A Recap of Servant Leaders Training

YMCAs Camp Thompson in Carlisle, PA

YMCA’s Camp Thompson in Carlisle, PA

On October 7th, at approximately 5:15 in the morning, I rolled out of bed – and into the car. There, I settled down for the near four-hour trek to Carlisle, PA, where, at scenic Camp Thompson, the Pennsylvania Youth and Government Servant Leaders Training would take place. I was accompanied by two other officers of the Obama YAG club: Kyra Baillie, our Delegation Leader, and Daevan Mangalmurti, our Legislative Vice President.

Unlike many YAG events, this occasion did not call for formal attire or precise parliamentary procedure. No, on this day, our bill books and case notes were exchanged for buckets and soapy rags; the first hour was spent cleaning equipment, cabins, and bathrooms all around the camp as part of the YMCA’s initiative to encourage community service.

Joined by dozens of other youth leaders from throughout the state, including Youth Governor Colin Black, the gathering took on a relaxed but productive air. Those in attendance were informed of the major changes coming to the program this year, most notably a departure from the Electoral College-esque system of voting for candidates of years past as well as the implementation of a 45-minute open campaigning period for those running for positions at Elections Convention. Time was also allotted to discuss the less tangible aspects of YAG, such as fundraising and club service.

Finally, the Presiding Officers took the opportunity to inaugurate the new year for each of their respective branches. While each will undergo at least some degree of modification, it is no doubt the judicial side of things that will see the most significant overhaul. There will be an increase from nine to 15 justices statewide, and each will have to write their own bench brief in preparation for model. It was also revealed that this year’s case will deal with prison rights in relation to the handling of two death row inmates.

As far as Legislative and Press go, there will be a push for more representation on bill calendars, and writers will submit pieces throughout the year as opposed to just during the four-day summit in Harrisburg. Other than that, expect more of the same from the program we all know and most of us love.

With that, the day was done. I grabbed a slice (or two) of pizza for the road, pocketed as many bags of cheese curls as I could, and we all went our separate ways.

We’ll be convening next for Elections Convention in early November.