THOMASTON, MAINE – On Nov. 16-18th, Trekkers kicked off its newly expanded Student Leadership Program, holding the first of six leadership training weekends for Trekkers students. Taking place at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro, this leadership training weekend is the starting point of Trekkers’ two-year leadership progression model for juniors interested in volunteering as peer mentors for younger Trekkers students.
Participating students will partake in the first three leadership trainings as juniors and the remaining three during their senior year. Each designed to build upon the last, the trainings provide students the opportunity to build leadership skills and gain experience through group discussion, individual reflection and team-building exercises. During their first leadership weekend, the students and mentors challenged themselves on the high and low ropes courses at Camp Kieve, gaining new perspectives on leading a team and observing group dynamics.
John Ferguson, a Trekker in the Leadership Program, said he learned about “different team dynamics, how hard it is to get over stereotypes, and how you have to be mindful to engage everyone, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.” As a community-based organization, Trekkers emphasizes the need for group cohesion and success of the group over the success of one individual in all of its programs. This philosophy serves as the foundation to its Leadership Program model, as students explore why they think that leadership is important in this world.
“The opportunity to expand our leadership program couldn’t come at a better time in the evolution of our program. In serving more students and more communities, we need even more student leaders who have the skills to lead others toward successful and healthy outcomes,” said Executive Director Don Carpenter.
By participating in Trekkers’ Student Leadership Program, student leaders can take a formal mentoring role for 7th, 8th or 9th grade Trekkers. Student leaders also pledge to be substance-free for their remaining two years of high school. In the years to come, Trekkers anticipates doubling the number of students who will participate in this program.
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 St. George, Owls Head, Cushing, South Thomaston, Thomaston, and Rockland.