Casey: Once again, the Student Leadership Camp proves its value

CHSAA Student Leadership Camp

This year's attendees to CHSAA's Student Leadership Camp. (Troy Rivera) More photos »

FORT COLLINS — This week was a great reminder that this Association is about more than just athletics.

Monday brought the return of the annual CHSAA Student Leadership Camp to CSU. It was something I was exposed to for the first time last summer, and it was slightly overwhelming then — hundreds of eager, high-energy students just waiting to be involved. In anything.

These kids are, quite literally, the best-of-the-best when it comes to leadership in Colorado's high schools.

CHSAA student leadership

(Troy Rivera) More photos »

Last summer, the thought crossed my mind that this Leadership Camp was the best thing CHSAA does. This year's trip only reinforced that notion.

Think about CHSAA's stated mission — in large part, to "provide an environment that enhances personal development through sporting behavior, character education, teamwork, leadership, and citizenship."

The annual camp — this summer actually marked the 50th anniversary — ticks all those boxes. Students attend keynote speeches, they have breakout sessions on a variety of topics, they absorb seemingly everything they can about leadership in four jam-packed days. And then they take it all back to their schools and disseminate it to their respective student bodies.

The camp is the epitome of the Association's overriding goal: to create better students and citizens. It is something special, and offers a unique view at our state's future.

A major part of this is the kids who attend. Like I said, they are the type who want to learn, who want to be involved. They make great pupils for Rashaan Davis, Harry Waterman, Troy Rivera and the dozens of other staff members who put the camp together.

When the four days are up, and the camp concludes, the staff has to drag the students out of their dorms. Because with so many like-minded individuals in one place, the camp forms a kind of lasting bond among its attendees.

Just ask them: