University City

Program grooms next generation of leaders

Countryside Montessori is grooming the next set of community leaders this summer through the school's summer at Mallard Creek program.

The program, in its 13th year, blends camp with a mix of dedicated and positive role models. They work closely with campers and teach the value of working together, having fun and being a great leader.

Leaders in Training was designed to build self-esteem and instill core values such as respect, responsibility, caring, environmental awareness, sportsmanship and set campers up to be future school leaders.

Open to the public and designed for rising fifth-graders through rising seniors, the Leaders in Training participants serve as mentors, teachers and big brothers and sisters for the younger campers.

The Leaders in Training participants assist the senior camp counselors in activities ranging from field trips, games, sports, arts, crafts, team building, archery and other activities.

On Fridays, the Leaders in Training are rewarded with day field trips for activities including horseback riding, swimming, laser tag, movies and hiking.

"They can have their own special day by going on field trips or simply relaxing after a long week's work by just hanging out with their friends," said Mustang Athletic Director Nick Nichols.

Everyone who completes two or more weeks as a junior counselor is eligible for a weeklong leadership conference and getaway to the Outer Banks.

Camp A-Don-Dee, the Cherokee word for spirit, is broken into three separate age-based extensions so campers can learn and work with people in their age range. Camp Little Spirit is for rising first- and second-graders, Camp Free Spirit is for rising third- and fourth-graders and the Leaders in Training Program is for fifth-graders and older.

The Mustangs are building a school tradition and are developing the leaders of tomorrow through their growing school and leadership building programs.