Bucktail youth leadership program begins new class

RENOVO – The Bucktail Leadership Program recently began its fifth class. An evening orientation session with parents took place at the Renovo Fire Hall.

Class participants and parents were led through a number of interpersonal skill activities that demonstrated some of the kinds of experiences that the students will have throughout their time in the course.

Students in the 2013-14 class are: Bridget Gardner, Beth Davis, Vanessa Thompson, Leela Singh, Austin Ransdorf, Vinnie DiMattia and Tristan Shelb.

The following day the young people met at the Ross Library in Lock Haven. Angela Harding, director of The United Way, explained to the students her job description and the responsibilities of the United Way in Clinton County. The young people then did an activity during which they had to match cards containing descriptions of area agencies with cards that named those agencies.

They also were engaged in a team building exercise during which, using items such as two coat hangers, toothpicks, newspaper, construction paper and masking tape, they had to construct a structure that would be at least a foot high and was strong enough to hold at least two shoes. The group was divided into two teams and had a limited time to complete the activity. Both teams realized a certain amount of success.

Before lunch the students were hosted in the Pennsylvania Room on the first floor of the facility by library employee, Lou Bernard.

After exploring some of the types of resources housed in that and an adjacent room, Bernard challenged the students to a research exercise. They were charged with researching local personalities of the past, and then reported on their findings.

Gaining insight into the differences in how people think and then what motivates them to act in a certain way, and sharing incidents that happened to each participant when they were much younger filled the afternoon schedule. The day concluded with some “Minute-to-Win-it” challenges.

As in any educational experience, homework usually surfaces. The students were introduced to information from best-selling author Dale Carnegie, regarding the importance of enthusiasm in any endeavor. They were asked to prepare for October’s session a two-minute talk on an area in their lives where they will intentionally use increased enthusiasm.

October’s session included a visit to an Amish certified-organic farm, an Amish buggy shop and the Schrack Dairy operation in Loganton.

The students had lunch at Sieg conference center and were treated in the afternoon to a presentation by Express Publisher Bob Rolley. While Rolley covered the basics of meeting management, comments from the students indicated that he truly inspired them with his passion for community involvement.

November’s session was held at the STEP, Inc. facility. The day began with an orientation and tour by Rachelle Abbott. The students observed the process of packing the Meals on Wheels meals and then assisted Headstart children with making apple turkeys for Thanksgiving. Robert Bechdel from Career Link conducted a presentation and activity about resume’ writing and job interviewing. Following him, Tim Keohane, Director of The Small Business Development Center, talked with the students about the how’s and why’s of networking. In the afternoon the students attended a reception at the STEP facility that was arranged by Keohane.

The students met with area business persons and civic leaders, giving them the opportunity to put their networking tips into practice.

The Bucktail Leadership Program has received a grant from The Clinton County Community Foundation. That grant is providing some needed equipment, and financial assistance in the conducting of the program.

Bucktail Youth Leadership Program is an educational effort of the Clinton County Youth Council and also is supported by Leadership Clinton County Alumni. The program is administered by co-coordinators Gwen Bechdel and Bobbie Jo Simcox.