Archive for Thursday, June 2, 2005

LHS junior to help shape young leaders

Trevor Fousek returns to Farm Bureau’s leadership camp - this year as a counselor

June 2, 2005

Last year, when Trevor Fousek signed up to attend Kansas Farm Bureau's Leadership America conference, he wasn't quite sure what he was getting into. He just wanted to try the ropes course.

But after his positive experience at the conference, Fousek decided to go back for more. He's attending the conference, held at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, as a counselor this year. He left Tuesday and will return Saturday.

Leadership America encompasses three days of workshops and programs about team-building and leadership skills development for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Fousek said he found out about the conference when his sister, who is two years older, attended it. He admitted that he thought he might only meet "country people" at the conference because it is sponsored by the Farm Bureau, but he said he thought the people were "the coolest thing."

"I met a really high class of people," he said.

The main speaker at the conference this year is Bill Cordes, who also spoke last year. Fousek said Cordes delivered an inspirational message. The Kansas Highway Patrol also will present a program on drinking and driving at the conference. In addition to the speakers, students attending the conference will be divided into teams and given problems to solve - including tackling the ropes course.

Last year, Fousek's team included about 10 people, he said. One of the challenges was to get every team member up and over a 15- to 20-foot-high wall. Fousek said that only one person could be on top of the wall at a time, and each person could help only once. To add another complication, Fousek said his team included a range of body types, "from small girls to huge guys." Eventually, the team was able to push or pull every member over the wall.

"It was entertaining, to say the least," he said.

Fousek said for each challenge, the team usually failed once or twice before coming up with a viable solution.

"You saw a lot of people's strengths when it comes to that stuff and a lot of weaknesses, too," he said.

As a counselor, Fousek said he would be leading a group and acting as a role model for his team members. He said he would be the go-to person if problems arise in the group.

He also has the duty of leading prayer at mealtimes, he said.

Having just finished his junior year at Lansing High School, Fousek said he probably wouldn't be the oldest person in the group he'll be leading, but he said his experience in the Kansas River Youth Leadership group would help him to fulfill his role.

KRYL is a leadership group sponsored by 4-H clubs in Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson and Douglas counties. Fousek said he learned to wait his turn in the 14-member group.

"I could get my opinions heard, but I had to let everyone get theirs heard, too," he said.

Fousek said this would probably be his last trip to Leadership America because next summer, he'll be preparing for college. He intends to apply to Kansas State University, he said.

Leadership America can give him a head start in college curriculum. Fousek said he can obtain one hour of college credit from Barton County Community College by attending the conference and writing a one-page paper about how he can use the skills he learned there. All members attending the camp have the option to earn the credit and will receive a $29 scholarship from the Farm Bureau to do it, making the cost only $18 per student. Fousek said that last year he let the deadline slip by without writing the paper, but he said he planned to take advantage of the offer this year.

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