Posted: Oct 28, 2012 2:32 PM by Tara Grimes - MTN News
Updated: Oct 28, 2012 1:39 PM
GREAT FALLS- While business leaders, elected officials and Montana Farmers Union members wrapped up the 97th Annual Meeting and Convention in Great Falls on Saturday, kids were getting their own lesson on how to be leaders. MFU held a day camp for children aged five to 12.
MFU Education Director Delisa Clampitt said the day camp is focused on building leadership skills and learning how to work well with others.
Elijah Wagoner, 10, said he is already familiar with being a leader since he takes care of his two younger siblings while his father is away at the farm and his mother is working around home. But he said, he built upon those skills at the camp.
"They told us you should always respect other people's space, and what they like to do and how they want to do it, especially adults," Wagoner said.
Kids also had a chance to play cooperative games.
"We play a lot of cooperative games, it's not competitive, it's cooperative," Clampitt said.
Wagoner described his favorite game.
"We had a ring with a bunch of strings tied to it and each person grabbed a string and we stick a ball in the middle of a string and you had to lift it up with teamwork," he said.
These games and lessons aren't just led by anyone however. Kids learn from a group of young adults who have been specially selected for their involvement in the camps, and their ability to share their knowledge with others. One of those leaders is Todd Murphy, who says MFU is a large part of his life.
"It feels good because I remember when I was that age," Murphy said. "I remembered some of the people that did it for me and some of them are here today."
Senior youth leader Blake Eisenzimer said the young kids were not the only ones to benefit from the camp.
"It kind of helps me learn," Eisenzimer said. "I mean get back to my school and I can help littler kids out."
Whether it was learning leadership skills, how to cooperative with others, or working on crafts, the advisors said they were glad to help build better leaders for the future.