Four County EMC, based in Burgaw, held its 12th annual Youth Leadership Weekend at Camp Kirkwood in Watha last month, with 20 area high school juniors attending.
Students were taught about the cooperative business model as well as what makes electric co-ops different from other electric utilities. 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 several lifelong skills including: teamwork, communication, trust, leadership, decision making, problem solving and self-esteem.
“The leadership challenges really pushed me to do my best and to work with other people in ways that I haven’t done before. Now, I think leadership is more about bringing out the best in other people and less about putting your own ideas out there,” explained participant Connor McNamara of Topsail High School.
“Leadership to me is someone who helps every teammate know their role and reach their full potential to accomplish the task,” said participant Olivia Sholar of West Bladen High School.
“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 voted on which male and female students they considered to be the most outstanding leaders of the weekend, who Four County then offered to sponsor to represent Four County EMC at the upcoming Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. New for this year, the male and female runners-up will be sponsored to represent Four County at the Cooperative Council of North Carolina’s Cooperative Leadership Camp held at White Lake in June.