By Julie Harrison and Cynthia Rojas
Pueblo Magnet High School’s SkillsUSA 10 club members and its two advisors attended the 2014 SkillsUSA leadership training camp in Williams, AZ, for three days, Nov. 12-14.
One of the primary objectives of this trip was to train SkillsUSA members to build leadership skills and to unite the group through a multitude of activities during the three-day event.
“The trip was very helpful—not only for me personally but for the entire group as well,” said Jesus Alvarez, a senior. He added, “We were able to bring back ice-breaking techniques and learn new ways to become effective leaders.”
During their trip, SkillsUSA members networked with other SkillsUSA groups and programs across the state, and in the process, they learned their own strengths and weaknesses as well as communication skills between their own members and other groups.
When the students arrived, they had the opportunity to set up their cabin rooms. Then, they had a chance to socialize with other students until opening session that evening. At this session, students listened to a key-note speaker who engaged them in ice-breaking activities. Dinner followed this session, and then students were divided into six regional meetings.
A dodge ball tournament, which was hosted and organized by one of the Tucson schools (Canyon Del Oro), followed the meetings, and Pueblo’s team advanced to the semi-final tournament.
The next day, the students participated in various classes that provided them with a multitude of leadership activities and trainings.
Advisor Pete Pederson, who also teaches graphic arts and the yearbook, said, “As an advisor, I also was able to gain knowledge of how to incorporate my students’ talents and their individuality into the classroom. This camp helped me with altering my curriculum in a way that built a community and develop student leadership.”
Pederson added that he noticed that members who attended this camp were already exemplifying better and stronger leadership qualities upon their return to Pueblo.
Ms. Marie Little, the other SkillsUSA advisor, said, “I picked up materials in leadership and personal responsibility that can be integrated in automotive skills and utilized by myself and my students in the delivery of instruction.”
Leonardo Serrano, a senior, said, “When we got back from this trip, we decided to plan a new lesson with Ms. [Marie] Little. We participated in ice-breakers, and gained a lot of knowledge about each other.” He added, “This trip and all of the activities that we did during those days really brought us together while helping us students to become better leaders.”