This summer has been great. Not only have I minister to the Student Ministry of Shell Point Baptist in Beaufort, SC for the fifth year, I also had the privilege of meeting students and young adults from three different leadership camps all across our country as well as other countries. They have taught me just as much as I have taught them leadership. I started at Queens College in Charlotte, NC, and ended up at Limestone College in Gaffney, SC. While sitting in dorm rooms brought me back to college life, I never expected to have such a great experience working with great staff and leading great students. As I have been leading groups of students and young adults this week from all parts of the world, I realize the value of being clear in communication every second I spent with them. We had experience at least 14 countries represented at Yager Youth Leader Conference, at least two or three states at BLC, and at least 12 or more states represented at Beta Camp. We have learned about the importance of setting timely goals, leadership is for everyone, also communication and relationships. Perhaps the best lesson I learned was to allow students and adults freedom to share their own beliefs, with guidance, without feeling attacked. When I student or adult has that freedom, then you are able to have an open, honest, and effective approach to leading them.
In the past two years of being on staff, I have learned a catchy phrase YOLO (You only live once). How true this statement is! We need to make the most of every opportunity, in every relationship, and in every circumstance. There is no room for stress or worry in your life when you are striving to make the most of every day as if it were your last.
At each Broyhill camp, the students were engaged in mountain climbing (goal setting), self discovery, leadership, and communication. Each council, led by an individual staff person, elected a president or leader to organize and lead their group through a series of events for the week. They also understand what it was like to have a handicap as they participated in an “Empathy” lunch. This small glimpse allowed them to get a picture of what it is like for handicapped individuals on a daily basis.
It has been a joy to teach a group instruction on what is most dear to my heart as it pertains to leadership. It is my belief that “Everyone is a leader”. Each individual should be encouraged to understand their unique personality style and lead by their strengths.
It has been an amazing journey to be able to meet so many young leaders and staff from all over the country as well as all over the world. I thank God for the awesome privilege to be employed by Tomorrows American Foundation, and look forward to many more Summers.
If your student or you are a student reading this, you may want to consider attending BLC next summer. I can help get you connected.
Here is one of our Councils: