Kids learn life lessons and survival skills at Kiwanis Leadership Adventure Camp

Jonetta Susong, Rebecca Cable, Lindsey Long, Ciara Boring,  Kailyn Juday, and Aresha Robinson learn about working together during a team-building exercise.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Jonetta Susong, Rebecca Cable, Lindsey Long, Ciara Boring, Kailyn Juday, and Aresha Robinson learn about working together during a team-building exercise.

Thirty-one Blount County middle-schoolers got a unique opportunity this summer to grow as young leaders while learning to hike, climb, kayak, and even shoot a bow and arrow. The rising eighth-graders get to try these activities and more at the Kiwanis Club of Maryville’s Leadership Adventure Camp, which is in its sixth year. This year’s camp was held at Wesley Woods from July 12-17, and welcomed students form Eagleton, Heritage, and Maryville Middle Schools to join the fun.

The camp is designed to build confidence, teamwork and communication skills as well as help kids break out of their comfort zones. Students with leadership potential are nominated by their teachers, then selected through a process of essay questions and interviews, resulting in this year’s class of 31 promising young leaders.

In addition to the outdoor activities, the kids were asked to use the service-oriented skills they were learning in camp to create service projects that they could carry out in their schools. The kids were supervised by six Wesley Woods counselors and, representing the Maryville Kiwanis Club, camp director Randy Allen and Patsy Russell, a teacher at Heritage Middle. Community leaders in a number of fields also stopped by the camp to share experiences and practical lessons in leadership.

The Kiwanis Club of Maryville meets every Tuesday at noon at the Green Meadow Country Club in Alcoa. For more information, call 865-983-7400 or visit www.maryvillekiwanis.org.

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