Students learn leadership at Camp Casey

Photo courtesy of Ana Palma

The 2012 annual Camp Casey leadership retreat was held from June 19 to 22, 2012. The camp was sponsored by the Student Programs Leadership Institute at Bellevue College and is located on Fort Casey at Whidbey Island. Around 120 students attended the 2012 annual Camp Casey to gain more knowledge about leadership skills.

Most of the participants are students that are involved with or take part in the Student Program’s activities. Students that have attended the camp at least once are allowed to become a mentor. Mentors are made available to set a positive role model to the students and be the students’ friend.

Faisal Jaswal, who is the Associate Dean of Student Programs, is one of the promoters of Camp Casey. He wanted to create a space and a culture that focuses on students’ development. Jaswal wanted to make sure that students have a reflection session at the end of each day to look deep inside themselves and think about what they have learned for the day.

Jaswal also added that the cheering and students helping each other stood out this year.

“This year’s Camp Casey was more cheerful! More creative chants and students were more united!” said Takhmina Dzhuraeva, the newly elected Associated Student Government (ASG) President of Bellevue College. Camp Casey has been going on for 10 years and this is Dzhuraeva’s third year to attend the camp as an applied mentor.

Another student, Victoria Sifuentes, really loved the sense of unity that the camp provided. To her, the camp was amazingly unforgettable because of the many challenges she managed to overcome due to the encouragement from her peers. “It was pretty amazing because I did things like the log ladder at the ropes course which probably in my right mind I would not do.”

International student Michiko Tsumura was very impressed by the whole experience. The highlight for her was the ropes course and the group and personal evaluation. The ropes course was designed to build trust toward their teammates so all of the challenges on the ropes course required a high level of teamwork. Tsumura learned that the power of trust is very strong.

All of the activities that were done at Camp Casey were designed to simulate real life situations. As mentioned previously, the ropes course was designed to build trust towards teammates. That particular activity was designed to demonstrate students the importance of trust amongst each other. The camp also facilitated other games and lectures about leadership skills that are relatable to real life situations.

For students who did not get the chance to go to Camp Casey this year, there will be another one next year so don’t be disappointed. Camp Casey will return next year with more fun, excitement and more things to learn.