Special Event: Chaminade Day

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Future Chaminade Students

It was a warm day on July 18th, when students from a host of different elementary schools arrived at Chaminade College School, for their special High School Transition Camp Day. Every student present would be attending Chaminade come September.

Organized by Mike Consul and the Focus on Youth media team, the goal of the day was to prepare the students for high school life, as well as help them get to know their future schoolmates.

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Mike Consul gets everyone warmed up

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FOY leaders Zoe and Stefan lead the kids in icebreaker games

After a series of warmups by Mike Consul, the students were split into teams, each led by a member of the Focus on Youth media team. Each group participated in a team-building game, to help them break the ice and learn more about each other.

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Once the students were all worn out, they were assembled again for the learning part of the day. After some more exercised with Mike, each member of the Media Team got the chance to say their piece. The theme was a guide to surviving high school, and the kids got a taste of what high school is really like, and what you need to know about your studies, volunteering, and education in order to succeed.

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The FOY team tells the students what they’ll need to know to survive high school

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Chaminade staff and students congratulate the team on a job well done

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As a result, the students walked away with a greater sense of what the high school experience will be like, all while building new and exciting friendships with fellow peers.

Special Event: ProPeace In Our Community

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The Pro Peace in Our Community event was created to spread the message of stopping violence around the world, starting in our communities and schools. Guest speakers from different organizations such as RISE (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) were in attendance.

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Randell Adjei, one of the guest speakers, shared his intriguing story with the audience, as well as giving them a dose of one of his many talents, spoken word. He encouraged the kids to follow their dreams, and to not be afraid to ask questions.

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The kids of Blessed Mother Teresa then came together in groups to explain what peace should look like in their communities. They showcased their group work in visual arts, acting, poetry, and storytelling.

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The students came away with knowledge of the roots and cause of gun violence, and how to prevent it.

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Special Event: Camp Olympia, Day 2

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WHEN I GET OLDER, I WILL BE STRONGER

Saturday, June 1st marked the second day of the Focus On Youth Leadership training at  Camp Olympia. The day began with breakfast in the Dining Hall, followed by Workshop #2. The workshops include Coaching led by Justin, Carm, Andrew and Matthew, with students from Francis Liberman and Neil McNeil.  The goal of this activity was to educate Focus on Youth students on effectively leading games, giving clear instructions, and catching the camper’s attention.

Along with the coaching workshop, there was also an arts and crafts session with Blessed Mother Teresa and Jean Vanier students, led by Luisa, Nick, Pam, and Peter, to give employees ideas of different activities they can offer to campers. Azniv and Consul led Don Bosco, Father Henry Carr, and Msgr. Percy Johnson at the Field House for the Low Organized Games, which aims to provide Focus on Youth students activities to use during down time with the campers. Lastly, Mario and Genny conducted the Positive Discipline workshop with Romero and James Cardinal McGuigan, which helped the employees learn how to solve situations and misbehavior in a positive manner.

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Arts & Crafts!

Afterwards, right before lunch time, the energetic leaders enjoyed free time, while teachers held meetings with their groups. With full bellies, FOY leaders and teachers attacked workshop #3, which was a school rotation of stations. This time, Don Bosco, Father Henry Carr and Msgr. Percy Johnson attended the Coaching workshop, while Romero and James Cardinal McGuigan participated in the arts and crafts activities. Blessed Mother Teresa and Jean Vanier took part in the Low Organized Games, while Francis Liberman and Neil McNeil were in the Positive Discipline workshop.

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The mic was then given to Mike Consul, who give the leaders a motivational talk. Later on, more free time was given before the Mass ceremony by Father Mike. Father Mike concluded the Mass by saying grace for dinner. All the Focus on Youth employees were gathered into a large group for the beginning of the 7 Habits Workshop, taught by Michael Consul and Greg Rogers, followed by Large Group Games.

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Get ready, set, TALENT! FOY Employees began to prep and stretch for the 9:00PM talent show and Lord Of The Dance. At 11:00PM, snacks were distributed alongside the debrief. Lights out for beauty sleep at 11:30PM.

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Sunday, leaders were up at 7:00AM, and ready to tackle the day as they headed to the Dining Hall for breakfast. In the last rotation of workshops, Romero and James Cardinal Mcguigan partook in the Coaching workshop, while Don Bosco, Father Henry Carr, and Msgr. Percy Johnson decided to be crafty in the Arts and Crafts session. The Francis Liberman and Neil McNeil student employees headed to the Low Organized Games, as Blessed Mother Teresa and Jean Vanier hit it up at the Positive Discipline session.

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The FOY leaders gathered once more for their last lunch together during the weekend training, before proceeding to the Commissioning and Closing Info. Greg Rogers ended the entire weekend with laughs and screams as he initiated the Roller Coaster activity with all the leaders. At 1:30, participants gave their quick goodbyes and hugs to their new friends, before boarding their buses back to Toronto.

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Special Event: Camp Olympia, Day 1

Before we send our staff to work, we send them to be trained at Camp Olympia. At Olympia, they focus on skill building, teamwork, and communication, all of which are essential in being successful in the Focus on Youth program.

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Student leaders from schools across the board, such as Archbishop Romero, Neil McNeil, Don Bosco, Francis Liberman, Jean Vanier, Blessed Mother Theresa, James Cardinal Mcguigan, Msgr. Percy Johnson, and Father Henry Carr are trained by the Camp Olympia staff and teacher moderators over the course of the weekend, and assist our staff in developing the skills they need.

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The first day at camp includes the welcome, leadership workshops, large group games, and campfire activities. The goal of these workshops and activities is to strengthen and enhance the skills the Focus on Youth staff need for their summer jobs. This will allow them to become effective and efficient as staff.

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Special Event: Don Bosco Carousel

The TCDSB’s Focus On Youth program implemented a  new hiring processes this year called the “Carousel,” a more interactive approach to hiring students. This process included giving the students various tasks to demonstrate their skills while being on the job. This process allowed teachers to see the students in action before hiring them.

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One-on-one interviews with teachers

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The program starts at 5:00pm with registration. After a quick introduction, they begin with a game of Simon Says, to show the importance of listening and following instructions. Following this activity is an Inner/Outer Circle game, which portrays effective communication.

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Simon Says!

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After that, three more activities are prepared, including Non-verbal challenges, Inclusion, and Team Work. With this Carousel program as a unique process of interviewing, the leaders were chosen and employed with Focus On Youth.

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Say cheese!

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What a great pose for the camera!

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Jumping for joy!

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Special Event: Cardinal Carter Academy Carousel

The Focus on Youth Carousel is a new and exciting event created this year. It is a modern and interactive interview process, designed to help teachers and staff to select suitable camp counsellors for the summer. The process involves a variety of tasks and activities given to the students to demonstrate their leadership skills. It was a good way to test potential leaders, and see how they would act on the job.

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The evening started at 5:00 pm with registration, followed by an introduction and Welcome/Instructions until 5:30 pm. Participants then played a Simon Says activity to test their listening and instruction-following skills. When they finished, they had a talk about the importance of following instructions and listening. Next was an Inner/Outer Circle activity, and a talk about the Importance of Effective Communication, and how the activity portrayed it.

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A half-hour dinner of pizza and drinks began at 6:20, with a ten minute talk to debrief afterword. There were several more activities that evening, including a non-verbal challenge to show how actions speak louder than words, a game called Molecules to demonstrate inclusion, and a tower building activity. The last one was a Balloon Game exercise to develop team work. At 8:10, there was a 20 minute presentation, and the evening concluded at 8:45 with a Wrap Up and discussion of Next Steps. With this unique approach to an interview, the best leaders were chosen to be Focus on Youth employees for the summer!

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Pizza lunch!

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Balloon activity

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Special Event: Jean Vanier: Carousel

The student leaders of the Toronto Catholic District School Board attended an information carousel night at Jean Vanier Secondary School. The session consisted of tests to judge the actions of the potential leaders.

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Even though these ladies were injured, they still got up to introduce themselves

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Those moves are bumping!

The activities were designed to make the leaders more comfortable, and to act as a teaching aide. They also helped the teachers see which students had the most initiative.

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Salsa 🙂

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Dashawn showing off his moves with his partner

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I think she’s got it!

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Kung Fu lesson

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Fighters shake hands to begin

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Mr. Rogers speaking to the leaders

The students played games, and worked as a team throughout the event. Teachers came in from the school board to run the session, and talk to the students. Overall, it was a fun day for students and teachers.

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Students are all ears for Mr. Rogers

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Students sign in to begin the session

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Students share pizza with each other

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Words from Jean Vanier

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Do the shuffle!

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Mr. M speaks to the student leaders

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Samba time!

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More students signing in

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Showing off even more moves to the crowd!

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Being injured doesn’t stop these leaders

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All eyes on me!

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