Stone Canyon highlights leadership in youth programs
As the outdoor education season begins, there is much to do at Stone Canyon Outdoor EdVentures to ensure the continued growth and positive impact it provides to the students of Douglas County. A vital component of our program is our team of High School Leads, students who assist Program Instructors in the supervision of students and the delivery of outdoor education curriculum and activities. Recruiting the best student leaders is a top priority.
High School Leads are 10th-12th grade students who volunteer their time to support program staff. Interested students are encouraged to apply and are required to attend training, which includes workshops in behavior management, team building, best practices for working with students with special needs, and managing homesickness to ensure the emotional, physical, and mental safety of our kids. Stone Canyon also strives to provide our Leads with life-long skills and outcomes.
According to our Leads, the gains they receive go beyond the service hours. "This is a chance to unplug from regular life and appreciate something much bigger than yourself,” said one Lead upon completing his service. “It teaches you to the importance of helping people. “When asked about the value of volunteering, another Lead stated, "I want to be a positive influence on kids that need a friend. If I can make even one kid feel special and worthwhile, then I will feel fulfilled."
Program Coordinator Alicia Gerber oversees the recruitment and training of High School Leads. Over the last year, Alicia says she has seen a wide range of positive results in working with these students. “When the High School Leads come to Stone Canyon, they not only get an opportunity to be a positive role model, but they also learn important skills that they can use in the real world. It is amazing how much these students grow and how much they learn in just three days.”