Olivia Jennings, a rising senior at Presentation High School ('21), created and led a private two-week summer boy scout program at Westminster Woods in Occidental, CA. Olivia joined the Boys Scouts of America last summer after they had opened up their namesake program to females in February of 2019.
As COVID-19 practices emerged, and the local Scout camps closed for the summer, Olivia's troop collectively made a decision to host their own private camp. They recognized the shortage of summer camps available for troop scouts in the Bay Area and saw this as a great opportunity for personal development for younger scouts.
With Olivia's leadership training and determination, she delegated the responsibilities of program, activities, instruction, food, lodging, logistics, and navigated COVID-19 required protocols. This camp was planned within a month! Twenty-three scouts, and seven adult scout leaders, in three different cohorts are actively hiking, earning merit badges, and learning basic Scoutcraft skills in the Redwoods near the Russian River north of San Francisco.
The scope of work completed within a short amount of time is remarkable. With Olivia’s leadership training, her team identified access to resources, managed time to accommodate schedules, encouraged teamwork, believed in delivering a quality program, kept flexibility in mind to make accommodations, and successfully accomplished their goal. The troops completed their program, taking with them a strong sense of empowerment and personal development.
This work is one great example of how Olivia’s leadership training skills are developing through her proactive approach of becoming involved in her community. Through the scouting program, Olivia was the main driver and influencer. She displayed her teaching knowledge, helped others to develop their skills, encouraged values and ethics, as well as displayed trustworthy leadership.
It is programs like these that help Scouts to build character. They learn valuable life lessons and healthy living like taking care of their physical and mental health. Scouts also learn first aid, safety, and are also taught drug abuse awareness and prevention through curriculum. The Boy Scouts are also encouraged to explore their faith through traditions, receive positive mentorship and feedback, and learn the value of service to others; affirming positive values such as fairness, courage, honor and respect.
Olivia is currently the Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 582, a Star Scout rank, and will be able to complete her Eagle rank at about the same time as she graduates from Presentation High School next year. She was destined to lead the International Rendezvous this summer in the Sierras, using her Spanish and French Language skills learned at Presentation High School, but sadly it was canceled for precautionary reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olivia credits the personal development from Pres in forming her interest in community service. She finds scouting to be complementary to the motto of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: "Not Words But Deeds".
Presentation High School is an independent, college preparatory school for girls with a Catholic mission that fosters a lifelong sisterhood, courageous leaders, and compassionate advocates who are ready for college and life. "Pres" delivers a well-rounded, faith-based experience including academic excellence, award-winning programs and clubs, and individualized support where all are welcome.
- Leadership Training
- Personal Development