Barbara Lawlor, Gilpin County. Hundreds of students determined to learn more about how to be a leader—how to run a student government—streamed to Colorado State University in Fort Collins this summer. These are students who are involved in their schools, are achievers, are eager to work to learn how to be a part of the big picture.
Among the hundreds of students from 60 different schools, Gilpin High School students Chase Boulter, Adam Holsten, Johnny Lovett, Rachel Schmalz, and advisor Su Henry, attended the annual Colorado High School Activities Association Student Leadership Summer Camp.
CHSAA is a voluntary association of 343 member schools that includes public, private, and charter schools. CHSAA has been the state’s governing body of high school sports and activities since 1921. Its mission is to serve its membership through the advancement of, and the student’s participation in, interscholastic activities.
CHSAA sponsors championship events in 27 boys’ and girls’ sports and events in student council, music, and speech. More than 58% of the state’s students participate in at least one activity sponsored by the CHSAA. There were over 500 Student Council leaders and faculty advisors at this week-long camp. Delegates representing over 60 high schools attended this camp.
With the theme “Imagine,” the camp is a four-day experiential program for high school leaders. The camp provides students with the opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with other student council members throughout the state, learn about student council issues, and help students discover their own leadership potential.
The camp curriculum focuses on goal setting, organizational skills, communication and meeting skills, leadership ideals, self-awareness, and group process and team building. Sessions were presented on leadership skills, effective student government projects, and student activity program development.
Those who attended the camp are the cream of the crop when it comes to leadership in Colorado’s high schools. The camp creates an environment that enhances personal development through sporting behavior, character education, teamwork, leadership, and citizenship.
This summer was the 50th anniversary of these camps. When it was over, the Gilpin students brought their experience back to Eagle territory to share it with classmates and teachers. They were among those who found the four-day event to be life-changing and the basis for lifetime friendships.