How We Develop Rockmont’s Program in Pursuit of Five Critical Objectives for our Campers
Part Five: Leadership
What are the foundations of leadership ability? Self-confidence, self-awareness, independence, character… Not surprisingly, the four objectives discussed earlier in this series are integral to becoming a great leader.
At Rockmont, we strive to enable our campers to achieve greater self-confidence, self-awareness, independence, and grow in Christian character.
Together, these help form the foundation for campers to live lives of purpose and service. To lead their families, communities, and the organizations they support with courage and distinction.
In essence, the Rockmont experience guides young men to lead naturally in their own, true, authentic way.
We teach, and model, servant leadership. At its heart it means putting others first, seeing things from others’ perspective, and devising ways to make others’ lives better. We call it “having a life-giving spirit.”
It becomes part of the Rockmont Way: the DNA that begins to be shared from the very first moment a staff member meets a camper with a firm handshake (post-Covid!), strong eye contact, and an energy-filled greeting. At meals, during cabin clean-up, on hikes, and on campouts, our staff strive to model how to share duties and responsibilities. By volunteering to do the hardest jobs, by making their campers know they’re not asking them to do anything that they wouldn’t do themselves, they establish the credibility from which to lead.
The counselor’s role is to be a leader among equals, to be a member of the group while facilitating opportunities for others to share leading roles.
Put-downs and negativity are called out and challenged; times when campers build trust, show empathy, and display positivity are noticed and celebrated.
The same holds true for skills and tribal activities.
They are designed to provide opportunities for campers to gain self-confidence and self-awareness through controlled-risk activities. Trying new things, learning the value of teamwork and sportsmanship, and, sometimes, failing a few times before they master something teaches resiliency and provides a well of confidence to draw on as leaders in the future.
Our Camp Director, Mike Peckham, puts it best: “It’s hard to put leadership into a box, after all, we’re dealing with human beings – everyone is different. What Rockmont does is strive to help each camper grow into the most complete version of themselves. Because of that, no “one size fits all” leader emerges. Each camper learns to see their own strengths, as well as see the strengths in others. When you have a leader that is looking for the good in the world around them and knows what to do with it… big things can happen.”