Special Olympics Flame of Hope to Pass Through WWU

1039836_543620989030521_408499537_oThe Missouri Association of Student Councils (MASC) conducts its summer leadership camp at William Woods University each year, but this year something special has been added to the agenda.

MASC will participate in the Unified Relay Across America. Over the course of 46 days, in a hand-to-hand exchange led by celebrity and Special Olympics athletes, co-captains and more than 20,000 movement supporters, the Flame of Hope will be carried across the country and delivered to Los Angeles for the 2015 World Summer Games.

On Thursday, June 11, the torch will come through the William Woods campus, and 27 summer workshop delegates will serve as torchbearers.

Student Council representatives and their advisers from across Missouri will arrive at William Woods June 7 for a six-day and five-night action-packed leadership training and development workshop.

The MASC annual summer leadership institute is open to students in grades 7-12 from both public and private schools in Missouri. This year approximately 740 students are expected to attend.

The curriculum is an active, hands-on, and high-energy learning experience. Daily topics and breakout sessions include problem-solving, project planning, self-esteem, parliamentary procedure and meeting skills, teambuilding, large and small group activities/projects.

Each day has a special focus that relates to student leadership. Participants will work with a “council” to compete in Olympics, create a carnival booth for area children, develop presentations, sing crazy songs, learn how to plan a project to do back home and participate in a Special Olympics of Missouri duck race.

Leadership training is divided into five levels, according to grade and experience. The goal is for skills to be taken back home to assist students and their student councils improve their schools and communities.

For the 12th year, a free children’s carnival will be held on campus from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 9. Twenty booths

A child gets his face painted during last year’s Student Council carnival.
A child gets his face painted during last year’s Student Council carnival.

will be set up for students in preschool to sixth grade. Booths include face-painting, ring toss, milk jug throw, moon bounce and a basketball shoot. Drinks, popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy also will be available at no charge.

The purpose of the annual carnival is twofold. First, it teaches campers the necessary steps in planning a project and seeing it to completion. Second, it allows the students to do a community service project for the children of the Fulton area.

Special Olympics has been the MASC charity for 25 years, and again this summer Special Olympics athletes will attend the MASC summer leadership workshop to enhance their own leadership skills.

For the past 11 years, MASC also has held a “Duck for a Buck” race to support Special Olympics. Campers and others are encouraged to adopt a rubber duck for $1. The ducks are then “raced” across WWU’s Senior Lake at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 10, with the help of the Fulton Fire Department.

Student Council members from around the state gather for the annual summer leadership workshop. This year about 740 are expected.
Student Council members from around the state gather for the annual summer leadership workshop. This year about 740 are expected.

All proceeds from the race are contributed to Special Olympics. Over the years, MASC schools have raised more than $250,000 for Special Olympics and participated in 15,000-plus hours of volunteer activities.

Members of the Fulton community can adopt a duck by visiting the workshop headquarters inside the McNutt Campus Center before 2 p.m. the day of the race.

For more information about the Missouri Association of Student Councils (MASC) annual summer leadership workshop, contact Terri Johnson at (816) 261-7079 or Mark Blakley at (314) 805-6724.