Leadership Skills... Are Just Skills


Passion. Energy. Spirit. Friendship. Trust. Leadership.

Hey you! Yes, you, reading this article! Look here! Camp 2012 is coming!

My name is Jay Gilbert and I’m very excited to write this first blog post for CampHacker.org. I love camp, and I’m passionate about leadership. I encourage you to join the discussion. Add your comments, questions, thoughts and let’s see where we go with this column!

Leadership is a big topic.

I’d like to dull down this long, confusing word and make it easier to digest. So chew on this - we hear all the time that we should be developing leadership skills. Ok. What does that even mean?

Let me push you to think about leadership skills as just having skills. When we’re at camp, we have a lot to manage as staff and leaders. We model our behaviour on the example of our mentors. We have our own unique habits and talents that we demonstrate every day.

So, what are some of these leadership skills?

Think of the traditional camp fire. Who is the leader? If you regularly play guitar at your campfires, then you are a leader. That’s right - playing guitar is a leadership skill. By having the ability to play guitar, you are naturally pulled up in front of the group and the group follows you as you strum your recently tuned 6 strings. The campers look up to you because your musical skills are something they would like to be able to do. You have expert knowledge. You know how to play the G, D, and C chords! Well done!

Do you sing? It takes a lot of courage to sing publicly in front of a group of people. If you sing, you’re a leader!

What skills do you have, and how do the talents you already possess help you demonstrate leadership? Are you a skilled archer? What about your ability to mould a bowl on the pottery wheel?

What are you known for around camp? Whatever it is, you are an expert in that field, and you are a leader, a teacher, a role model, and of course, friend, to those around you.

Each of us is a leader in our own unique way. Exploit your talents and influence those around you by sharing your skills. You are a leader!

“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” - Oscar Wilde.