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Leaders In Action at the OEC

By Deidra Goodwin

At the Outdoor Education Center, we speak challenge. Sometimes the ways we encourage our Leaders in
Action students to challenge themselves is in action, other times it is in thought. This academic year we have been taking both those approaches, true to our mission to learn, trust and challenge.

Every year Leaders in Action starts off with a unit celebrating and encouraging community engagement
and leadership. This year we’ve explored leadership styles,discussed effective goal setting, and identified the individual pieces that make up a community-and we’re only a month into the program.

This year we have a record number of students actively enrolled in programs at both of the middle schools we have partnerships with and getting our Leaders out into their community is as exciting as ever. Our leaders started off their volunteer events for the summer by helping out cheer on runners and provide water at the annual Freedom’s Run race series.

Our challenge of the physical nature came a week later when took our some of our students on a weekend hike to the iconic Crescent Rocks viewpoints. This hike is about three miles roundtrip, with plenty of uphill, and more importantly a fantastic view. It’s a nice venture from the FLOC OEC trails,

Rolling Ridge Foundation trails and onto the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The hike isn’t always easy, but the view and the sense of knowing that they’ve completed it is always worth it for the students.

On October 30th and 31st, we took our annual trip to the Ranson Community garden. Leaders in Action
helped winterize the beds, harvest seeds for next year, and to learn how the vision of one person can greatly influence a community. It’s not the conventional way to spend the day before/the day of Halloween, but it was filled with all kinds of treats.