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Pali Mountain improves student leadership skills

Posted: October 12, 2009 10:37 p.m.
Updated: October 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Rancho Pico student Alexis Clewis enjoys the feeling of weightlessness on the zero gravity device at Pali Mountain.

On Sept. 16 to 18, Rancho Pico Junior High School ASB and Peer Mediation went to Pali Mountain near Lake Arrowhead.

Led by Peer Mediation adviser Clark Trowell, the students participated in leadership games which taught the students to work together. Included was an extensive ropes course which included a zip line, in which students swing across an area from tree to tree.
There was also another type of obstacle course called crow. Then there was the leap of faith, in which students had to climb up a large tree and jump while trying to catch a ball.

Students learned to cooperate to achieve a common goal. They were also put into situations in which they had to come up with solutions to problems, such as being a doctor in a crisis situation. Given six people with life-threatening injuries, they had to decide which of the six would be saved. Each night, the day's activities concluded with a campfire. The counselors told stories and the kids sang songs.

When all was said and done, the Rancho Pico students had a blast at Pali Mountain.

"I had a lot of fun," said eighth-grader Katie Arnold. "The best part was the high ropes because everyone encouraged each other and gave huge support."

Some of the team-building activities included building a raft out of bamboo and PVC pipes, although most of the rafts sank in the pond. The human knot activity had students tangling themselves with their hands and having the incredibly difficult mission of untangling themselves without breaking their hands. These activities built huge leadership skills and talents the students can use throughout the rest of their lives.

"Everyone had a chance to be a leader and work together," said eighth-grader Camille Gray. "These activities helped everyone to become a better leader."

Alexis Hace is an eighth-grader at Rancho Pico Junior High School.


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