Annual Student Leadership Camp a Success
Approximately 215 students from 12 different high schools in the English Montreal School Board wrapped up their 22nd annual Student Leadership Camp under the theme “Leadership is what we fight for ” at Camp Papillon in Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez.
Every year, students from Secondary I to V convene and are challenged to develop their leadership capacity through a multitude of student-led experiential and team-building activities. What for many often begins with a teacher-encouraged hesitant few steps outside their comfort zones, results in multiple years at camp throughout their high school careers and lifelong memories and friendships. In fact, many of the teacher advisors who accompany students to camp and alumni of the very same program from their times as students at EMSB high schools.
The camp is planned from scratch each year. Starting in January, 36 student organizers, hailing from different high schools, come together for weekly meetings where every aspect of this three-day endeavour is planned. Program activities are rehearsed and practiced on each other. Feedback is given. This is where the heart of the program lies; the leadership training and experiences gained by these dedicated student organizers, week after week. If you drop by Westmount High on a Wednesday afternoon to watch these student leaders in action, it’s not uncommon to see graduated alumni of the leadership program back for a visit.
Motivational speaker Sunjay Nath delivered this year’s keynote address, using humour, magic and uplifting anecdotes, to demonstrate to students that their lives are the product of all the choices they make. They determine how their days are shaped, how their lives are lived and what type of people they want to become.
For the third year, student leaders also prepared a workshop for the EMSB’s administrators who visited on the second day of camp.
This annual tradition is a student-leadership incubator, students network; learn from each other and take these life-changing lessons back to their schools where they leave empowered to make a difference without the walls of their schools and across out network.