what was needed to achieve that objective, defined the steps needed to complete the objective, and created a presentation to summarize the main points of their plan. Finally, camp participants participated in leadership development activities in an effort to provide vital skills needed to address and sustain emergency preparedness in their schools and/or communities. These activities are aimed at empowering youth to lead preparedness efforts in their community.

This program would not have been possible without support from various organizations and individuals who bring their valuable expertise to share with these youth groups. This year support was provided by the Bexar County Office of Emergency Management, Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council-Homeland Security, Texas Associational of Regional Councils, Texas State University Police Department, Texas State University, New Braunfels CERT, FEMA Region 6, and FEMA Headquarters.

Texas School Safety Center Joins National Youth Preparedness Effort

The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) at Texas State University has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross, and the U.S. Department of Education to promote youth preparedness strategies.

The TxSSC was among the invitees from across the country to attend FEMA’s unveiling of a groundbreaking youth preparedness initiative. Approximately 40 partners attended the National Strategy for Your Preparedness Education: Empowering, Educating and Building Resilience unveiling in Washington, D.C. The launch introduced strategies designed to empower youth to engage their families and communities in disaster readiness, response and recovery and to be better prepared citizens of today and tomorrow. The TxSSC has since affirmed this National Strategy. To read more on the National Strategy, visit

Additional Training and Resources

Save the Children's Prep Rally!

Prep Rally

The Prep Rally is Save the Children’s new emergency preparedness program for children grades K-5 covering the basics of getting ready for disasters, including 1) Recognizing Risks, 2) Planning Ahead, 3) Gathering Wise Supplies, and 4)During a Disaster. With a free, turnkey curriculum, the Prep Rally gives communities access to premier preparedness resources and activities that make disaster education fun and engaging. Help children get some prep in their step with games like Disaster Supplies Relay, Emergency Mad Libs and cheers that get children energized to be safety advocates within their families and communities. Best of all, designed with a flexible format, the Prep Rally can be shaped to the specific needs of your program and community, whether it’s afterschool, summer camp, or the start of tornado season. Together, we can build a generation of prepared citizens who are ready to weather whatever storm may come their way. Take a look at the program materials in the Prep Rally Kit: