THOMASTON – On March 13-14th, 11 Oceanside High School juniors and six adult mentors from the Trekkers’ Leadership Program participated in a two-day training at the Kieve-Wavus Leadership School in Nobleboro, with a focus on conflict resolution. Trekkers, a non-profit, outdoor-based mentoring program connects young people to caring adults through opportunities like the Leadership Program. This was the third and final leadership weekend for the students in the 11th grade program.
Trekkers’ Leadership Program now offers three training weekends to 11th grade students, followed by three training weekends when they progress to the 12th grade. Each subsequent session in the two-year progression builds upon the topics and skills from the previous training. The weekend retreats focus on a particular theme that is addressed through group discussion, reflection, games, journaling and team-building activities. The goals of this third leadership weekend were to teach students how to identify problems/conflicts before they become unmanageable; train students in how to diffuse situations and take needed actions towards resolution; encourage students to view conflicts as opportunities for deepening relationships; and train them how to be mediators on Trekkers trips, at school, in their community and with their friends. In their senior year of high school, these 11 students will be offered three additional training weekends as part of the program.
The Leadership Program is led by Executive Director, Don Carpenter, who says, “As these 11th graders complete the first year of the expanded Leadership Program, it is exciting to see them begin to understand the complexities of facilitating group activities and dealing with various group dynamics. The students are beginning to put the lessons they learned earlier this year into action.” Students participating in this program will put their new skills to use when they volunteer as student leaders during Trekkers expeditions later this year. The expeditions range from 3 to 14 days in length, and provide many ways for student leaders to act as role models, mediators and peer mentors for younger Trekkers.
The expanded Leadership Program is part of the growing organization’s plan to build leadership skills and increase the number of student leaders in the years to come. Historically, 46% of Trekkers students participate in the Leadership Program and become peer mentors for the younger students. For more about Trekkers or the expanded Leadership Program, contact the Trekkers office at 594-5095.
Trekkers is a non-profit outdoor-based mentoring program that connects young people with caring adults through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education. As a preventative, community-based program, Trekkers brings students and adult mentors together to build meaningful relationships over a period of six years. This model, in turn, creates a safety net for local youth who are civically engaged and oftentimes return to Trekkers as adult volunteers themselves. Trekkers serves the communities of Cushing, Owls Head, Rockland, South Thomaston, St. George and Thomaston.