Peer Leadership Camp Makes A Comeback This Spring

Mental health and self care, including yoga, and open and honest communication are just some of the practices that will be taught during the district’s annual Peer Leadership Camp, which is returning this spring after a one-year hiatus. (Photo courtesy of Toms River Regional Schools)

  TOMS RIVER – Toms River Regional Schools’ Peer Leadership Camp is returning this Spring, empowering children and inspiring them to become leaders.

  The mission of the camp is to “encourage collaboration and empower children to be aspiring leaders. Students will learn about building a positive mindset, the necessity of self-care, the importance of role models and community leaders, and fostering empathy among all.”

  The Peer Leadership Camp debuted in 2018, returned in 2019, but had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. For 2021, the popular camp plans on beginning in the spring instead of summer.

  “The transition from summer to spring was related to the safety guidelines put in place due to the pandemic, and so that we could host the camp in person and hold the vast majority of activities outdoors,” camp ambassador and Beachwood Elementary School Supervisor James Klass said.

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  The Peer Leadership Camp will run two sessions, with each encompassing two Saturdays, and will be hosted at Beachwood. Session 1 is May 1 and 8; Session 2 is May 15 and 22. Each camp will serve about 50 to 60 elementary students.

Photo courtesy of Toms River Regional Schools

  Students who are interested in the camp applied by submitting videos describing the qualities that make them good leaders. Teachers and building administration than selected students based on their video applications, social and emotional skills, attendance, and demonstration of leadership qualities.

  “We’re so grateful to the Grunin Foundation for the opportunity to bring this camp back, and I’m not sure we’ve ever been this excited to host it,” Elementary Curriculum Director Rachel Cicala said. “Not only do we have an extraordinary group of students who have all the qualities to become great leaders; each one of them is positively giddy there’s no ‘virtual’ prefacing the word ‘camp’ here, which is something we can all relate to. We’re all just excited to interact in safe and fulfilling ways, in-person, and foster a path for these students to become their best selves.”