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Trapper Creek Job Corps’ SUMMIT leadership program and Hamilton Middle School student leaders held Intermediate leadership training recently.

Trapper Creek students and counselor Evan Gimpel conducted team energizer activities, presented leadership styles and guided smaller group leadership activities and games.

SUMMIT, which stands for Students United to Mentor, Model, Inspire and Teach, is a mentorship program that teaches conflict management, team-building and leadership skills.

The program's leader William Krieg said the program is good for middle school students.

“We are learning ourselves and we are passing this information down to younger students,” he said. “Today we’re teaching teamwork, different leadership styles and communication.”

Kreig said the games the middle school students participate in with SUMMIT teach skills.

“The students will see how to work together, communicate together, see who takes the lead and find out how each of them interpret their own leadership style,” Kreig said. “We’ll see kids who sit back and don’t do much, then we’ll see some kids just jump in and take charge. We want to teach them all how to lead by example.”

Trapper Creek student Brayden Mueller said leading by example starts with knowledge of the rules of the game or situation.

“Helping everyone who needs help is a start,” he said.

Trapper Creek student Marissa McCrorey said sometimes students need help to feel motivated to participate.

“They will find things about themselves when they get into the games,” she said. “We want them to show they are having fun and enjoying it so others will participate.”

This was the second time SUMMIT met with seventh-grade students at HMS this school year.

Eighth-grade students who have nearly completed the SUMMIT training participated with the seventh-grade students. Games included “Bear,Salmon,Mosquito” (building group communication), “No-Doze Leadership” where the students identified their type of leadership, “Ready Circle” and “Team Breath, “Tax Table,” Cup Stack,” and “Bull riding.”

“These are games we play ourselves so we learn to facilitate them better for the kids,” Krieg said. “We learn teach them leadership as well as learn leadership and it is cool to give back to the community when we are given so much at Trapper.”

TCJC student Alicia Faulisi said through the games students discover their own styles.

“Some students’ leadership style may not be stepping up right up front,” she said. “Everyone can participate in their own way and it is valuable where they are in front or helping from the sidelines. Leadership comes in all different styles and this prepares the students for the future.”

Sometimes the quiet students have the best ideas, Trapper Creek student Tristan Peter said.

“They have been sitting there watching how everyone is doing and they interpret it a lot better than those who are loud,” he said. “They can evaluate it better.”

After a warm-up game, seventh-grade students heard the definitions an explanations about leadership styles then decided if they were spontaneous motivators, relationship masters, drivers or analysts.

Peters said his leadership style is spontaneous motivator.

“I have high energy with a lot of output, not much input,” he said. “I’m loud – like a cheerleader. I am good at firing-up the kids and getting them to want to play the games.”

TCJC student Allie Pennington said her leadership style is called a relationship master.

“I’m the one who cares about how people feel. I’m always checking in with people and having empathy.”

The leadership training is the first step. On May 14, the HMS students will travel to TCJC for the challenging ropes course and an intense teambuilding exercise.

Pennington said the course is hard and fun.

“There are safety precautions and it is all about self-control and trust,” she said.

At TCJC, students in SUMMIT meet weekly and study different leadership styles.

“We see the value of leadership and have all chosen to do this,” Kreig said. “Every job needs leaders – someone always has be in charge. I’m learning facilities maintenance and this summer I’m fighting fire.”

TCJC counselor Evan Gimpel encouraged the TCJC and HMS leaders-in-training to endure the bumps in life to reach refinement.

“I hope in these experiences you get bumped around a little bit and shine up,” Gimpel said. “I think this will round off your rough edges. I’m hoping there’s some struggle, maybe some disagreements and in that process of getting jostled around we’ll see that beautiful shining rock.”

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