The Truman Youth Leadership Academy, sponsored by the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs, kicked off its annual summer camp on Monday, July 13th. Twenty-one middle school students will spend a week together engaged in various leadership workshops and activities. The four core concepts of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence will guide the week-long summer program curriculum. A fifth day dedicated to Service will wrap up the week, when campers volunteer their efforts to clean up Flat Branch Creek. Day one began with icebreaker games and development of service ideas through a discussion, “What’s my Calling?” to evaluate personal traits and ideas for public service projects. Teams attempted to solve a community problem by developing an idea to implement. Later in the week, they will swap service projects and apply a SWOP analysis. Students finished the first day out with a landmark selfie scavenger hunt, where teams interpreted poems to discover twenty clues about the location of each of the MU landmarks on the scavenger list. Teams had to locate and take a group selfie at the landmarks.
Day two focused on establishing Healthy Relationships presented by True North, Difficult Dialogues with Moises Aguayo, where students learned how to approach challenging conversations like drug addiction, marriage equality, mental health and independence . The students then assumed committee, business and political roles in an intensive Chamber of Commerce State Government Advocacy exercise where they learned about the methods through which public policy travels through their state’s legislative system.
On Wednesday, campers will examine responsibility through decision making styles, ethics, policy formation and Ward election. Following that, the City of Columbia will host a City Council simulation as students take on roles and decide on important issues.
Later in the week, campers will once again take on cabinet roles in the White House Decision Center, where annual presenters from the Harry Truman Library will conduct a simulation of a crisis faced by the Truman administration. Other activities include a tour of the Historical Society, the Representative’s Dilemma, presentations by the Girl and Boy Scouts of America, the Civil Air Patrol and a Spy Game. At the conclusion of the camp, students will receive leadership Taps as we recognize those who took on leadership roles during the course of the week.