Explore Camps and Events

Registration is now open!
Applications for summer staff positions will open soon!


Residential Camps:

June 3-7 - Houston Baptist University (Houston, TX)

June 16-20 - Wingate University (Wingate, NC)

July 7-11 - Palm Beach Atlantic University (West Palm Beach, FL)

July 14-18 - Campbell University (Buies Creek, NC)

*Non-residential Camp:

TBD - Midlands Technical College* (Columbia, SC)

Program Options and Program Information

1)  RESIDENTIAL Program- The cost to attend is $175. This includes:

      -All meals

     -Housing in air-conditioned dorms

     -All program costs and materials

      -The 5-day program begins Sunday afternoon and concludes Thursday afternoon for Wingate University, Palm Beach Atlantic University and Campbell University. Camps held at Houston Baptist University will begin on Monday and end on Friday.

2)  NON-RESIDENTIAL Program- The cost to attend is $50. This includes:

     -All meals (Lunch and Dinner Monday-Wednesday.  Lunch Thursday.)

     -All program costs and materials

      -The 4-day program begins each day at 8:30 a.m. and concludes each day at 7:30 p.m, Monday - Thursday.

FELC has four week-long sessions of the five-day residential program where students stay on campus and one session of the Day-time only camp at Midlands Technical College.  

*FELC is a project of the Jesse Helms Center Foundation and is funded by private individuals, foundations, and corporate donations.

RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM - The cost to attend is $150.  This includes:

-All meals (Sunday dinner - Thursday lunch)

-Housing in air conditioned dorms

-All program costs and materials

Who can apply?

Interested high school students who will be rising sophomores, juniors or seniors in high school at the start of the 2017 sessions and want to learn more about free enterprise through hands-on business experience are encouraged to apply. While your academic background and leadership experience can be important factors, the quality of your short answers can be just as important.  FELC wants dedicated, enthusiastic students who are committed to participating during the week.  No business knowledge is required.


"I have genuine aspirations to start a small business someday.  This week has given me a taste of teamwork, responsibility, and initiative.  I have also seen the fundamental principles that make our economic system thrive."

-- John Broadway (FELC Graduate)


Who operates FELC?

The Free Enterprise Leadership Challenge is the flagship program of the Jesse Helms Center Foundation, a non-profit, education museum and archive located in Wingate, North Carolina.  Since its creation in 1995, the program has seen over 8,300 graduates and been conducted in many states and international countries including Mexico and Uruguay.  The Jesse Helms Center is a member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce and is a registered charity with all states which require formal registration.  FELC is conducted by the Helms Center with different universities contractually providing housing/dining/meeting space.



We will not be able to provide airport/train station/bus transportation for students who wish to attend our program from outside states.  Parents/guardians must accompany student participants and should plan on arranging their own travel. 


Safety and Security

The safety of students who participate in our program is our number one concern.  All universities where the programs take place are accredited schools with round the clock campus security.  All FELC employees participate in background checks and received training for emergencies and incidents.  Additionally, FELC uses a Zero Tolerance Policy for program participants which ensures that all students are afforded a safe, pleasant environment in which to learn.

"Going to the camp not only aroused an interest in me to learn more about the business sector in the economy but helped me make vital connections in both my economics and government class this year. Additionally I appreciated how the camp brought abstract concepts to life in a fun and engaging manner. Leadership has always been a passion of mine and at the camp I was able to re-enforce this passion."

--Rima Patel (FELC Graduate)

"During this past week, I feel I have learned more about the free enterprise system, than I have throughout my entire semester of honors civics and economics. "

--Elexis Jenkins (FELC Graduate)