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Local High School Juniors Attend Four County EMC's Youth Leadership Camp

March 21st, 2018

Students experienced leadership training, team building and individual exercises during camp. Students experienced leadership training, team building and individual exercises during camp.

Four County EMC held its eleventh annual Youth Leadership Weekend at Camp Bowers in White Oak on March 16-18. Eighteen area high school juniors attended this year.

On Friday afternoon, the students were taught the cooperative business model as well as what makes Four County different from other electricity providers. After that, they participated in an introductory session and initiation games.

On Saturday, the students experienced a full day of leadership training that involved many various team building exercises as well as individual exercises. The students learned and applied the seven C.O.P.E. goals: teamwork, communication, trust, leadership, decision making, problem solving and self-esteem. C.O.P.E. is an acronym for “Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience.”

On Saturday night, Tawana Williams, “The Hope Coach,” motivated the group by delivering her message of hope to the group by discussing the obstacles that she has overcome in her life as she was born without arms and impaired use of her legs. She also performed demonstrations of how she utilizes her feet and toes to perform daily tasks such as putting on socks, tying shoes and even how she fed and changed her daughter’s diaper when she was a baby. Everyone in attendance felt motivated to conquer whatever hurdles that may be in front of them after hearing her phenomenal message.

On Sunday morning, the students reflected back on the weekend and shared what they learned. Paige Hardison from Harrells Christian Academy said “This weekend immensely surpassed all of my expectations. I made a lot of new friends and we did a lot of new things. Leadership was the main focus but that wasn’t the only thing that we learned. We also learned a lot about trust through leadership and that we can do a lot of good things as a team that we can’t do alone.” Isa Lu from Topsail High School said “This weekend was more than I expected. I got to meet a lot of new friends and really hone in on my leadership skills and teamwork. I’m really happy that I got to challenge myself on the high ropes course because usually I’m always a very shy and timid person. I think in the end, it was all worth it.”

“Watching someone overcome their fear of heights through the support of all of their peers cheering for them is something that will never get old. This program is teaching young adults how to become better leaders in their schools and communities” said Youth Leadership Weekend Coordinator, Jeremy Dewberry. “The vital skills they learn and develop over the course of the weekend are something they will carry with them the rest of their lives and will prove to be very beneficial in all of their future endeavors.”

At the end of each Youth Leadership Weekend, students vote on which male and female students they considered to be the best leaders of the weekend. This year’s winners were Cameron Baker from Union High School and Isa Lu from Topsail High School. Four County offered to sponsor both of them to represent Four County EMC at Youth Tour in Washington DC this June.

In addition to learning leadership skills and overcoming challenges, the students will also have an opportunity to write an essay about the experience for a chance to win one of two $1,000 college scholarships. The winners will be announced in late May and will receive the scholarships once enrolled in college.

For more photos and to see a video of the weekend camp, check out Four County EMC’s Facebook page.


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