In February, Coronado High School’s JAG Program Coordinator, Ms. Paez Gonzales, and two chaperones brought juniors and seniors to the Tonto Creek camp for workshops, a “JAG Olympics” competition, and other group activities. Going on five years, this camp has been a fun opportunity for students to further develop their leadership skills and bond with their peers outside of the classroom. Angela M., the secretary for CHS’ JAG leadership board, summed it up in three words, “One Giant Sleepover!”
The JAG coordinator leading the trip plans the workshops with the goal of creating an empowering space for students to practice public speaking and become more confident around their peers. Gabrielle W., a JAG member, shared that her favorite workshop included each student describing how they thought others perceived them in comparison to how they actually saw themselves. “Hearing everyone’s stories was pretty cool and helped us understand each other more,” Gabrielle said.
“My favorite workshop was where we had to pick a partner and basically sculpt them into how we saw them, and we had to explain why we sculpted them into that position and what they represent. I really enjoyed it,” said Miguel C., Leadership Development Chair.
Students also engaged in some friendly competition for JAG olympics. The olympics included an obstacle course with a climbing wall, a dance competition, and other group activities. “Everybody got super competitive and was all over the place. It was super fun to see everyone get along and actually want to win,” Miguel said.
As activities wound down throughout the week, students connected with nature and enjoyed a group campfire. “My favorite outdoor activity was when we went hiking. One thing I learned about myself at camp was that I need to go out and appreciate nature a little bit more and not be so focused on my cellular device. I need to take in the reality around me,” Miguel said. For Gabrielle, the campfire was one of the best parts of the trip.
“I think a time when we were all bonding was at the campfire because we were all just yelling out stories. One of our teachers was telling us stories that ended up being jokes, so we were all laughing.”
“It’s a great experience and you come back from it with a whole different mindset. We feel more like a family,” Miguel said.
This month, these seniors and their fellow JAG students will be attending Legislative Day on March 7th at the Arizona State Capitol with 55 legislators for a day of awareness and sharing the impact JAG has had on their lives. Then it will be only a month away until the biggest event of the year, the Career Development Conference held on April 26th at the Mesa Convention Center. Stay up-to-date on these events and more through our Insider News blog, social media, or newsletter.
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