Mountaineers Leadership Program - Making a Difference in the Community
The idea of our gender specific middle school mentoring program is focused on inspiring leadership skills and qualities within the middle school population. In our Mountaineer Program, guys are given an opportunity to be themselves, explore their worlds and discuss issues important to them, while in a safe space with like minded boys.
The guys, like the girls, commit to a semester of programming to allow bonds with other members to form while becoming familiar to our high school program and leaders dedicated to bringing social and emotional health to our community. Through a variety of outdoor excursions like paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, biking, snorkeling and more, we can allow boys to “be boys” while discussing and outlining important topics related to leadership and positive decision-making. We have found topics related to team building, internal and social pressures, communicating with parents and others, asking for help, resolving conflicts and helping friends are just a few topics that can go unaddressed with young boys. Through their dedication to giving back to the community and promoting social and emotional health as leaders and mentors to younger children, all of our members grow in their ability to be empathetic and aware of others. Our middle school program is truly unlike any other, as it not only prepares your son for high school and beyond, but it also helps instill the values of integrity, open-mindedness, courage, humility and compassion.
Middle school girls and guys, ages 11-14, have a lot going on in their worlds, and as different as it may be, some of it is very similar. Cognitively they are beginning to think abstractly and with this grows concern regarding truth, justice, fairness and personal rights. You might begin to see your middle school student become rigid in beliefs where they used to be more flexible. Emotionally and socially we know it's a whirlwind, and some of this is attributed to the variety of hormonal changes and swelling of the amygdala, causing your son or daughter to become a “tad irrational”. They also are often experiencing the awkward physical development at this time, which varies widely and causes comparisons among themselves and others. During all of this, they begin to (attempt to) develop a sense of self in relationship to others as well as to their own internal thoughts and desires. We often see that peer influence becomes incredibly important at this age as they struggle to create their own identity. Unsuccessful navigation through this time can easily lead to role confusion, leaving them to wonder: ”Who Am I?”.
Crew and Mountaineers is designed to help middle school students answer that question while forming leadership habits early. We have created programming that is not only fun, with plenty of out door activities, but also educational and prevention driven. We are promoting healthy decisions and choices that build character and reduce risk factors. By having the students surrounded by positive role models, close in age, it is easy to see how effective our programming is.
Our middle school program is designed to meet once a month for 2 ½ hours where students participate in leadership teen lead workshops, community service projects, paddle boarding and other outdoor fun as well as activities based on continuing to develop social and emotional health. Our middle school students also receive the opportunity to mentor younger kids within the community twice a quarter. Between these activities, being invited to events hosted by the high school programs to learn about philanthropy, fundraising and event planning your child will be more than ready to enter high school with the essential tools needed to succeed.
Did we mention all their hard work is also counted at community service work?!
We look forward to making a splash with your middle school daughter at Crew or moving a mountain with your middle school son at Mountaineers. The best way for us to create more leaders is by sharing experience and “leading" them.