Bliss youth lead the way
The Milam Youth Activity Center continued its tradition of innovative summer activities with a week long Leadership Youth Camp.
The camp began with the young adults moving into empty barracks and continuing on to a series of challenges, activities and obstacles all designed to build on each other.
“The kids go from getting to know each other, to knowing each other, to feeling safe with each other, to trusting each other, and then culminating with doing the leadership reaction course where its all about how you can work together as a team and listen to each other,” said Susan Goss, program director for the MYAC. “It’s a beautiful growing process for the kids.”
The center operates with a philosophy of personal responsibility and accountability and requires a heavy degree of participation from the youth that attend it. Keeping those ideals in mind, Goss pushes a strong leadership program for the teenagers.
“We have a teen council that meets every week,” Goss said. “I expect participation from the kids in all aspects. It’s their center so they give the tours, they help clean the facility, they do all the cooking; they’re very involved in the programming aspect.”
The entire camp was free for all the youth participants with funding and resources provided through the installation.
“This week’s Youth Leadership Camp on Fort Bliss is really an investment we’ve made,” said Col. Thomas E. Munsey, Fort Bliss Garrison Commander. “What we will see in return is these young adults making contributions in leadership roles for our youth activities as well as our schools and the community at large. “
This year’s camp grew from the one offered last year with many of the veteran campers returning as Junior Advisors. The positing came with increased responsibility and gave the young leaders a new perspective on the camp.
“It’s a lot different because last year I felt like some people were trying to be bossy and now I can control how our group goes without being bossy,” said Ashlyn Murphy, camp junior advisor. “It just feels a lot more special now.”
David Croslen attended the camp for the first time this year. He said the experience is a worthwhile one and he made many new, good friends during the week. His most memorable activity was working with the simulators.
“I thought it was pretty interesting to see what the Soldiers were doing how they operated behind all those vehicles,” he said.