Friday, September 3, 2010

A Generation of Leadership: The Future of America

Generation Joshua recently finished its iGovern East and West summer leadership camp at Patrick Henry College

in Purcellville, VA and Eagle Lake in Colorado Springs, CO. One hundred and seventy three students from

across the country attended this year. After months of work our leadership training program allowed participants

to actually try and make government work. During the iGovern program, participants act as members of

Congress and taste what goes on when Congress is in session. Each student had the opportunity to draft bills,

talk with lobbyists, create and advance their party platform, and hone their leadership skills.

The students will be forced to wrestle with hard decisions. In the event of a crisis overseas, how should

Congress react? What does it mean to do justice, love, and mercy? There were a variety of responses, which is bound to happen in real life decision making. Some said the U.S. should only offer humanitarian aid in the form of food and clean water. Others decided that this was an issue where the military should be involved. Still others wanted a diplomatic solution. The issues were challenging in both implication and scope.

Each year, the Generation Joshua works to keep the program fresh and relevant. In fact, we are already brainstorming ideas for iGovern in 2011. This year we offered two new additions to our program.

First, we added a Senate. Until this year, we only worked on the House of Representatives. But this year we added a Senate to make our simulation more realistic allowing impeachment, nomination fights, and treaties. The second addition was three specialty classes: Campaigns and Elections, Legislative Techniques, and Party Leadership. Campaigns and Elections walks students through the election process by teaching them how an election works and how to run a successful campaign. The Legislative Techniques class gave students a course in parliamentary procedure and strategy to write and pass a bill.

In the Party Leadership class, students were taught about practical leadership; how to lead by example, to be approachable, and to build a team to accomplish difficult things. iGovern provides many students with the chance to mold up to fifty-plus opinionated teens into an effective political force. The students don’t simply get a “how-to guide.” Just like real life, they have to think wisely and quickly, readily learning from their mistakes. And as happens every year, they learned that a humble spirit and godly character are crucial to good leadership.

By Joel Grewe

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