Twenty-four high school students from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond spent three days of their summer break studying leadership at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at SMU.
It was the fourth year for Camp43: Leader of One, Leader of Many.
“Understanding the concepts of personal values, principle-based decision making, leadership, and planning for the future are critical for a young person’s success, both professionally and personally,” said retired Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, director of the Bush Library. “It was great fun to watch these students actively engaged in lessons and discussions, and then experience that lightbulb moment.”
Camp43 is a summer camp specifically tailored for 2017, 2018, and 2019 high school graduates. Each day focuses on a different topic related to leadership. By carefully selecting energetic and driven students, this unique training opportunity presses students to discover their own leadership qualities while learning about the principles that guided George W. Bush during his presidency.
Conceived four years ago by Bush Library education docents with the goal of fostering America’s next generation of leaders, Camp43 is led by those docents in conjunction with the Library’s Education Program staff, and conducted with generous support from the George W. Bush Foundation.
“These past few days at Camp43 have been so much more than I expected,” said Henry Christopher, a junior from St. George’s Independent School in Germantown, Tennessee. “I have learned so much about what kind of leader I aspire to be. I am looking forward to using the skills, values, and principles I learned here. This was an opportunity of a lifetime and I am glad I was able to experience this leadership camp.”
Camp43 aims to help young people realize their full potential as leaders through a series of engaging speakers, personality tests, and team activities.
“One very exciting part of Camp43 was a simulation in which the students take on the roles of members of the President’s Administration and collaborate to resolve a crisis,” said Education Specialist Sharon Brannon. “The exercise was very useful in and of itself, but having it take place in the actual historic room from the White House, adds authenticity and tremendous energy and enthusiasm.”
“The Situation Room Experience,” a decision-making crisis scenario, takes place in the actual, wood-paneled White House Situation Room used by President Bush and his Cabinet members during his Administration.
“Although I was excited to be accepted to Camp43, I really did not know what to expect. I am so glad I came,” said Dakota Johnson, a junior from Rowlett High School. “I have met new friends from different parts of Texas and around the country. I have truly learned so much from all of the Camp 43 mentors, the speakers, and presenters. I really understand the leadership principles and values being taught. I can honestly say it all makes sense. I see some of the areas I need to work, and I am ready to make those changes.”