This fall, a group of Rising Sun campers from 2017 and 2018 met online to discuss servant leadership after Camp in our first webinar series for new alumnx.* The series is an extension of our summer program and focuses on providing our most recent campers with the skills to apply the leadership lessons of Camp to projects in their own communities.
One of the visions of Camp Rising Sun’s founder, Freddie Jonas, was to encourage young people to demonstrate a philosophy of living to serve society through the pursuit of humanitarian goals. Freddie had hoped that campers would return to their communities the benefits they had gained from Camp. This series was designed to help campers put this leadership philosophy into action. The free online course highlighted strategies for creating social change, provided resources for designing a project, and included the stories of several guest speaker who went on to coordinate various local service projects as a result of their own experiences at CRS.
The series’ speakers included Haylee Sovell (CRS ‘16), founder of the Race to Raise 5K charity in Beaver Falls, MN, Katleho Mohale ( CRS ‘11, ‘12, ‘16, ‘18), founder and CEO of Katleho’s Give2Talent Nonprofit Organization in Cape Town, South Africa, and HuiChen Wang (‘16, ‘17), who recently facilitated a mini CRS-inspired summer program for students in Shanghai, China.
Xinyi, a 2018 camper from Shanghai, appreciated that the sessions introduced participants to the broader Rising Sun community, beyond one’s individual Camp season. “I look forward to meeting new people and having more friends through webinars instead of limiting to campers of my year or my gender.” Xinyi enjoyed hearing from the guest speakers each week who shared their stories and how they overcame difficulties within their own leadership projects.
I enjoyed this part of the webinar most since I could directly ask the successful people about their own experience and how they themselves overcame these problems. All the things I learned are practical and applicable in real life.
Dominika, a 2018 camper from Poland, also found the sessions to be worthwhile and looks forward to implementing new projects in her local community as a result.
The webinars were an incredible extension of the camp and provided me with a lot of practical guidance for fulfilling camp's mission. Each session was clear and understandable, led at a good pace and in a calm atmosphere. There was time for theory and there was time for creative discussions with fellow attendees, which made it an interesting mixture. What was a definite highlight were the handouts and additional materials provided, thanks to which I can process the knowledge included in the webinar and read further about the topics. On top of that, guest speakers were invited for each session, which was extremely inspiring as they shared with us their post-camp experiences and gave some advice on how to truly implement social change.
Dominika is excited to organize an event in her city related to sustainable development, current issues around climate change, and the ways in which young people can contribute to change. We look forward to seeing all the ways our webinar participants will build on the motivation and positive energy from the online series to start leading locally, and globally, for positive social change.
If you would like to learn more about our webinar program, or if you are interested in accessing related resources for your own service leadership project, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Alumnx is a gender-neutral term encompassing the full-spectrum of gender identities within our global community