Key Leader is a weekend experiential leadership program for today’s young leaders. This life-changing event focuses on service leadership as the first, most meaningful leadership-development experience. A Key Leader will learn the most important lesson of leadership—it comes from helping others succeed.
Participants begin by attending a Key Leader conference, which is a weekend retreat. Large and small group workshops, discussions and team-building activities take place over the course of the weekend. Students have opportunities to learn leadership skills that will help them to change their schools, communities, and world for the better. While exploring leadership in a whole new way, participants will make amazing new friends and have experiences they will never forget. Positive, ongoing interaction with other Key Leader graduates offers continuing reinforcement, encouragement and growth of leadership skills.
The Key Leader program is built on five essential principles. These principles reflect our mission to inspire young people to achieve their personal best through service leadership:
Personal Integrity: Doing the right thing
Personal Growth: Developing in mind, body, and spirit
Respect: Showing consideration for self, others, and property
Building Community: Developing relationships to achieve positive goals
Pursuit of Excellence: Expecting and achieving the best
How does Key Leader impact youth? It helps participants in developing important social and emotional skills, which allow them to understand self and develop meaningful connections with others. These skills enable young people to calm themselves when angry, initiate friendships, resolve relationship conflicts respectfully, and make ethical and safe choices.
The five core categories of social and emotional learning are listed below. The skill sets that are emphasized through participation in Key Leader are italicized.
SELF-AWARENESS – Accurately accessing one’s feelings, interests, values, and strengths/abilities, and maintaining a well-grounded sense of self-confidence.
SELF-MANAGEMENT – Regulating one’s emotions to handle stress, control impulses, and persevere in overcoming obstacles; setting personal goals and academic goals and then monitoring one’s progress toward achieving them. The ability to express emotions constructively.
SOCIAL AWARENESS – Taking the perspective of empathizing with others; recognizing and appreciating individual and group similarities and differences; identifying the following social standards of conduct; and recognizing and using family, school, and community resources.
RELATIONSHIP SKILLS – Establishing and maintaining healthy and rewarding relationships based on cooperation; resisting inappropriate social pressure; preventing, managing, and resolving interpersonal conflict; and seeking help when needed.
RESPONSIBLE DECISION-MAKING – Making decisions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, appropriate standards of conduct, respect for others, and likely consequences of various actions; applying decision-making skills to academic and social situations; and contributing to the well-being of one’s school and community.
Students - We are thrilled you are learning about Key Leader and want you to join us for camp! Please register now to hold your spot. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us!
Kiwanians - Here is how your club can help us ensure a successful Key Leader weekend: sponsor students to attend the Key Leader weekend. If your club sponsors Key Clubs, you likely have an excellent group from which to choose although attendees do not need to be members of a Key Club. If your club does not have a Key Club, you can sponsor any local students or even send a donation to the district to help sponsor students wishing to go that do not have funding available.