If you’ve ever attended National Leadership Conference, you’ve likely met the Mayor of Miniwanca, Todd Bundy. The NLC community bestowed this honorary title on him in 1995, one he still proudly claims almost three decades later.
Bundy, as he’s better known by the NLC community, is a tireless advocate for youth who has dedicated his life to mentorship through NLC and another formative nonprofit, Florida 4-H. In August 2023, Florida 4-H inducted Bundy into its Hall of Fame, honoring his more than 40 years of service to the organization.
“The Florida 4-H Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding 4-H alumni, volunteers, professionals, and community leaders,” the 4-H said in a statement. “Members have made significant contributions to 4-H and their community through accomplishments in the areas of citizenship, leadership, career and character.”
Bundy participated in many 4-H programs in his youth. As an adult, he gave back to the organization that shaped him through multiple terms on the Florida 4-H Foundation Board of Directors and as a powerful fundraiser.
Florida 4-H first connected Bundy with the American Youth Foundation when he received an I Dare You Award (now called the National Leadership Award) and attended his first National Leadership Conference in 1987.
“I was hooked by Miniwanca’s scenery, the beautiful sunsets, the history of the AYF, and the best community and cabinmates ever – many of whom are still serving on NLC staff to this day,” Bundy said. “I mattered. We mattered. When I left Camp Miniwanca in 1987, I told everybody even if I had to walk, I would be back the next year. This summer will be my 34th conference at NLC. Miniwanca is my family – I’m a lifer!”
NLC Co-Director Michael Harter said Bundy puts the AYF motto into action year-round.
“His service-based leadership shows up at NLC, but goes far beyond camp. His example of unleashing his best into his community is an inspiration for us all,” Harter said. “Bundy serves with a full heart, whether singing a song, gifting some beef jerky from his not-so-secret snack stash, or in his boots and sunglasses on the final morning of conference. Thousands of youth over the years have been inspired by Todd Bundy.”
Bundy said each year, he prioritizes making sure everyone at NLC knows they matter. “I make it a mission to make sure each camper and staff member is having a great time, to see if I can lend a helping hand, offer words of encouragement or worldly wisdom,” he said. “If nothing else, I let folks know that I care and try to leave them with a smile on their face. I have a heart for people.”
That passion for people and supporting the next generation has made Bundy a dedicated guiding light for hundreds of teens and young adults in NLC and 4-H.
“The AYF and 4-H are both wonderful youth organizations that are all about making a positive impact on youth and making our world a better place to live,” he said. “There is too much negativity in the world today, and these two organizations and others like them are making strides for a brighter tomorrow.”