The Hands4Hope -Youth Making A Difference Education Team, along with the Youth Board Executive Committee, recently hosted two annual Hands4Hope Leadership Camps for incoming 2022-23 Hands4Hope middle and high school youth leaders.
The theme of this year’s Leadership Camp was “Reach for the Stars”.
Both leadership camps were held in-person and outdoors at the serene and shady Davies Family Inn at Shadowridge Ranch in Placerville. Middle school leadership camp was two days from July 25th and 26th. High school leadership camp was a three-day event that took place the following week - August 1st-3rd. The high school leaders stayed overnight for the first time since 2019 and enjoyed a campfire and stargazing facilitated by the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society. In total, 51 youth leaders (24 from middle school and 27 from high school) had the opportunity to participate in this customized, fun skill-building experience available only to youth leaders involved in Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference.
Hands4Hope leadership camps are designed to welcome new and catch up with returning youth leaders who represent one of the 10 after-school committees and/or one of the 14 Hands4Hope school clubs located on campuses between Folsom and Placerville.
The theme “Reach for the Stars” was the perfect way to inspire and motivate leaders to push themselves to their next level of leadership. Through a series of workshops and team-building activities, the camps provide them with the tools they need to lead successful clubs and committees in the new program year.
The workshops (facilitated by the Youth Board Executive Committee) included:
Service-Learning using the IPARD method which stands for (I)nvestigation, (P)lan, take (A)ction, (R)eflect, (D)emonstrate/Celebrate
Strength-Based Leadership & Goal Development, and
How to Facilitate a Meeting
In addition to in-house workshops and team-building activities, we welcomed Cour Experience facilitators who shared a 60-minute wellness workshop focused on quick and easy solutions for relieving anxiety and stress.
We surveyed the youth about their experience at camp and here are a few of their responses:
The Wellness Visitors (were my favorite activity because) it helped cool me down.
I enjoyed the treasure hunt.
Human Knot was fun to interact with others.
I liked the Wellness Workshop.
I enjoyed learning about how to conduct a meeting and thought it was useful.
The mock meeting and holding fake scenarios were helpful.
Youth leaders were well fed throughout both camps thanks to adult volunteers, Dolly Wager and Robyn Parker, who worked with locally owned restaurants to provide breakfast and lunch daily. Thank you to members of the Hands4Hope Advisory Board for preparing and serving the high school leaders a BBQ dinner before their campfire. The Board team included Andrea Howard, Steve Backers, Heather Edwards, Dolly Wager and Jennifer Bassett, who not only provided dinner for the high school leaders, but stayed to eat and play games with the group.
Staff and the Youth Board Executive Committee worked hard to make both leadership camps fun and engaging, and are excited to see all of the leaders prepared and ready to start the 2022-23 program year at Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference!