Our Aspire team has been on an educational and enjoyable journey this week, alongside our Summit program! They had the chance to take over Crew duties yesterday while they were out on their solos. This past week, the Aspire campers have been receiving a lot of leadership training. This is courtesy of Aunt Amanda and Uncle Matt, who have been directing the program this year and who have been doing an amazing job. They described the program to me, saying that Aspire is “the best of both worlds” in the fact that these campers get to do everything the regular campers do, apart from a few exceptions. Instead of morning activities like everyone else, the campers get to do team building exercises. On Thursday’s, they get to take over for the Crew kids, where they were able to experience serving by cleaning (bathrooms, sweeping floors), kitchen duties (cleaning & drying dishes, dining hall duties), and programming (helping with games, tuck delivery). After they finished their duties for the day, they were able to have a Crew vs Aspire challenge, as a way to have a little more fun before the day ended!
On top of all the chances for spiritual growth and leadership guidance, the Aspire campers were able to get a taste of what it would be like if they were to join Crew next year. The Aspire program has leadership building one activity period a day – if they were to continue next year to Crew, the program focuses on a more hands-on type of leadership and emphasizes on serving others. Another bonus of doing Crew next year is that it’s a good way to receive the 40 hours of community service that’s mandatory in order to graduate high school!
Why is leadership and the Aspire program so important? I sat down with Uncle Matt and Aunt Amanda to discuss with them why this program is such a vital week for aspiring young leaders. They said that it helps give young campers the chance to develop skills they already possess, but fine-tuning them so they can be used not only at camp, but be applied to other leadership roles in their schools and communities. Aunt Amanda mentioned that some girls in her cabin this year revealed that they are looking forward to doing Crew and LIT, mostly because they’ve had leaders in their lives – who they have really respected– that have done these programs. They have heard about the funny memories and good lessons these leaders have experienced, which they want to understand as well. Amanda also talked about how the girls declared that they wanted to give back to these services that helped make Camp such a memorable place for them, and do their part to pour into it for the next generation of campers!
Blog & Pictures By: Karley Sider