More than 20 high school girls have packed their bags and made the trip to the Kiwanis Fresh Air Farm, this weekend, to learn leadership skills and self-reliance.
It’s all part of the YWCA Wheeling Youth Board’s annual Leadership Challenge Retreat.
“Over the next few days, we’ll be choosing some major topics that we think are really important in our community right now. Between sexual violence, drugs and alcohol, peer pressure, self confidence and more. We’ll then narrow it down to about four different topics, split into groups, and discuss ways to raise awareness or raise funds for those problems in our community,” said Emily Croft, YWCA Youth Board Member.
The girls also hear from speakers and do activities focused on what they’re learning.
But another big part of the weekend is the friendships the girls form.
“The best part about this is getting to know the people here. Obviously, we have awesome speakers and awesome opportunities, but getting to know these girls and hearing their stories is really eye-opening. People at our age have gone through so much,” said Nicole Billie, YWCA Youth Board Member.
Both the girls and the event organizers said it’s encouraging and inspiring to spend some time with other women who share similar goals and values.
“I want to live here when I’m older. So for me, I want to build a better Wheeling,” Croft said.
Anyone who joins can earn up to 6 hours of community service while working on different social causes and solutions.
The cost-free camp wraps up on Sunday, but is already being planned for next year.