The idea of equipping goes beyond just giving them the right set of tools and materials to build a deck. It includes equipping them for leadership. That is the next tip: Youth Leaders. An important part of LebCamp is the youth leadership. For every crew of about 5 youth and 2 adults, there is one Crew Leader and that is one of the older youth campers. A junior or senior in high school, usually. These are students who show evidence of leadership skills, who have been leaders in other avenues, are mature, respectful, etc.
The Crew Leaders organize their crews to get the goals of the week accomplished. They work with the adults and the skilled handymen on making a priority list and making sure they have the needed materials/tools for the next day. In addition, each youth on the crew has a “job” each day. One day you might be the breakmaster and be responsible for the gateroade for your group, the next day you might be the devotion leader and lead the lunch time devotion, and the next day you might be responsible for the water cooler. The Crew Leader (a youth) is responsible for making all this happen.
In addition, I have a committee – for lack of a better word – who assists me with the bulk of the planning. That “committee” is made up of only youth. This is what I do: Before each meeting, I make an agenda. In the meeting, I give them the agenda and let them lead the meeting. Sometimes I don’t even attend, I leave the room. Then, they tell me what decisions they made, I ask questions, and we split up who is going to work with whom on what. This has been the most effective way to get it done.
Each evening during LebCamp I and another adult sit down with the Crew Leaders and talk to them about how things are going. We encourage them in their role, we equip them with recommendations and ideas, we engage them. Nothing about this is from the top down. We are not telling them how to do their job, we are asking them how their job is going, what their concerns are, and what questions they have. This will lead us to the next tip . . . . .