Camp Thurman Teaches Teen Leadership Team Building Skills

Daja Dansby, Editor

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High above the ground, Jola Adedigba stood looking at the sea of students below her. The sun beat down her neck as she reflected on what she had just done. There was no time to think about her fear of heights because, in three seconds, she was going to have to jump.

“It was something I never would have imagined myself doing,” Adedigba said. “For me to climb a pole and jump off was nerve-racking. I’m afraid of heights and for me to overcome that was crazy.”

The Power Pole was one of many courses offered at Camp Thurman where Teen Leadership II classes went on Sept. 22, for their annual team building trip.

 “We’ve been going since 2008,” teacher Heather Colburn said. “(The workers) are more like family now; they’re just awesome people who love kids and love for our students to understand how to work in a team.”

The goal of the camp is to teach students about working together.

“It taught me teamwork and (how to) consider other people’s ideas instead of being a dictator,” junior Blessing Duku said. “Now at work (I’ll) try not to accomplish everything by myself and ask my coworkers for help.

Participants worked on icebreakers and low-rope courses in the morning and high-rope courses in the afternoon.

“At first my classmates were uncomfortable because we did things that were silly,” Duku said. “But after a while, they saw it as fun and many of them who don’t usually speak in class interacted with one another when it came to group activities.”

Colburn said that part of the reason she believes in what the camp does is that she experienced something similar when she went on a team-building trip in high school.

“Things that cause you to step out of your comfort zone leave the biggest impact,” she said. “(My favorite part) was bonding with the people that I went with. Everything hangs on relationships.”

Adedigba said she would love to go to Camp Thurman again and that she plans to implement working productively with groups into her day-to-day life.

“Doing this will help make me a greater p erson and classmate,” she said. “My biggest take away was that it’s okay to ask for help and that help doesn’t connect with failure.”

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