Secondary Growing Leadership

“I love it here. The people here make me feel like I can have a whole new life and push myself further than I ever thought. I’m making so many awesome friends.”

- (overheard - an SGL student calling home)

Course Description

This course serves Secondary students who have the adaptive skills to function, meet new people and follow schedules with limited transitional support. The course engages the participants socially, physically, and academically, and encourages them to share the gains they have made as they return to their schools.  This course is suited for students for whom there is a ‘yes’ response to each of the following participant criteria:

  • Does the student access specialized and/or learning support services in the school?
  • Does the student have the required adaptive skills (e.g. sleeping in cabin with up to 10 other people, using shared washroom facilities, able to complete their own activities of daily living) to function independently and follow schedules with limited transitional support?
  • Does the student sometimes struggle with academics, following schedules, keeping organized?
  • Does the student respond willingly and agreeably to authority?
  • Does this student express interest in and/or have an identified need for leadership development?
  • Would this student benefit from leadership sessions focused on good decision-making and an introduction to group and individual problem solving skills?

Click here to download a SGL flyer for more information.

Leadership Development Sessions

The leadership development sessions in Secondary Growing Leadership build on OELC’s core capacities of communication, team building, risk-taking, goal setting, and personal challenge and expand it into three different themes:

Knowledge of Myself as a Leader: This theme includes developing the understanding that as leaders we always seek ways to learn and explore opportunities for our own personal growth.  This theme also encourages leaders to looki inward and reflect on their own personal strengths, affinities, challenges and fears that shape their personal leadership style.  Finally this theme provides learning opportunities for students to investigate how they, as leaders, can navigate the digital world.

Attitudes of a Leader: This theme focuses on the mind-set that is needed to be a positive force in their own lives, which includes optimism, resiliency, hopefulness, confidence, empowerment and perseverance.

Skills of a Leader: The third theme of our leadership development sessions focuses on  key leadership skills that students will begin (and continue) developing as they return to their school community.  These include advocacy, creating a culture of inquiry, expressive language, and self-regulation.

Click here for a short video from a Youth Facilitator.

Click here for some words from one of the students.



Four workshops are part of the programming for each student leader. The workshops offer an opportunity to engage in small group collaboration and to employ and practice the skills being explored in the Leadership Development sessions. The areas of focus are:

  • Appropriate use of social media
  • Achieving goals as a team
  • Challenge by choice
  • Communication – using more than your voice

Outdoor Activities

Students have a choice of many outdoor/recreational activities throughout the course designed to promote participation, cooperation and communication.  Examples include:

  • Low Ropes
  • Climbing Wall
  • Large Group Games
  • Tennis, basketball, beach volleyball, other recreational games
  • Culminating Team Olympics with Opening and Closing Ceremonies