THOMASTON, MAINE – Trekkers held its final student leadership training of the year on March 22nd-23rd. The youth-mentoring organization recently expanded its Student Leadership Program, tripling the yearly trainings for 11th grade students who wish to serve as mentors for their younger Trekker peers.
Trekkers offered three training weekends to juniors this year, each building upon the topics and skills from the previous training. Held at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro, each weekend included a particular theme that was addressed through group discussion, reflection, games, journaling and team-building activities. The first leadership weekend, held in November, focused on team dynamics, where students challenged themselves on the high and low ropes courses. The second training in February expanded into discussing the importance of and honing the skills in communication. The third training focused upon conflict resolution and introduced mediation skills and techniques that students can apply to their everyday lives, from the halls of their high school to their Facebook page.
“By having students participate in three weekends their junior year and three their senior year, we believe we have created the best possible opportunity for students to be successful in the leadership roles they take on in the community,” said Trekkers’ Executive Director, Don Carpenter, who facilitates the leadership program.
This spring and summer, the 11 participating students will have another opportunity to put their skills to use by volunteering as expedition mentors for Trekkers’ 7th and 8th grade programs. These expeditions, ranging from 3 to 14 days in length, provide many unique chances for student leaders to act as role models, mediators and friends to the younger Trekkers.
“[I’m] looking forward to helping people with their problems and being someone that they can talk to,” commented one student leader. Another said she is excited to “create new connections and possibly instill [her] love and passion for Trekkers in new students.” Throughout the Trekkers expeditions, student leaders will receive guidance and encouragement from the adult expedition mentors and Trekkers Program Managers.
During their senior year of high school, these 11 students will be offered three new training weekends as part of the Leadership Training Program. In the years to come, Trekkers anticipates doubling the number of students who will participate in this program.