MAILED: July 7, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- "Hey, Leadership Institute, how do you feel?" That's the question raised repeatedly at the Leadership Institute. "We feel good" is the typical response of the participants.
That's the goal of the Leadership Institute - to make students feel good about themselves and set goals for their lives.
The Leadership Institute began in 1989 and continues this summer with five sessions for middle school students and college bound high schoolers, said Doug Hallatt, director of the Leadership Institute. Three of the sessions were held at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, one at Carlson School of Management in Minnesota and one at the University of Montana.
Many of the college bound students will attend UW-Eau Claire, Hallatt said.
There are six facilitators or shaman as they are called during the weeklong Leadership Institute and one coordinator, all of whom are university students. The average group size is 40 students who come from Wisconsin and other parts of the United States.
There are several organized activities in which the camp tries to instill diversity and life issues. One powerful activity is "Archie Bunker's Neighborhood," said Sarah Snyder, a coordinator in the program who has spent four summers with the Leadership Institute. In "Archie Bunker's Neighborhood," students are given a sticker and are treated as a minority, Snyder said. They don't know why they are being treated that way until later in the activity, and many students get angry, she said. "It's a huge realization to the real world," she said.
Cindy Snowden, a high school junior from Harleysville, Pa., participated in the Leadership Institute in June.
"One of the most important things I've learned is about paradigms," Snowden said. "When you sit down and talk to a person you learn about who they are and what they believe inside."
Other activities of the Leadership Institute included writing a mission statement, setting goals and developing self-confidence.
"This camp changed my life," said Snyder , who was a participant four years ago. "I found confidence to be the root of every choice and decision I've had to make."
Snowden said she is excited about what she has learned and wants to share it with her friends.
"I will apply it to life in different ways," she said. "I wish more people had this opportunity."
The Leadership Institute helps students to get off to the right start, not just with college but in life, Hallatt said.
"To be successful you need to know who you are," Snyder said. "There's a lot of self-discovery. It helps participants know what to do with their lives and helps them develop a plan to get there."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 7, 1997