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Cal U student climbs the rock wall in the Heron Recreation and Fitness Center. Cal U student climbs the rock wall in the Heron Recreation and Fitness Center.


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Posted on June 5, 2012

High school students can learn to lead at the third annual Leadership Challenge summer camp June 17-23 at California University of Pennsylvania.

Sponsored by the Linda and Harry Serene Leadership Institute, the Leadership Challenge is a weeklong summer adventure for high school students entering their senior year. Participants take part in leadership education and activities to help them reach their full potential.

Students are selected to participate by nearly 20 high school counselors throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.

“We designed this weeklong event to be rigorous for our student participants,” said Dr. Michael Hummel, director of the Linda and Harry Serene Leadership Institute.

“The students’ leadership abilities will be challenged as they participate in team building, taking charge, confidence building and self-esteem exercises over five days.”

Students will work in teams to climb the rock wall in the Herron Recreation and Fitness Center.

They also will participate in a leadership adventure at Outdoor Odyssey, a 500-acre facility in Boswell, Pa., that features campgrounds, zip-lines, rappelling courses and a variety of outdoor activities.

In the classroom, camp participants will learn about leadership theories, characteristics and styles. Hummel teaches many of the classes, with assistance from Linda and Harry Serene and other volunteer leaders. 

This year’s volunteers include Dr. William Rullo, director of counseling services at Upper St. Clair High School, and attorney Bart Gabler, of McKinsey Company and Associates.

Cal U faculty members Dr. Gary DeLorenzo, chair of the Department of Math, Computer Science and Information Systems; Dr. Tony Rodi, assistant professor in that department; and Kelley Hunt, executive director for the Entrepreneurial Leadership Center and Student Incubator, also will volunteer to teach classes.

“Our participants always tell us what a great time they have at camp,” Hummel said. 

“It is not all about academics. It is about building friendships and learning how to work with others that may be different than you.”