In June of 2014 G.E.T. Mentoring put on its first Leadership Development Summer Camp for 6th-12th grade students. This two-week camp, called G.E.T. (Get Every Teen) Dreaming, was designed and planned by the high school students in our program for the youth of their city. The vision is to inspire the youth of Stockton to dream about their future and to begin to comprehend the impact that they can have on the world. The purpose of the camp is to raise up and train the future leaders and mentors of G.E.T. Mentoring through smaller group activities and events. By exposing youth to new experiences that some of them have only dreamed of doing, we instill in them a hope and an excitement for their futures. This camp is a way for Restore to train up our mentors and empower the younger students to become junior mentors.
In 2014 we had 40 youth participate in the camp, and almost all of them went on to become mentors in the program during the school year. We had students come from eight different schools all over Stockton, and we watched unity develop among the youth as they discovered their common ground and shared humanity. The theme for the first year was ‘Fruits of the Spirit,’ and every day the students learned about and practiced love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control through different activities and events.
In June of 2015 Restore hosted the second annual G.E.T. Dreaming Summer Leadership Camp. Over 60 youth participated in the camp in 2015, and we saw many significant relationships between high school mentors and elementary-aged mentees formed. Thanks to the generosity of our community, all 60 youth got to go canoeing, dirt bike riding, boating and tubing, horseback riding, and swimming, along with other fun daily activities. Our theme for 2015 was ‘Around the World,’ and the youth learned about 10 different countries as well as eat a traditional meal from each of those places.
G.E.T. Dreaming Summer Leadership Camp has become an integral component of our mentoring program, and we look forward to many more summers full of fun-filled new experiences and life-changing relationship building with the youth of Stockton.