Waynesville Middle School students are learning how to become leaders.

From June 5-16, seven VISTA Summer Associates led 30 Waynesville Middle School students in a leadership development program known as Tiger Leadership Camp.
Students performed a variety of team-building activities, developed leadership tactics and resiliency styles, while learning about themselves through personnel development assessments.

Working with Soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood's Noncommissioned Officers Academy, students were split into groups and challenged to complete urban orienteering and a team development/confidence course.  The Fort Leonard Wood Chaplain’s Office also participated in developing team building by providing a fun hands-on learning experience through games and group activities.

While learning about the importance of community involvement, students performed community service at East Elementary where they worked with elementary school students to paint character words on rocks and then placed them in community areas for local citizens to find.

“The Leadership Camp is one of the most awesome experiences we offer during summer school at WMDS,” said Michele Sumter, Waynesville Middle School principal. “Students are taught to lead by example, be reflective and work as a team. This highly sought after class boasts a diverse facilitation team of college student-leaders who understand the importance of building relationships with students and challenging them to push outside of the norm to achieve personal and team success. We are in our second year of the program, with many returning students. Because this program is so engaging and meaningful, we will find a way to incorporate it into our leadership development courses next school year.”

Students kept daily journals where they reflected on the day's activities, sharing what they learned. One 8th grade student said, “I like that they make the studies really fun by making a game so we can learn at the same time.”

A 7th grade student summed up the majority of the student’s thoughts on WMDS Tiger Leadership Camp, “My goal was to finish TLC as a better leader.  I met my goal because I have learned lots of things to make me a better leader and I learned how to talk to people more. Plus, I think this camp is AWESOME!”

Tiger Leadership Camp was coordinated by WMDS staff and AmeriCorps VISTA members working in partnership with volunteers and community agencies.