MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
If a high school senior was searching for a place to learn practical leadership skills, you would think a Marine Corps base would be a very good place to start. It was this kind of thinking that brought nearly 20 Craven County high school seniors to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, July 25, 2017.
The aspiring leaders participated in a full day of leadership and team-building exercises during the first Stand Out Leaders in Training teen leadership day, which was hosted by the Cherry Point School Liaison Program.
“We are hoping that our teens can use these skills to improve personal growth,” said Leafa Palmer, the MCAS Cherry Point School Liaison. “It allows them to stand out and be a leader either in their school or community.”
Palmer believes those leadership skills will help them support others teens who are new and transitioning into the area.
The day started with a guided discussion titled Leadership 101 to identify what traits the students have and can build upon. Afterward, the young adults explored the Warrior library during a scavenger hunt that allowed them to learn what resources the library has to offer.
The students were given a tour of the fitness facilities and leisure areas aboard MCAS Cherry Point to show what recreational opportunities are available to destress and maintain the emotional balance deemed necessary for a leader. Following a Military and Family Life Counselor- led meditation exercise at the base theater, the students gathered to initiate a random act of kindness.
“A random act of kindness creates a ripple effect,” said Palmer. “That led us into our service project called Kindness Rocks. The students write inspirational or motivating messages on rocks and leave them out in the community for others to find; starting that ripple effect.”
Palmer explained that the rocks will be placed throughout the community for others to find and enjoy. The intent is for people who find these rocks to join the Kindness Rocks movement by performing a random act of kindness for someone else, or place the rock in a new location for another person to find, or create their own rock to share.
“A lot of us move around a lot,” said Paul, 14, one of the many military children who participated. “They discussed it a little bit about how as a leader, you should open up to people that are new so they can feel welcomed in their new location.”
From Paul’s perspective, the teen leadership day gave people a chance to know what leadership is and how important it is to have people care about young adults and help them open up to the things they need in order to succeed in life.
At the end of the day, the teenagers discussed their goals and plans for the future.
“In any job opportunity you will need leadership traits such as speaking out loud in front of everybody, how to be kind and be able to work with different types of people,” said Paul. “Leadership skills are something that you need to succeed.”