Welcome to the Camp Greenbrier Leadership Academy!
Seventeen years ago, I sat down with Kerin McDonald, our Director of Activities from New Zealand, to discuss a concern I had about the older boys at Greenbrier. At home, many were captains of their sports teams, or leaders of academic organizations or church groups. But when I asked them if they had ever received any actual leadership training, almost every one of them said no. It seemed strange that we expected leadership without giving any leadership instruction. Thus, the Leadership Academy was born!
It only makes sense to teach our young men about different leadership styles, various motivational techniques, how to speak publicly, and among many other skills, how to resolve conflicts. After deciding to do some specific, directed leadership training, the next question was how best to teach our campers.
We decided that boys learn best when they are hands on and active, something called experiential learning. Experiential learning is learning by doing. It is learning by being an active participant, rather than a passive listener or note-taker. We believe that if you teach a young man different motivational techniques while he is leading a group on the AirSoft field, or rafting down the New River, he is much more likely to absorb what he is being taught.
The participants in the leadership program canoe and kayak the Greenbrier River, climb some incredible rock faces, go geocaching, learn to bake bread, build benches, and play charades, and so much more. All the while, they are learning about and honing their personal leadership styles. We feel that the Academy is such a strong influence on the participants that almost all of our new counselors come from its ranks.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about our leadership program. I’d be happy to speak with you.