Are you interested in learning leadership and life skills while attending a boarding school? Attending a boarding school is the ideal training ground  to develop leadership, character, and acquire practical life skills. In particular, boarding schools with highly specialized leadership programs will help you learn applicable life skills for both college and career. You will develop your character, become a strong leader, and learn how to successfully manage your life. 

Alumni from Army & Navy Academy - Attending West PointAs you research boarding schools, keep in mind that not all boarding schools are equal in terms of leadership programs for high school students. Don’t overlook  the world of military boarding schools, where leadership programs have been a cornerstone for decades.  A case in point is Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California, a college prep school geared to motivate and inspire boys in grades 7-12. 

At this boarding school, the acquisition of character, alongside life and leadership skills, happens rather naturally as a result of living away from home. However, it also occurs as a direct result of their programming and their standing as an Honor Unit with Distinction. Their comprehensive Army and Navy Academy program includes; Character Development, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), Leadership Education Training (LET) classes, and the Officer Candidate Course (OCC) for the selection of leaders. At this West Point-style military academy, the faculty, residential life staff, and coaches are all dedicated to helping students learn both the principles and practices of leadership. 

Life Skill Development at School 

While you can sometimes acquire leadership and life skills through student government at many public schools, boarding schools, in particular, offer a distinct advantage.  

Leadership training programs at private boarding schools help students learn the organizational structure when to lead and follow, and student leaders are generally charged with a high level of responsibility in the governance of their campus. For this, and many other reasons, boarding school students often report they are better prepared to face challenges in college and later on in their chosen careers. 

At military boarding schools, more specifically, through a combination of rigorous college prep academics, alongside leadership education, students develop core leadership and management competencies that can be applied to any profession. Students also acquire key characteristics tied with success including confidence, independence, self-discipline, motivation, resilience, and perseverance. In addition, they develop good life habits and learn highly practical life skills. 

To give you an idea of the leadership life skills you can acquire at Army and Navy Academy, check out this list below:

1. Learn how to lead and manage

Leaders know how to lead and motivate others. They are able to manage themselves and their project loads, while inspiring and mentoring others to do the same. In boarding school leadership training programs, there is an organizational structure, and students learn how to take initiative, assign and delegate, as well as how to mentor others.

2. Learn how to manage your time

Leaders know how to manage their time. Leaders must determine how to use their time effectively, as well as how to structure their days. At military boarding schools, the daily schedule is very structured, with a balance between academics, athletics, and campus life activities. Following the structure, creates a blueprint for your life.

3. Learn how to organize projects

Leaders and managers know how to organize projects and daily processes. They are able to compartmentalize tasks and break things down into steps for themselves and others. In leadership training, you will learn how to manage complex projects through careful organization methodologies and inspire others to do the same.

4. Learn how to set goals and prioritize

Leaders hold a vision to  achieve and accomplish their goals. In leadership training programs at military schools, students are encouraged to establish life goals and their priorities carefully. Unlike attending a private day school where the day ends after classes or athletics, boarding schools are 24/7. This means that students figure out how to set goals, not only for improving their grades, but also goals for personal development and for co-curricular activities as well.

5. Learn how to make sound decisions

Leaders make decisions on a daily basis. They understand that every decision has an impact, so they are able to weigh the pros and cons of every decision they make. When you attend a military academy for college prep and leadership, you will make decisions about every facet of your life, including: leadership roles, classes, electives, clubs, sports, and weekend activities.

6. Learn how to develop career interests

Leaders know how to cultivate strong interest and develop core competencies in their field. Boarding schools are an ideal training ground to teach life skills that are tied to college, career, and avocational interests, including the following fields: science, engineering, technology, business, management, entrepreneurship, diplomacy, government, law, education, health, and many other fields. Some boarding schools, like Army and Navy Academy even offer highly specialized classes, electives, clubs, and activities tied with career interests (e.g. aviation, business, computer science, cyber security, video production, sports medicine).

7. Learn how to find life balance

Leaders know how to balance their lives. This means they know how to structure their days and find a balance between mental, physical, and social pursuits. While attending a boarding school, leadership training will help you quickly learn how to follow a rigorous daily schedule to achieve optimal outcomes in all aspects of your life. The faculty, residential life staff (aka “TAC” Trainer, Advisor, Coach) will provide guidance, so you study, rest, socialize, and stay physically, socially, and mentally fit.

8. Learn how to adhere to your values

Leaders rely on their code of ethics and values in everything they do. To be a strong leader requires good character. Boarding schools, in particular, military schools  integrate character development into all aspects of academics, athletics, and campus life. They live by their mission and values, and expect students to act ethically and adhere to an honor code.

9. Learn how to be mentally and physically fit

Leaders know how to stay in shape, both mentally and physically. They take care of themselves through self-discipline when t it comes to life habits. When you attend a boarding school, you will acquire self-discipline, an integral part of leadership training. You will develop good life habits related to areas such as: personal hygiene, dress, sleep, rest, and fitness routines. 

10. Learn how to seek out support and mentorship

Leaders know how to ask for advice and build networks for professional support. Likewise, boarding school students have a rich network of administrators, faculty, staff, and coaches, as well as their peers to seek out for mentorship and guidance. Learning how to lead requires actively seeking out support from your peers, but also from faculty, residential life staff, and counselors.

11. Learn how to resolve conflict and get along with others

Leaders know how to address issues and resolve internal conflicts. You can learn how to do this while attending a boarding school through interactions with peers, student leaders, and your roommate. Boarding school leadership training involves the acquisition of skills such as: how to communicate effectively, work in teams, be of service to others, understand various perspectives, and show compassion.

12. Learn how to establish a work ethic

Leaders must have a strong work ethic to achieve their end goals. In most U.S. boarding schools, you will need to establish a strong work ethic if you want to elevate your grade point average (GPA), gain a leadership role and participate in clubs and athletics. Leadership programs in high school will also push you to keep up with the academic rigor in order to get into a college of your choice. This all requires hard work and focus to achieve your goals.

13. Learn how to build relationships

 Leaders know how to build and sustain strong relationships. While attending boarding school, you can make close friends through leadership roles, study groups, clubs, weekend activities, trips in the U.S. and abroad. Learning life skills, like how to reach out, connecting with both domestic and international students, and how to get along with your roommate are all part of a boarding school experience. These friends can be a powerful network as you assume leadership roles throughout your life.

14. Learn how to be independent

Leaders are generally highly independent and they know how to make good judgment calls. Leadership training helps students learn life skills, but also cultivates character attributes. Students get  “grit” as they navigate change, challenge, and adversity. 

15. Learn how to challenge yourself

Leaders tend to face issues and challenges directly. This is a skill you will naturally learn at boarding school, and more intensively, in leadership training.  Make sure you try new classes in career oriented electives like aviation, challenge yourself by taking AP and honors courses, try out for top leadership roles,  and participate in various clubs, sports, and activities. 


As you can see, by attending a boarding school with a focus on leadership and life skills, like Army and Navy Academy, students are on a course for high achievement throughout their lives. 

Attending a boarding school will definitely give you a competitive edge for college and career, so why not take the lead in your life and become the best version of yourself? Explore the world of boarding schools in the U.S. and their leadership training programs.

To learn more, contact Army and Navy Academy today!