MOUNT DESERT — “[My daughter] is very shy and gets very anxious about new experiences,” said one parent whose daughter recently participated in the Filling Your Leadership Toolbox program offered through Camp Beech Cliff. “…she enjoyed the program very much, took many notes and was very excited to share with me after each class everything she learned.” Thanks to the support of Healthy Acadia, and 15 hours of guidance from Camp Beech Cliff staff, she and 25 other teens from Hancock and Washington counties are heading into summer with essential knowledge, practices and tools for leadership and working with children in a variety of settings.
Response to the training was overwhelmingly positive. Participants, ranging in ages from 13 to 17, brought a diverse set of interests and motivations to their experience, and have already expressed enthusiasm for engaging with children in their local communities. Upon completing the course, one participant stated, “At the start of this week, I didn’t have a huge interest in working with children, but now I feel more confident in my ability to give them the proper care and I’d love to pursue a career in child development in the future!”
The program was virtual, but it did not lack engagement or energy. “[My child] loved the class,” parent Keri Hayes reflected. “Given the 3-hour session length, I started to dread the expected argument each day over ‘Do I have to go?’ That never happened. She looked forward to the class each day and was sincere when she said it was a highlight of her week. I am so grateful and impressed at how fully you kept her active and engaged!”
Participant feedback has already begun to confirm that area youth have been equipped to create genuine connections with children, their peers and their communities. Thanks to that feedback, Camp Beech Cliff will offer the program again from Aug. 3–7, with additional support from First National Bank. For more information, visit the CBC website.