Youth Leadership Camp

The Center’s 5th annual Youth Leadership Camp was held this summer in the mountains of Sussex County. Pam Pastorino and Ashley LeBelle, School Health Specialists working under the WSCC (Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child) grant, orchestrated a jam packed weekend full of outdoor activities, leadership training, team building, and personal growth at the L.G Cook 4H Camp in Sandyston, NJ. Fifty middle and high school students from Manasquan to Vernon Township were chosen by their schools to attend the three day-two night camp. There they participated in activities such as: archery, canoeing, team building games, tie dye, and small group training sessions led by the nationally recognized Gian Paul Gonzalez on his “All-In” lifestyle. With each group led by a returning youth leader this weekend truly focused on the growth and bonding of the students both as members of a team and individually as leaders. One student sharing that “my favorite part was all the team work we had to do”. With the help of four returning campers (now freshmen in college), four 4H camp staff, and seven adult chaperones the students felt safe and comfortable to open themselves up to experiences they may not have otherwise. One chaperone stated “my favorite part of this weekend was watching the kids form relationships and build lasting memories through new experiences”. As the students loaded the buses and vehicles to head home it was clear to see the impression this weekend left on them written in the smiles across all of their faces and the final hugs they shared with their new friends. “Nothing would have made this weekend better”.