Training tomorrow's leaders

FOR 120 secondary school students, a recent leadership camp was a chance to improve their communication and inter-personal skills and make friends.

The training camp, organised by St Louis School and St Paul's Secondary School, was held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from July 30 to August 2.

''Striving for Excellence - Marching with a New Epoch'' was the theme of the four-day-three-night study camp.

It aimed to develop the talents and potential of the participants, especially in the field of leadership and inter-personal relationships.

Kelvin Leung Ka-ming, public relations officer of the leadership training camp's organising committee, said: ''We have tried to improve everything for this 14th camp.'' For instance, a Treasure Hunt in the form of a mini-orienteering exercise was held during the Easter holiday to raise funds; a new internal postal service was introduced to encourage better communication between campers; and, for the first time, there was an official camp song.

The camp involved lectures on leadership and interpersonal skills, covering subjects such as budgeting, time management, and public speaking.

A number of case studies were discussed, providing opportunities for participants to deal with real-life problems and discuss their opinions.

Activities and competitions stressing creativity followed, as a practice of what had been learnt in lectures.

Fifth-former, Simon Lee Kwan-lap, who joined the camp three years ago, said the reason he has continued to support the camp was because he wanted to meet more people, to overcome his shyness and widen his horizons.

For newcomer Doris Lam Shuk-yin, the idea of such a camp was very attractive.

''I have been in girls' schools since Primary 1 and I really wanted to learn how to communicate with boys because that is what society is like. I also hope to gain self-confidence,'' Shuk-yin said.

Mr Charles Yu Tak-shun, their chief lecturer, who is now the Fieldwork Supervisor of the Department of Applied Social Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic, had supported the camp for 14 years.

''It is very good to see these young people growing up, learning how to adapt to the environment and showing their potential,'' Mr Yu said.

Kelvin Leung Ka-ming said the camp had taught him ''the importance of good planning and how to communicate with the adult world''.

''I am also happy that I have improved my work efficiency,'' he added.