Each year, at the beginning of the YouthBuild term, each crew joins staff members for what we call a “Leadership Hike.” Corpsmembers and staff hike in Pike National Forest and participate in several leadership and team-building activities.
Lawrence, a current YouthBuild Corpsmember describes his experience:
My leadership hike was great. It was good to get away from the city for once and enjoy the great outdoors. We went to Bailey and I expected nothing less than a good time. We started to hike up the hill and soon reached our destination. First, we walked around by ourselves and just became one with our surroundings. Then we had to grab an object that best describes ourselves. After we got together and played some competitive games with our crew.
I learned a lot about myself. I found I had the potential to bond with others even though I don’t know them that well or even if we were all complete strangers. I also learned that MHYC really wants us to see a different view of life and the beauty it can show no matter how ugly it may seem. I learned that being a leader takes a lot of self-confidence. Lastly, I learned that the environment is a very unique thing to be around. It’s totally different from anywhere else in Colorado and also that it is just the most amazing and peaceful place to be around.
I would have to say I grew more positively as a person from this experience. Just being on the hike and witnessing nature again helped me realize that everything isn’t always hard and these little things are naturally self soothing and can really help an individual who hasn’t experienced nature. The hike really helped me get me start my term on the right foot.
“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.” I think that this quote describes our experience because if you live in the city your whole life and experience something as amazing as just being in the mountains away from society and everything that annoys you, it gives you time to reflect on life. It’s because you put yourself in the middle of nowhere when you think the most. This hike put us all in positive surroundings and let us think positively instead of the negative surroundings of the city.
The hike helped me prepare for Leadership Council because I got to bond with my crew positively and see a whole new view of things. This leadership hike really helped me take on challenges with my team and grow as an individual.