Fall is here! It’s the time of year when things change. Although the weather turns and new routines begin, one thing in our organization stays the same and that’s continuing to mentor 16 young men through our Vohokase Leadership Program. At this point in the year, a lot of time has been invested into the young leaders. We hosted them for an eight-day leadership camp at Chenoweth Trails, conducted weekly phone calls, and visited them in their hometowns three separate times!

Over the course of 15 years, the Foundation has found the best place to learn more about the young men is by visiting them in their hometown! As the Camp Vohokase Director, I have found this opens up a chance for me to meet the people that influence them, see the environment they live in, and help find service projects they can take part in. After experiencing their way of life, it allows me to be a better mentor and opens up an opportunity for deeper conversations with them.

Hometown visits include a career tour, community service project, or a visit to a local museum. When planning a visit, I include experiences that will encourage them to learn new things and inspire them to be better leaders of their community.

Most recently, I visited Camp Vohokase’s five senior classmen in Washington D.C. If you’ve ever been to our nation’s capital, then you know the learning opportunities are endless! After realizing some of the native students have never been to the National Air and Space Museum, that’s where we decided to go during our visit!

During our time exploring each exhibit at the museum, we learned about many things such as the Wright Brothers’ breakthrough on flying, NASA’s first mission to the moon, and the facts behind these events that will never be forgotten in American History. The senior classmen became intrigued and found great interest in what they were discovering. They even took part in the hands-on demonstrations, which we believe leaves a bigger impact than learning in everyday environments, such as a classroom.

The beautiful thing in learning about history is realizing the leadership that was required by the men and women for the events to take place. It gave the young men a chance to view their futures and see the contributions they could make to their communities. As their mentor, I hope they each take time to reflect on the qualities each historical leader had, and they apply it to their everyday lives. All breakthroughs throughout history took a great deal of leadership and that is what we hope to instill in our young men.