What was your favorite part of the Teen Squad Workshop? “When I’m with the Teen Coaches!”
This (uncommon) response was from the first Teen Squad Workshop of the year, which was held last Thursday at McGuane Park. As they arrived to prepare before the workshop, the teens were undoubtedly nervous. I don’t blame them! It’s incredibly hard to lead activities to a new group of people, let alone 15 elementary school girls in an after school setting. But the 8 Teen Squad members who attended this workshop carefully planned with their peers on the best way to approach each health, sport, and leadership activity. And in realizing they would be in it together, the nerves seemed to dissipate a little.
The result of all the planning and nervous energy? A very fun and active afternoon of programming. The teens worked together and relied on each other to help gather equipment, transition to the next activity, work with a girl who needed some extra attention… whatever needed to be done to ensure the group had a great time.
Yet as with doing anything for the first time, the workshop was not without its challenging moments. That’s not unexpected. But what was perhaps surprising was the thoughtful way the teens reflected upon the workshop and identified areas they would like to improve for the next time. They spoke about being clearer with their directions, finding their “Coaching Voice,” and learning different strategies to divide the girls into smaller groups. These are things many adult leaders aren’t able to recognize as areas for improvement, but this group of teenagers was intuitive enough to pick up on the little things they can get better at for the next time.
And there will be a next time, and they will get the chance to become stronger leaders and more effective communicators with each passing workshop. But for all the growth that these teens will experience this year, I can say without a doubt that there will be one constant. Working with the Teen Coaches will continue to be a favorite part of each Teen Squad Workshop.
Until next week,