Aspire to Inspire

Campers hugging a student leader at last weekend’s Aspire to Inspire Youth Leadership Summit. Photo courtesy of  Emma Anderson. 


By Riley McNew,

age 11


A leader is not someone in charge, a leader is not perfect. A leader is someone who keeps a team together, who always thinks about others and not just themselves. A leader works and tries  hard to show others they are stronger than they think and show teams they are stronger together.

I learned this at Unite for Youth’s Aspire to Inspire leadership camp.

We arrived at Camp Elohim on Friday morning, June 14. We stayed for one night and two days where we participated in “seeds” training to enhance our teamwork and leadership skills.

Counselors had been preparing camp activities since last year. Students in sixth through eighth grade participated and attendance was free. In each cabin there was a student leader and a counselor along with six campers. Altogether, bout 65 campers participated.

My favorite experience was breaking through my fears by breaking a piece of wood in half. We could either break our board with our foot or our hand. I chose my hand, but I couldn’t get it at the right angle, so I ended up using my foot instead. Most of us  wrote “fimage” on our boards. This means we had a fear of image, or how people think of us.

The photo contest where different cabins competed to get the most crazy photos was also really fun. Our cabin and another cabin tied.

All in all, I will definitely do this next year if I can. The camp will help me to succeed, and I’m excited about what I learned. I encourage others to experience it too.