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Youth Development Conference

What is the Youth Development Conference?

YDC is the premiere professional development opportunity for CP officers. For the Cadet Program to reach the next level of its success, and continue to stay relevant to the needs of today’s teens, our Cadet Program Officers must look for inspiration in the wider profession of youth development. 

The Youth Development Conference aims to bring in experts in the field of youth development to help us see how those principles can be used to enhance our already excellent youth leadership program. If CAP wants to remain a leader in youth development, we must continue to learn and grow as the research develops.  The conference aims to help CP officers learn what issues affect teens today, and what other youth-serving organizations are doing to remain relevant to today’s challenges, all while we simultaneously maintaining CAP's best traditions.

This Year's Theme: Today's Cadets

It’s easy to say, “When I was a cadet…” and expect today’s cadets to respond the same ways that we did when we were their age. But I think we all can agree that the world today is a very different place than when we were teenagers. 

The 2024 Youth Development Conference will focus on Today’s Cadets. We will help you clearly understand the challenges faced by this generation of cadets, how to help them succeed, what their strengths are and where their passions lie. There will be a focus on the importance of mental health and how we can support cadets in crisis, and we’ll examine the youth voice in today’s culture. We’ll also take a look at today’s parents and how to create relationships that promote positive cadet experiences. 

Fundamentally, some things about growing up are timeless. However, many things are a result of culture, upbringing, and personal experiences. We are excited to examine, “Just how different are Today’s Cadets” and how we can best support them. 


12-14 January 2024

The conference will be held over MLK weekend. Conference sessions to take place Friday night (7:00-9:00), all day (8:30-5:30) Saturday & all day Sunday. 


Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Biltmore
2630 E Camelback Rd.
 Phoenix, AZ 85016

Invited Audience

This program is limited to Region and Wing DCPs or their designee, invited members of the National Cadet Team, and distinguished guests. We encourage a representative from each wing and region to be present. If the DCP can’t make it, please select a designee to take your place.

As space allows, other members will be invited. If you are not a DCP but interested in attending the conference, please email Elizabeth Hornbach at and we will add you to the waiting list. 

Invitations typical go out in November, so be sure to watch your email. 

Tuition & Expenses    

To make the conference accessible to DCPs, or their designee, the tuition will be reduced. A part of the registration fees will be covered by CAP, and a part by the attendee. 

  • Cadet Programs Officer Registration fee: $120

  • Approved Travel expenses will be reimbursed up to $425. Please review the 2024 YDC travel policy BEFORE purchasing any travel.

    • Once you have booked your travel COMPLETE THIS FORM so we know your arrival and departure dates

  • Hotel expenses will be paid by CAP, on a double-occupancy basis. Single occupancy may be available for an extra charge of $255 (subject to hotel availability).

  • Made-to-order breakfasts will be included with hotel stay, lunches will be provided by CAP on Saturday & Sunday. 

Cancelation Policy

Tickets are refundable until November 28th. After that tickets are transferable to another invited guest until December 8, 2023.
After December 8 tickets cannot be refunded or transferred.

Course Credit  

This conference meets the requirements for a Level 3 conference attendance. The conference will be added to eServices.  You must attend at least 80% of the conference to receive credit.

Previous Conferences


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