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The Come Back Leader

Midway through the week, the 6 foot tall, 16 year old boy, was asked to step down from his role
as a group leader and not return to camp. Was he devastated? Was he happy? Or did he use this
setback to introspect and plan his inevitable comeback. Kol returned to Africa Camp the next
summer in the same capacity. Buoyed by a second chance, another shot at being impactful in the
lives of the campers and additional opportunity to gain the respect of those who believed in him,
he did not disappoint.
His sins the previous year encircled indiscipline, a natural proclivity to shun responsibility and
the desire to operate as a trouble maker. You can imagine the magnitude of his actions to have
brought about the decision of his termination. Some would dare say, he caused more problems
than solving them. Africa Camp needs leaders dedicated to the campers, programming and
learning experiences. His commitment to that was questionable. However, it took 12 months, 1
day and 4 minutes for Kol to amass a respectable recovery.
He was attentive in sessions, gentle with the kids, firm when disciplining, dedicated when
instructed and comfortable with his role. It was almost like looking at a different individual. He
transitioned from being the trouble maker to being one of the best leaders at camp that year. His
campers looked at him with evident admiration and how quickly they moved when he asked

them to bewildered me. What happened in that year to change him will be kept a secret for now
but one thing is sure, his behavior embodied this quote I heard some years ago from my mother:
“Every set back leaves behind a path to make your comeback”.

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The Silent Leader

 “Leadership is not a position or title, it is action and example”

Brenda is a young lady with a contagious smile, taciturn personality and such a demeanor that
gives a new definition to the term ‘humble’. This was Brenda’s 2nd year being involved with
Africa Camp. From an outsider’s vantage point, if you came to visit, you would not notice her;
not because her height mirrors that of the kids but primarily because she does not say much. This
is a rather debatable topic for leadership pundits. Does one need to be eloquent or immensely
articulate to be a good leader? Or is it possible to be verbally reserved but actionably loud?
An image I remember of Brenda is entering the arts and craft room and seeing most of the
leaders sitting on the couch chatting amongst themselves but not Brenda. She was at the table
with the kids, sitting right in the middle, doing exactly what they were doing. The best part in my
estimation, was the glee demonstrated by her phenotypic expression. She genuinely enjoyed
playing with the kids and in a conversation I had with her, she declared that its more effective to

lead by example and that’s her style. She grew to be that parent among her group of campers and
quickly grew a fan base among others. In an intense game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissor: Leader vs
Leader’, little ol’ Brenda unexpectedly took home the trophy; and from the beginning to the end,
the campers cheered only for her with high pitched screams and shouts of “Brenda! Brenda!!
Brenda!!!”

Although Brenda’s leadership style is societally uncommon, it has significant value in inspiring
others to action, decision and cohesion.

 

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Five Fun Days 2017 is here!

A yearly week long dynamic day camp for children ages 5-12 from the North Waterloo community. Created and led by the Sunnydale Connect youth.

August 21st – 25th 2017

1pm – 4pm

Church in the Woods – 209 Bearinger Rd, Waterloo ON

Cost: $12 a child up to a maximum of $30 per family.

To volunteer or register, please contact Scilla at priscilla@lifechangeadventures.org

Five Fun Days 2015