How We Got Here
This whole project started the summer before my freshman year of high school when McDonald’s awarded me a scholarship which enabled me to attend the Kansas Youth Leadership Academy. My initial displeasure's of going to a camp about leadership were quickly met by reassurances from my mom. She she told me, “If you don’t like it you don’t have to go back again and it’s only four days, you’ll survive.” Four years later I had attended the camp each summer and quickly found leadership to be the area of study I enjoy the most.
After graduating high school I had high hopes of returning to the camp as a counselor and spreading my passion for leadership to all of the new participants. Unfortunately the camp had lost its funding and would be canceled indefinitely. I was distraught. The enriching summer experience I had known and loved was gone. That summer I met with friends from the camp and we discussed the possibility of reviving it once more, but the ideas we developed were more wistful thinking than concrete planning. As a group, we never found the opportunity to bring them to life.
The following fall and spring semester of my freshman year of college I participated in the Soaring with Eagles pilot class, a new, scholarship version of K-State’s LEAD 212 Introduction to Leadership Concepts course, with 15 other students. Our assignment was to help refine the course curriculum before the class officially started. One of our tasks as students was to create our own Purposeful Passion Projects; we had different assignments to go along with the projects’ development. This camp became my Purposeful Passion, subsequently took over more of my thoughts, and finally became my goal to accomplish before I graduated from K-State.
I started planning various aspects and mock-ups/ formats of the camp and made sure I created a visionary example that was passionate, sensible, plausible, and appealing to those who would eventually have to approve it. Thus, the idea of a self-sustaining leadership camp designed by students, for students came to life.
I returned from studying abroad the summer of 2012 and I hit the ground running. I presented the idea to the School of Leadership Studies. The faculty was immediately ecstatic about it and completely excited about seeing a student wanting to take such initiative. Soon after getting the go-ahead from School of Leadership Studies I received an email from one of the founders of the Soaring with Eagles Foundation about receiving potential funding through their organization, created specifically for students to transform their Purposeful Passion Project ideas into reality. Their gracious funding has created a chance for the camp to be everything I’ve hoped for and meticulously mapped out.
Currently, we are anticipating the camp’s launch in the summer of 2013. As director, I have high hopes that our first year will be filled with fresh faces to the leadership field. It is crucial to me that this camp create a passion for leadership in the minds of youth just as the Kansas Youth Leadership Academy did for me. The confidence, opportunities for discovery, and leadership tools and knowledge I gained each summer with that program deserves to be gifted again and again, and this time hopefully through Camp KLAY.
Junior in Business Administration
Director Camp KLAY
School of Leadership Studies