Students in the Waynesville School District will have a chance to improve their leadership and communication skills outside of the classroom in the coming weeks. The district is hosting several Adventure Leadership Camps for students entering 5th through 12th grades.
“What we’re trying to do is instill leadership skills and communication skills through outdoor activities,” Maleah Hendricks, the AmeriCorps VISTA leader for the district, said.
Some of those planned outdoor activities include obstacle courses on Fort Leonard Wood, a high ropes course at Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch in Steelville, and other team-building events including rock climbing, camping and canoeing.
“There won’t really be a lot of classroom setting,” Hendricks explained. “For the most part we’re going to be going out and taking part in activities.”
This is the first year the camps will be offered for the local school district. Hendricks said the district applied for a grant through the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps to bring in a team of counselors to lead the camps.
“The grant provides the team,” she said. “We’ve partnered with the post to provide them housing. Their services will be free to the school district.”
Hendricks said she feels the camps are important in the local area due to the large military population that moves in and out throughout the school year.
“A lot of the students are moving in during the middle of the school year,” she said, adding that military youth can miss out on opportunities to take part in sports teams or other leadership-building clubs or groups.
“We felt like this is something that we really needed for the community,” Hendricks added. “We’re hoping to not only reach the traditional leaders ... we also want to reach the students who don’t always speak up in class. We want to bring them in and let them practice leadership skills.”
Adventure Leadership Camps will be offered by age group. The first camp is for students entering high school and runs June 4-15. Students entering 5th or 6th grades can chose from camps June 18-22 or July 9-13, and the camp for students entering 7th or 8th grades runs June 25-29.
More information about the camps is available by emailing or calling 433-2043. Application forms are also available in school office throughout the district. The camp is free for high school students and ranges in price from $30 to $50 for non-high school students. Financial scholarships are available.
“I think it’s going to be a wonderful opportunity,” Hendricks added. “We have some great community partnerships and the community has been very supportive of this. People have been more then willing to help us out.”