Camp grooms future leaders

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 May, 1998, 12:00am

Two teenagers went through a rigorous selection process before being chosen to attend a youth congress in the United States.

Fourth-formers Noel Tang Fong-ting of Sacred Heart Canossian, and Felix Shui Cheuk- ting of Wah Yan College (Hong Kong), were chosen from among 50 students from 27 schools at a youth leadership seminar.

It was a seminar with a difference. Held at Wu Kwai Sha Youth Community Camp in Ma On Shan, the Hong Kong Youth Leadership Seminar aimed to develop young people's confidence and ability to lead.

Part of the experience was being questioned by well-known Hong Kong personalities and politicians on local affairs.

Comedian Wong Chi-wah interviewed the students on cultural issues, philosopher Lee Tin-ming on cognitive skills, and politicians Emily Lau Wai-hing and Ching Ki-nai and political commentator Lo Chi- kin, grilled them on the upcoming Legco election.

Samuel Wu Shung-shan, 18, a sixth-former at Wah Yan College (Hong Kong) who chaired the camp, explained its mission.

'The camp provides invaluable opportunities to develop your leadership potential and share your experiences, interests and opinions with students from other schools.

'Besides, the various activities and seminars involving highly-regarded speakers expose you to novel and exciting ways of thinking and understanding and help you recognise your role in society.' Camp vice-chairman Harry Liu Hak-wing, 18, a Form Six student from Queen's College, said the camp stimulated students' thinking.

Fong-tin said she had learned much about leadership skills.

'I particularly enjoyed communicating with such an interesting group of people and how to be a good listener,' said the budding leader. 'To be a good youth leader, you have to develop good communication skills.' She said confidence and observation skills were also essential for a strong leader.

'A leader should always be quick to respond.' Held annually by the Hong Kong Union for Young Leaders, the seminar chooses a girl and a boy to attend the Hugh O'Brian World Leadership Congress in Washington DC.

In August, Fong-ting and Cheuk- ting will join 50 other students from around the world for the 10-day conference.

The Hugh O'Brian Youth Foundation (HOBY) was set up in 1958 by veteran actor Hugh O'Brian, who was inspired by missionary Dr Albert Schweitzer's education policies in Africa.

HOBY's camp format is simple - bring together a selected group of high school students with leadership qualities and distinguished persons in business, education, government, and other professions.

The give-and-take, question-and- answer format of each seminar panel gives the students a chance to pick the brains of today's leaders.

The youth seminar was a mini version of the international event.