NDC camp ready to make leaders

More than 100 young people aged 13 to 17 years who will participate in the National Drug Council’s Fearless Factor Summer Camp will receive intensive leadership training, with an overview of character education and a look at Sean Covey’s seven habits of highly effective teens.

This year marks the third year that NDC is hosting the popular camp, which provides an interactive forum for young people to tackle the serious issues that affect their lives, but to do so in a fun and educational way. The camp will be held from 8-13 August at the University College of the Cayman Islands.

This year’s camp is focused on identifying young leaders among the participants and providing the training and support necessary to assist in their development as positive role models. Some participants who received high marks from Fearless Factor camps held in 2005 and 2006 have already been identified as junior team leaders and facilitators for this year’s camp. They will facilitate focus groups on drug issues and anchor the Seven Habits workshop.

Camp directors Greg Miller and Sylvia Wilks will spearhead the leadership training.

For 26-year-old Greg, this year presents a special challenge. Although he has been involved with the camp for the past three years, it is his first year as camp director.

‘I enjoy working with young people,’ says Greg. ‘I have seen how the previous camps have inspired them to participate and learn about themselves and I want to help them discover the leaders within them this year.’

Greg has just completed his first degree in Psychology at the Ave Maria University in Nicaragua and will start a Master’s degree programme in Counseling Psychology at Abilene Christian University in Texas at the end of August. He plans to specialise in drug education, rehabilitation and metal health.

Greg sees the biggest challenge of the summer camp as training the staff to ensure that participants get the most out of the workshops and activities. Both he and Ms. Wilks have developed a training manual for this purpose.

Ms Wilks is also serving in the role as camp director for the first time. In 2005 she worked as a volunteer with the camp and handled registrations, which she again focused on in 2006, with additional responsibilities as assistant camp director.

A 17-year veteran of youth and community work, Sylvia started as a youth worker at the New Testament Church of God in West Bay. She worked with the Department of Social Services at the residential home for boys and then at Frances Bodden Girls home, where she held the posts of senior residential worker (team leader) and Case Manager. Along with her role as Secretary to the NDC, she has formed a youth development agency called Cayman Islands Youth Development Consortium.

The consortium seeks to coordinate a youth development partnership scheme with children, young people and their supporters to promote the positive development of young people and communities.

‘Anyone who decides to work with young people will find that the desire becomes a part of you. I am focused on seeing young people develop to be the best they can be,’ she says.

It is a process she will be hoping to start with the young leaders under her charge at Fearless Factor summer camp.

‘I want campers to start thinking about themselves – who they are and what they have to offer. I want them to see themselves as persons who can lead, and lead positively,’ she says.

For their role as camp directors, Greg and Sylvia say: ‘We want the young people to understand that we are here as supporters in their development. We are here to help them make positive decisions.’

In addition to leadership training, fun and games, campers will also be exposed to presentations from participating organisations including the Red Cross, Cayman Aids Foundation and the Department of Employee Relations.

NDC’s Fearless Factor summer camp directors Sylvia Wilks and Greg Miller confer with Simon Miller, standing,, acting CEO on plans for the camp, which takes place from 8-13 August.

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