LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – With the aim of instilling leadership skills, positive values and discipline, a school-based Summer Leadership Training Camp was conducted on April 6-10, 2017 and was participated in by the 27 incoming Council of Pupil Leaders for the school year 2017-18 at the Puguis Elementary School (ES).
The 5-day camp entailed lectures integrated with various individual and group activities on self-awareness, developing healthy self-esteem, social graces, environmental responsiveness, basic first aid, and team-building along, with fellowship every evening. The campers were divided into 3 groups who have to work together amidst their differences throughout the duration of the camp. Lack of coordination, oneness, patience, determination and adherence to house rules were initially apparent but were gradually bridged with the several innovative games and strategic processing by the teacher facilitators. Abellera, one of the teacher facilitators said, “It was never easy to embed the essence of teamwork along with the targeted values so much so that those with somewhat diverse individuality were unexpectedly clustered since grouping was randomly done.”
Each group designed their own flag bearing their choice of image as their identity. Yellow-Proverbs team portrayed the sun because to them the light makes them hopeful in conquering life’s trials and difficulties. On the other hand, high mountain, representing the tough challenges they have to conquer during camp was the Green-Genesis group’s symbol, while Blue-Revelations painted clouds which they equate with peace, calmness and sound attitude.
Puguis ES is already in its 4th year of extending such developmental and experiential venture. The first was launched in summer 2014 with the full support of the former school principal, Lilian Ulep and was sustained by the current school head, Shirley Comila since she finds it very beneficial.
The said Summer Leadership Training Camp was conceptualized by Caesar Abellera, a Grade VI teacher and did the careful planning with the School Pupil Government (SPG) Adviser, Joemar Soriano. The burning passion of both teachers to mold young minds outside the four walls of the classroom spurred the fruition of their plan with maximum assistance from their colleagues and others who, in various ways, extended support. No registration fee was collected. Each participant brought their own vegetables and other goods and materials to share while the other needs were supplied by the school.
The activity had been contributing much to the performance of school’s SPG President of SY 2014-15 and SY 2015-16 who both dominated the federation presidency in the district and division level while the SPG President of the current SY captured the position of federation secretary region-wide. “It’s very rewarding seeing the shy campers come out from their shell to stand and talk with confidence, witnessing them do their tasks responsibly,” said Soriano. Abellera and Soriano added that the impact of the endeavor in the lives of the pupils, both immediate and developmental, the positive feedback of parents and other people, are their fuel to carry on and eventually institutionalize it.
By Ursula Manodon Dalay-on