Adventures In Leadership

Post a Comment » Written on February 10th, 2014     
Filed under: Camps, Resources
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By Chris Wiens

When high school students say, “I never knew I had it in me to lead,” or “I can’t wait to get home and change things,” or “I really experienced God this week,” you know something good is happening!
Adventures in Leadership (AIL) came to Canada for the first time this year. It is a program designed to help students not only learn how to be a leader, but to experience it first hand. Our Canadian Conference saw the need to be more intentional about developing leaders of our youth, so in August ten students from around the country, along with three youth Pastors and a camp director, spent a week in the Alberta Rockies to do the first ever Canadian AIL.

We spent the first day and a half at Covenant Bay Bible Camp getting to know each other and laying the foundations for leadership and our upcoming adventure together. The next five days were spent backpacking in the mountains.We covered 40 kilometers, two mountain peeks, alpine lakes, and a grueling 1,000 metre descent back to civilization. Some students had never seen a mountain before (Saskatchewan inhabitants), let alone hiked one. Others lived in the mountains and were well equipped for the journey. Some showed up with heavy-duty boots, others brought their running shoes. The diversity of the group proved to be both a considerable challenge but also very rewarding opportunity to journey together as a team by leading one another through care and encouragement.

Each student had the unique chance to lead the rest of the group and then receive feedback from their peers. As a leader, the student had to consider the needs of the whole group, navigate us by map and compass, keep everyone on track, get everyone fed, and lead a devotional to either begin, or end the day together. It was amazing to see how each student stepped up to the challenge! They got to see in themselves things they hadn’t yet realized and hear positive feedback from their peers and leaders.

During the hiking days, the four adult leaders took turns leading conversations about what makes a good leader, covering spiritual and practical skills.We talked about the disciplines of prayer, silence, community, and pursuit of God as essential for godly, spirit filled leadership. The practical skills included vision, communication, conflict management, and listening well. Over all, our goal was to integrate Christian character with specific leadership skills. The students responded well. They led devotionals, journaled, dialogued with one another, and were forced to put into practice some of the skills that are necessary for good leadership. In addition to personally practicing leadership, each student got to spend half a day with one of the adult leaders to reflect on their own life’s situation and personal goals of leadership when they returned home.

Some students had a passion to work closer with their youth pastors to help effect positive change in their ministries. Others were inspired to step up their influence at home and in their schools. We are so encouraged to see how these students are putting into practice the things they learned about themselves, and their faith.

We are planning AIL 2014 and are hopeful that this program is here to stay!

 

Stay tuned for Adventures in Leadership 2014 – August 5-12
Applications available early spring 2014

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