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More than two dozen Grade 11 and 12 students from L.A. Matheson Secondary organized and ran a soccer camps for area children in July.
When the school year ended, youth from L.A. Matheson Secondary didn't simply kick back for a relaxing summer break.
Instead, they kicked it into high gear, creating and running a soccer camp for more than 250 kids.
Camp Next welcomed elementary students in July for daily fun and learning, empowering both the children and the 27 teen leaders.
The Grade 11 and 12 students were required to create a camp mission statement and organize activities and drills that ensured progression and stayed true to their goals.
This is the third year for Camp Next, which was established two years ago in an effort to build positive connections between L.A. Matheson and the neighbouring community. The camp has nearly quadrupled in size since 2015, when it welcomed its first 65 elementary students.
"We wanted to give our high school students an opportunity to be in a position of genuine leadership and also be sources of empowerment to the youth in our surrounding school community," says Manmeet Sahota, a leadership and social studies teacher at L.A. Matheson who helped develop the summer camp program. "At the same time, we wanted to bridge the gap between the elementary students in our area and our high school."
The experience has had lasting benefits for the teen leaders, ten of whom were hired for a summer leadership program in North Delta after helping run the kids' camps in 2016.
Sahota said there are "definitely" plans to continue Camp Next next summer.