No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself,
or to get all the credit for doing it.
Welcome to the wide world of Leadership Initiatives. We get very excited about this program because everyone knows that “leadership” is important, but it isn't necessarily considered to be a skill that is easy to develop.
Our approach is simple. We see leadership as a skill that must be practiced just like any other.
More and more work in the professional world requires collaboration between individuals and teams to solve hard problems. Yet much of our traditional education is based on individual accumulation of facts and testing. Leadership is an important skill that many students don’t get a lot of opportunity to practice.
We wouldn’t expect a student to develop a great tennis serve without practicing, would we? What about playing the piano, or writing a great essay? Building skills takes practice, and leadership is no different.
So how do we practice?
We define the skill of leadership as the ability to identify and apply one’s best contribution to a group, and to help others do the same. The beautiful thing about this definition is that a group member can practice leadership from any role within the group.
Leadership Initiatives is a program built on solving problems in groups. We create dozens of games, challenges, and initiatives for groups of campers to solve together.
Campers will go through a cycle of activity-reflection-discussion to learn about what works and what doesn’t in group problem solving scenarios. Some activities will be brief and some are more involved. All campers will have the opportunity to fill and observe many different roles that contribute to the success of the group. Regardless of their role in any given activity, campers will always be practicing skills that are instrumental to success when solving problems and working in groups.
Is it fun?
You bet it is. Kids love solving problems, and they especially love solving problems in groups. It gets even more fun when the activity is facilitated by an enthusiastic counselor who is trained to process the activity after it is over.
There is also lots of variety (just like in real life!). Some activities are 5-10 minutes and others may last up to an hour. Some feel like games and others feel more like challenges. Every camper will have a chance to fill every different kind of role during the week. And finally, sometimes we just cut loose and do something purely for fun.