In late April, a group of young adults gathered for the Somers Youth Leadership Conference. The conference equipped young people with leadership skills in preparation for the annual Somers Camp in July. Frankston Uniting Church member Meg Ryan shares her reflections from the weekend.
Last month’s Somers Youth Leadership Conference had a great impact on me.
I will take on a couple of new roles at Somers Camp this July and I feel as though the Leadership Conference gave me some of the stepping stones that will help me contribute my fullest.
These roles will undoubtedly come with challenges, but with this training I feel more confident taking on these new responsibilities.
One of the new roles I am looking forward to is being one of the Slushie camp leaders.
Most of our campers are from Years Three to Nine while Slushies are Year Ten students who spend their week transitioning from camper to leader.
They do a variety of different behind-the-scenes tasks and activities that help keep the camp running.
The Slushies are led by two young adults who have been Somers leaders for more than five years. This year I will be one of them and I can’t wait to work alongside these wonderful students and my fellow Slushie leader.
I have been a Somers Camp leader for a number of years now, so I have seen how the Leadership Conference has evolved and improved by leaps and bounds. It used to be incredibly camp-oriented and had gotten a little complacent with what it provided for leaders.
This year, we spent Friday night focusing on the expectations of the conference and getting to know each other.
Saturday was dedicated to developing leadership skills and learning about different aspects of working with children. We had sessions on bullying, working with children with behaviourial difficulties, and figuring out our leadership identities.
Sunday was a Somers Camp focused day. We looked at the different aspects of camp, such as creating a safe Somers, discussions between senior and junior leaders and time for mentors to share their experiences.
I think the conference has definitely benefitted from having a team of new leaders. With the revamp, the new conference can be easily adjusted to include a variety of people from different age groups and background.
There were so many highlights from this year’s Somers Leadership Conference. In fact there was such a vast range that I don’t quite know where to begin the list.
I loved how some of the retired Somers leaders came back for the training weekend. They gave us talks that were relevant not only to camp, but also things they had experience in.
I also loved how quickly our first year leaders, especially those who have never been to a Leadership Conference before, were instantly welcomed into the Somers family.
I loved having an opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge for something
I love, with a group of people that I love like family.
The Somers team would like to thank Richmond Uniting Church and Rev Sally Douglas for the financial support to run this leadership conference in 2017 and 2018.