A week ago, I had the opportunity to visit Camp Mendocino, located in a 2,000 acre beautiful redwood forest three and half hours north of San Francisco.
I had been to Camp before–with a small group of teens who were selected for our Youth of the Year program–but never when it was in full-swing, with hundreds of kids running about having the time of their lives.
When I got there, I realized something right off the bat. Camp Mendocino is not only a place where kids get to be kids and have a great time, but it’s also a place where they learn how to be leaders and work together.
The first place I saw how Camp Mendocino fosters leadership and community was at what’s called “Flagpole”.
Flagpole takes place every morning and evening, as a sort of role call. Kids gather in their groups (or ‘tribes’ as Camp Mendocino is a Native American based camp), listen to the plans for the day or evening, and then perform pre-chosen cheers for everyone to watch.