Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Camp, a Experiential Learning Experience

What does camp provide to youth that is unique to all learning environments? An Experiential Learning Experience, the most powerful way to developing leadership capabilities. It is more important today then 5 years ago, that our children are taught how to be a responsible leader. Camp provides them with the framework to practice and implement these qualities and skills. Today’s campers are going to be our future leaders of tomorrow. As youth development professionals, we need to model key roles and responsibilities of being an ethical leader. Thomas Maak and Nicola N. states that a Responsible Leader should be the:

o The Servant: Implies attentiveness, responsibility, and competence to serve others, to care for the needs of others. Servant Leadership contains a strong ethic of care. Serve others and care for their well-being through meaningful work, fair pay, and healthy and safe work environments. Servant leadership pursues goals that are compatible with all needs and interest of stakeholders.
o The Steward: Both being a guardian of values, a stronghold to protect personal and professional integrity, and steering a business responsibly and respectfully even through troubled waters, thus protecting and reserving what one is entrusted with. To hold something in trust is stewardship.
o The Coach: Facilitating development, enabling, learning and supporting individuals, teams and ultimately the organization to create an inclusive integrity culture.
o The Architect: Leaders need to create and cultivate an inspiring and supportive work environment where people find meaning, feel respected, recognized and included; where they have fun and feel mobilized and are thus enabled to contribute according to their highest potential.
o The Storyteller: A leader has the task of breathing life into both individual and organizational responsibility. Leaders need to communicate clearly and persuasively, and always with passion.
o The Change Agent: Leaders are responsible for initiating change towards a value-conscious and sustainable business in a stockholders society. Transformation should be conducted and facilitated in a caring and responsible manner and that it is, first and foremost, a leadership task.

Lets continue to teach our campers to be a Responsible Leader and model what that means in today’s society.

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