Leadership Camp with John McCrae High School

I filled out an application to go to an overnight leadership camp.  The camp is for students in grade 9-12 and I was really happy that they accepted my application.

I wanted to to go the camp for a lot of reasons.  First of all I am looking for a way to feel more involved and connected to the school.  With all the training for the World Championships I really put all school activities on hold.  This was a good way for me to meet more people.

I also wanted to go to camp to hopefully learn some  more skills that I can use with kids that I’ll be coaching all summer at Taekwon-do and soccer camps. I figured anything to do with leadership can only be helpful in everything I want to do.

We left the school at 9:15 am to go to Rideau Hill Camp.  The camp was organized and run strictly by senior students and the teachers cooked and supervised.  We were put into groups the day before that were mixed with 9th graders to 12th graders. I was the only ninth grader in my group but I actually liked that.  I really enjoyed my time with the older people in my group.  I made some new friends and had a great time.

We had lots of sessions focusing on team work, taking leadership in different scenarios, trust exercises , time management skills and how to deal with stress.  There were also some games where all the groups came together.  I learned a lot and it felt so good to just laugh and have have fun.

I might be a bit more confident than a lot of other teenagers just because of always competing.  I could see what a big stretch it was for a lot of people to open up and share their views about some things.  You could see how hard it was for some of them and I think it was great to push themselves out of their comfort zone.

The part of the whole camp that blew my mind was that 40-50 teenagers were put  into a camp with terrible cold and wet weather, rustic cabins without electricity and outhouses in the woods, no showers but everyone worked together, smiled and didn’t complain once!   We were having too much fun.  Now if that isn’t a group of special teenagers then I’m not sure what is. I was shocked how nice everyone was.

I had one favorite part about the camp and it wasn’t even about leadership but it was a special moment. The first night we were there, there was a bond fire. We all ended up linking arms, swaying back and forth, singing with at least two guitars going. It was special because most of us were practically strangers to each other but we all came together and united. It was really sad to see all the graduates depressed about this being their last year of camp and at school.

It was an amazing time and I am 100% going back next year but next time I’m taking rubber boots. Lol.  It’s weird, I already miss everybody.  I really needed those two days to enjoy some time with friends and to just completely let go. It was an amazing experience.

When I got off the bus Friday night my parents were waiting with some food and my soccer bag so they could  take me directly to soccer practice.  I didn’t even have time to go home.  Within minutes I was back to reality.  I was in such a great mood at soccer that I didn’t care how many push-up or sit-ups our coach told us to do 🙂

This weekend will also be filled with coaching the junior coloured belts to help them get ready for their tournament next week as well as my own training.   I feel energized after the camp so watch out…. 🙂


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