Leadership Camp Leaves Lasting ‘Legacy’ On Students

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - September 15, 2010
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Waipahu High School students present their ‘mahalo’ for a great L.E.G.A.C.Y. Camp experience. Photo from Jessica Ayau.

Waipahu High School students past and present came together over the summer for L.E.G.A.C.Y., an annual leadership camp for the school’s student government and class council members.

“L.E.G.A.C.Y., which stands for Leadership, Encouragement, Guidance Alumni Camp for You, reflects the idea that leadership is never-ending,” said Jessica Ayau, a 2005 Waipahu graduate who volunteers with the program. “What results from months of planning is a fun weekend-long camp where students can learn more about themselves, their council and councils of different grade levels.”

This year’s camp took place July 23-25 and was called Super L.E.G.A.C.Y. World, a play on the popular video game Super Mario World. As such, activities were centered around a video game theme.

On the first day of camp, students were randomly divided into groups called “Gaming Teams,” which would serve as their ohana for the next three days. The students, many of whom started off as strangers, then worked together to complete activities such as Pikachu’s Tail, Tetris, and Marauders and the Curious Course, which all tested their ability to bond while promoting self-confidence, creativity, cooperation and time management.

“Skills can be learned, developed and passed on to others for the betterment of their organization, school and personal goals,” explained Ayau, who is studying secondary education at UH. “Additionally, freshmen gain helpful tips on what to expect during their first year in high school.”

A favorite activity among many students was the Guts Activity, which challenged the teens to get up in front of the entire camp and express what was on their mind. According to Ayau, this exercise allows students to work out any problems they may be having with their fellow council members or to acknowledge the good things their council members do.

“We got to share personal information with everyone during the Guts Activity and not be afraid,” said freshman Wisdom Inigo.

“I learned to not be shame and that cooperation, dedication, communication and teamwork make a good council,” seconded Kate Salviejo, grade 10.

“All the councils were together, and we learned how each council resolves its problems,” added Arlyn Tagalicud, a senior. “Even though we are all in separate councils, we are still one united school.”

The campers also participated in some community service, planting grass, hibiscus and ilima around the Waipahu

High campus and holding a canned food drive for the Hawaii Foodbank.

“The immediate goal of this camp is to motivate student council leaders for the upcoming school year,” explained Ayau. “The long-term goal is to arm students with lessons on the importance of helping others and giving back so that they too can pass on their leadership knowledge and be positive role models for their families, peers and community.”

A total of 106 students attended L.E.G.A.C.Y. this year, and 45 alumni volunteered to run the camp, each taking jobs that ranged from cooking to working directly with the campers.

Teachers also donated their time by serving as chaperones.

“A fun atmosphere is created for students at L.E.G.A.C.Y.,” Ayau added. “It’s inspiring to see the students of Waipahu High School create their legacy of leadership.”

“This whole camp experience was memorable because I met lots of new people, gained experiences and knowledge, and I had tons of fun,” added sophomore Kimberly Teehera.

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