Sunday, September 16, 2007
Leadership Essentials for Youth
A group of youth leaders / camp counselors came together on August 18th for the first local YMCA-sponsored prototype of a CCL Leadership Essentials for Youth Workshop. We are calling this the Lead Now! workshop design with the intention of creating one-day, two-day, and three-day curriculum for youth leaders with a detailed facilitators guide and tool kit. Joel Wright, Paula Morrow, Matt Hall, Dou Fall, Tim Burress, and Steadman Harrison facilitated the design that included an Introduction to CCL, Leadership 101, D-A-C, S-B-I, MBTI, Experiential Exercises, and Visual Explorer. The youth that attended each shared how this workshop design impacted their understanding and practice of leadership. These youth represented late high school and early college age students. They were all current employees of the YMCA and selected on the basis of their positive leadership over the 2007 summer term of work. This was an exciting step in the exploration of youth leadership models at CCL. We appreciate the YMCA's partnership and funding.
When the participants first arrived (teenagers from 15-19 years in age), some of us were feeling a bit skeptical about what we would be able to accomplish with them. They seemed too laid back, reserved, a little too ‘cool’… these were a few of our first impressions. However, the CCL modules that we used are so engaging that soon we all found the room full of energy. The quiet and reserved kids came out of the shells and took on the leadership roles time and time again. The young women in the room really surprised us the most. One of these women was one of the younger counselors in the group and she stepped up to articulate the needs and initiated a plan of action on behalf of the group several times during the course of the day. The mix of experiential exercises and a ‘lessons from life’ type overview connected with these youth. They rated their appreciation for S-B-I and the MBTI overviews close to the top of their list along with Visual Explorer and the experiential exercises.
The workshop close really caught some of us off guard. We were remembering our first impressions and trying to figure out where these kids came from as they went around the room receiving their certificates and sharing their ‘take-aways’ from the day. Each of them described important lessons of impact like how they had a new vision of leadership, or how they were prepared to give feedback to the kids that came to their camp, or how they understood personality preferences for the first time, or how they planned to step up to opportunities in the future. We were really blown away by how far they came in the course of 1 day… it reminded us of the same sort of impact we experienced with the 1-day workshop in Jinja, Uganda.
The goal of this GVOL youth work is to create a workshop design and toolkit that we can put in the hands of youth leaders around the world. Our prototype from this initial design will be going to South Africa later in September and on to Singapore in October.