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NOTICE: The Charter Vision project is dormant as of January 2008. This website is provided for archival purposes only.

ARTech Students Camp at Manito-Wish

Chelsea (Grade 11 / Northfield School of Arts and Technology) Originally published February 2005
Editor’s note: ARTech went to a leadership workshop two years in a row. After both trips, the students were asked to write essays describing their experience. These two quotes are from last year’s essays.

“In the whole experience, I learned so many new things. I also relearned what I already knew but in different views. Leadership is one thing that everyone has. But people use it in so many different ways… Personalities make each leader different. I never would have thought that. when you really look at it, each person has leadership even if they hate life, do drugs, or love school.” – Chelsea, Grade 11

“What I took away with me is a whole new perspective on things. It really opened my eyes and mind, and I’m starting to look at things in a completely different, a more self-satisfying way. The trip was good fun, and good education. The counselors were great, and really knew what they were doing. They were a good source of inspiration and information.” – Rachel, Grade 11

What is leadership? What does it mean to lead? What does it mean to follow? In my eyes, not just one thing comes to mind. If I wouldn’t have gone to camp Manito-Wish last year, only one thing would have popped into my head; to be better then everyone else. But… that’s not even it. To lead is to follow and put ideas together with everyone else. It is to hear what everyone has to say, and then come up with what everyone feels is right.

Camp Manito-Wish is a leadership camp for people of all ages. This camp runs all year long and teaches groups to develop goals and personal work ethics. Summer programs range from one to three weeks. There are also wilderness trips from overnight stays to fifty-five days. A few of the camps are in Northern Wisconsin, Alaska, and Canada. This YMCA camp has leadership programs for schools and corporate groups. It started in 1919.

Last April [2004], fifteen students and I went to Manito-Wish as a retreat to work on group skills. We did many different activities to help with trust, working together, leadership, and listening. These programs included using the indoor and outdoor climbing walls. High challenge courses included the flying squirrel, giant’s ladder, and the catwalk. Some of the low courses included Commitment Bridge; duck tape wall, traffic jam and giant Texas lizard egg.

You might be wondering, “what is a giant Texas lizard egg,” right? Well, all together we had 15 people and split them into two different groups, a group of seven and a group of eight. During the entire 2 ½ days we were split up in those groups and we learned how to get along with that particular group. But the last half of the third day we put the two groups together to see how everyone would react together. We got put into the middle of the woods to look for a big bowling ball (lizard egg), and had to carry it from one side of the camp to the other. The tricky part was we couldn’t touch the ball. The only way we were allowed to carry it was to use ropes.

The combination of putting the two groups together created difficult problems that were very hard to work with. One half of the group wanted to lead and the other half didn’t want to follow. So the ones that led also followed, and let the others realize what they were doing. Once we got the egg from one side to the other everyone that helped was very happy but upset at the others.

We all went back to the cabin and told everyone what we were upset about. Brant and Walter, the two counselors told us that not everyone will lead and follow all of the time and you have to deal with it in everyday life. Everyone there that day learned a valuable lesson: what it means to lead and follow. That is what camp Manito-Wish is. It shows you how to live in real life.

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