Leadership in Training

By Anne Mead

Did you know we have an incredible leadership in training program called Trail Blazers Leadership? Did you know that the teens in this program can earn 4 environmental science college credits? (Yes! I said, 4 college credits while learning at GRP) Did you know that we have crafted this program to fit our camp needs and our customers needs specifically? Some of these needs include: LEADERSHIP TRAINING!, job skills, experience with children, life skills like conflict resolution, teambuilding, and problem solving, and many many more.

Well, in case you are still wondering, we do have this program and it is as fabulous as it sounds. Rising seniors in high school and college freshmen are eligible and we openly accept both returning GRP campers and new folks to GRP. The program is 4-weeks long, beginning with a week of “staff training.” This helped prepare the participants for the remaining 3 weeks they would be “adopting” and spending with a cabin.

This summer, the Trail Blazer Leaders are being led by one of our return staff members, Tojo. As we discovered in a recent personality leadership test we all took, Tojo is both a visionary and team leader. He passionate, willing to push himself and his charges, is wholly committed, warm, and relational (among other things). In a nutshell, Tojo is a go-getter and we are so grateful to have him working with our future leaders here at GRP.

TBX participants have been living in cabins since the start of the three-week session. During the day, they are participating in leadership activities or going on hikes with set goals and intentions. For example: what are three behavior management tools the mentor utilized with the group on the hike this morning? Where they effective? Would you use these tools if you were teaching? Why or why not? Afternoons are spent learning more about a select set of activities. TBX’ers are charged with assisting (week 1) and later helping to lead activities to our campers (week 2). During free time each day, we debrief and discuss the days intentions and talk about what we learned. Evenings are spent assisting with our evening programs and helping get the campers ready for bed.

All in all our TBX’ers are getting an incredible amount of hands-on leadership experience. They have jumped in and taken the bull by the horns which is all we could hope for and ask with our leaders. This group is fantastic and we are excited to see how they continue to grow and learn as leaders in our community.