Outstanding Cooperative Leadership Camp camper named

Published 7:03 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Landon Woolard

Landon Woolard


From TriCounty Telecom

WHITE LAKE — The Cooperative Council of North Carolina recently held its annual Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp for high school students at the NC FFA Center at White Lake. Sponsored by cooperatives and agricultural organizations, nearly 40 students from across North Carolina attended the camp, enjoying a week by the lake.

The leadership camp focused on helping students build leadership skills while learning about cooperatives. Attendees heard several distinguished speakers representing various types of cooperatives. They enjoyed a series of outdoors team building activities by the lake as part of a weeklong competition between groups. Campers also participated in a special luau dinner and talent show. Kayla Colglazier, sponsored by Wilkes TMC, won first place in the talent show with a theatrical monologue. As part of the luau’s fun games and activities, Garrett Field and Kayla Colglazier were crowned king and queen of the luau.

Along with the usual camp activities, participants received extensive training in the operation of cooperatives as a form of doing business. They organized a T-shirt cooperative, sold shirts to fellow campers, and donated the proceeds to the Council’s youth program. Megan King (NCEMC) was elected the co-op president, with Nolan Davis (TriCounty EMC) serving as the general manager.

Campers also learned about the seven cooperative principles and put “Concern For Community” in action by participating in a service project to make bracelets for children in Haiti, which will be distributed by a local church group visiting the impoverished country this winter. The project was organized and led by a committee of campers. All youth who participated in this voluntary project were presented with a “Cooperative Service Award.”

At a special awards banquet that brought camp to a close, Landon Woolard, of Washington, sponsored to attend camp by TriCounty Telecom, was selected as the Outstanding Camper. As the recipient of this honor, the Thad Eure Cooperative Leadership Award, Woolard received an expense-paid trip to the 2014 National Institute on Cooperative Education (NICE). The conference was held at the end of July on the campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va.

Five other students also received special awards and joined Woolard on the trip to Virginia. Honored with cooperative leadership awards were Matthew Carson of Crumpler, sponsored by SkyLine TMC; Kayla Colglazlier of Hays, sponsored by Wilkes TMC; Deannh Mihalke of Sparta, sponsored by SkyLine TMC; and Thomas Wallace of Leland, sponsored by Riegelwood Federal Credit Union. Cade Andrews of Lake Waccamaw, sponsored by Riegelwood Federal Credit Union, received this year’s counselor’s award. These leaders were selected by the counselors for exemplifying leadership, positive attitudes, excellent participation and well-roundedness. All students who attended camp are now eligible to apply for a $1,000 college scholarship when they graduate.

At a special candlelight ceremony to end their week together, many campers shared what they had learned and the impact camp made on their lives. One camper commented that she felt like she was leaving camp with a second family, and thanked her peers for being so welcoming and accepting. Another student stated that this was his favorite camp and expressed gratitude for lifelong friendships he made. Counselors heard countless times how much the campers loved camp and the impact it made.

Comments like these only reinforce how wonderful of an impact co-op camp has on young students, and we are appreciative to all who sponsor this program.

TriCounty Telecom, located in Belhaven, provides local telephone service, television, Internet access, Web Hosting and Design, Long Distance and Wireless phone service in parts of Beaufort, Hyde and Washington Counties. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.