On January 22nd, the Townsend Interact Club hosted a Freshman Leadership Training for Broadwater High School’s Freshman Class of 2023 at The Lodge of Townsend. This is the third consecutive year that Interact has worked with the BHS administration to provide the peer-led training.
Interact is a Rotary-sponsored youth organization for students 12-18 years of age. Through service activities, Interactors learn the importance of developing leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others, and advancing international understanding and goodwill. The Townsend Rotary-sponsored Interact Club was formed in 2018 by an exceptional group of students in our community.
This idea behind the Freshman Leadership Training came from Interact members who attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) Camp. Every year the Townsend Rotary Club selects 4-5 incoming sophomores to attend the week-long camp outside of Livingston. The intensive leadership camp is organized by the Montana Rotary District 5390 and gives young Montanans the opportunity to develop their skills as leaders while having fun and making connections with other youth from across Montana.
The Townsend Interact members like to think of their Freshman Leadership Training as a “mini-RYLA” camp. The training focuses on developing leadership skills and fostering a team environment for the Freshman Class. Interact believes that these important skills will help reduce school bullying, identify future leaders, and encourage students to complete high school.
Jen Lane, Interact Club advisor, was the event leader and the Interact members led the activities. “I love the peer to peer mentoring that this training provides,” said Lane. “Our Interactors really shine at this event and really bring out the best in all the students.”
Interact, with the help of a few Rotarians, spent 3 ½ hours last Wednesday working with the Class of 2023. Interact met the students at the school at noon and walked with them to The Lodge, which was generously donated by Tina Homann. Once there, they enjoyed lunch together and heard from Daniel Wyse, Interact’s President, and Jeff Langlinais, last year’s Rotary President.
After lunch, the students were divided into teams and took turns rotating to various leadership and team-building activities. They participated in an egg drop challenge, obstacle course, a puzzle race, and even tried their hand at negotiations. “This year was the best training yet.” Lane said, “I was really impressed with the Freshman Class, they were enthusiastic and left in high spirits. I hope they can carry that positive energy with them for the rest of the school year and throughout their time at BHS.”