2011 Rolling Academy gets rolling
Over the last 20 years, The Mountain Alliance has strived to serve the youth of Watauga County through experiential adventure and service opportunities.
These activities center on the creation of young leaders in our community that recognize the value of helping others, respect for the natural world and willingness to push through challenging obstacles in order to achieve their goals.
This July Mountain Alliance's Rolling Academy will depart on an adventure of discovery for its fourth consecutive summer. This advanced leadership academy is a "rolling" academy, using a bus not only for transportation but also as a classroom and a base camp.
The experience is a unique opportunity for students to get up close and personal involvement with the expedition's guiding principles. The guiding principles encompass six areas: Community, environmental awareness, service, craftsmanship, leadership and communication. Those who participate are expected to live in respectful harmony with others; appreciate, value and protect the natural world; to grow in compassion, understanding and value for others; to develop self-discipline and a standard of excellence; to grow in confidence and courage; and to increase daily learning capability by being present, reflecting and developing the artist within.
"We set out on this trip as strangers, not only to each other, but to ourselves," a 2011 Rolling Academy student said. "We left thinking that we were just going on a summer vacation ... that we would see new sights, meet new people and learn some things through new experiences. What we didn't realize was how much we would learn about ourselves."
Each year, the expedition takes students on a variety of new adventures and learning experiences in many new and different places. Last year, students found themselves working behind the scenes at a rodeo in Wyoming, sleeping under the stars on a ranch in Montana, and climbing mountains in the Grand Tetons, among many other places.
Though the itinerary is kept under wraps, students can expect adventures that will carry them to many new places.
The Rolling Academy is for any Watauga County youth currently in grades 9-11 who are enthusiastic to learn more about the world around them and grow as future leaders. Generous support from Blue Ridge Electric, Footsloggers, Mast General Store and Holton Management makes this experience free for the 10 selected students.
For more information or to apply online, visit http://www.rollingacademy.org.