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Leader of One, Leader of Many CAMP 43


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of our staff. As a result, this year's Camp 43 has been cancelled. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

Each spring, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum accepts applications from high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors for its 3-day summer camp.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is now accepting applications from 2020, 2021, and 2022 high school graduates for “Camp 43: Leader of One, Leader of Many,” scheduled for June 17-19, 2020.

Interested students should submit the following documents to by close of business on April 10, 2020:

  • Application
  • Answers to 3 short essay questions
  • 2 professional letters of recommendation
  • Resume
Camp43 2017 - 16
Camp 43 encourages students to consider the principles upon which they base their decisions and to understand the importance of leadership decision-making in complex environments.

“Understanding the concepts of personal values, principle-based decision making, leadership, and planning for the future are critical for a young person’s success, both professionally and personally,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. “It is always great fun to watch the students immerse themselves in lessons and discussions, and then experience that light bulb moment.”

Held June 17-19, 2020, no more than 25 are accepted for the 3-day summer camp. There is no cost for the camp. Lunch and snacks are provided daily along with a formal dinner to conclude the camp.

All participants are responsible for their own daily transportation to and from the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Focusing on the importance of leadership and the decision-making process, participants discover how values and personal beliefs affect their decisions, develop skills for working with diverse groups, and hear first-hand from high-level business executives about the methods they use to make decisions. The experience includes group activities, discussions, and presentations from prominent and successful community and government leaders.

Students participate in the Situation Room Experience
The Situation Room Experience places students in the roles of the Executive Office of the President and the President’s Cabinet in order to manage a constitutional crisis.

“One very exciting part of Camp 43 is a real-time simulation in which the students take on the roles of members of the President’s Administration and collaborate to resolve a crisis,” said Education Specialist Sharon Brannon. “The Situation Room Experience is very useful in and of itself, but having it take place in the actual historic room from the White House adds authenticity and tremendous energy and enthusiasm.”

Completed and signed applications must be received by the close of business on April 10, 2020. Applicants will receive notification of acceptance or placement on a wait list and information about camp logistics via e-mail no later than May 10, 2020.

If you are not able to send the required documents using email, send them via regular mail to:

Education Specialist
ATTN: Camp 43
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
2943 SMU Blvd, Room 294
Dallas, TX 75205

Conceived in 2012 by Bush Library education docents with the goal of fostering America’s next generation of leaders, Camp 43 is led by those docents in conjunction with the Library’s Education Program staff, and conducted with generous support from the George W. Bush Foundation.

For more information, email