B.L.T. Saturday

Leadership Training...Brooklawn style!

Each year since 2003, over 100 student leaders from Brooklawn and all ten Parsippany elementary schools join us for B.L.T. Saturday, our annual Leadership Training Conference that features fun educational experiences that develop, reinforce and promote leadership skills. Presented below are our themes and logos over the years...

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B.L.T. Saturday takes many outstanding features of the NJASC Leadership Training Conference (LTC) program and condenses them into one day. The idea is to give many students a small taste of what LTC is all about, so they are encouraged to get more involved in their schools and Student Councils. Our hope is that participation in B.L.T. Saturday encourages student leaders to become more active in NJASC programs, especially LTC!

Student leaders are at the heart of B.L.T. Saturday. Current Brooklawn Student Council Executives serve as Junior Counselors (JC's), organizing and leading delegate groups through the day's activities. High school students - some of whom are past or present NJASC State Officers - come back to serve as Senior Counselors (SC's), facilitating leadership sessions and conducting other activities for the delegates.

The main component of B.L.T. Saturday is the Leadership sessions, adapted from activities conducted at LTC and the NASC National Conference. Delegates are given the chance to experience each of these sessions with their Junior Counselor, and two or three Senior Counselors.  Sessions used at B.L.T. Saturday have included the following:

Speaking With Ease! What makes a good public speaker? Practice, practice, practice! First, delegates will gain awareness of several important principles of effective Public Speaking. Then they will get the chance to try out their skills, with peer evaluation and staff support to help them examine their public speaking behaviors. The goal is to emphasize the good ones and become aware of the not so good ones...

Elected to Lead Everyone! Whether you were elected to or volunteered for Student Council, you are now in a position to represent and speak for all students in your school. But do you truly speak for ALL of them? Do you really know who your fellow students are, and how does this affect what you think about them and what they think about you? How does this affect you and your Student Council? You'll have a lot of fun as you find out what "headbands" you would like to wear...
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Effective Communication! Do people listen what you have to say? Do you really listen to other people? There is a big difference between “hearing” and “listening”. How well you listen to others directly affects how well you represent your fellow students. It also affects how well they will listen when you have something to say. Find out for yourself how good a listener you really are in this session… 

T.E.A.M. Time! T.E.A.M. means "Together Everyone Achieves More". What qualities do you look for in an effective leader? What effects do different types of leadership have on group performance? Delegates will find out some answers to these questions through a fun activity that clearly shows the difference between transactional and transformational leadership…

True Colors! You can't effectively lead a group unless you really know who you are leading. Delegates will explore and discover some of their own personal characteristics, as well as strategies to work with and lead individuals with different characteristics…

Understanding Conflict! How do you react to and handle conflict? When should it be avoided, when should it be allowed to happen, and when should it be provoked? Is conflict always such a bad thing, or can it be the sign of leadership and progress? Delegates will learn how they deal with conflict, and when they should apply different strategies to make the most of it … 

There are also activities to make B.L.T. Saturday feel like a true Leadership Camp. The Junior Counselors coordinate welcoming activities and icebreakers (like those at LTC) before the three leadership sessions. Icebreakers are done within the delegate groups, so that each delegate gets to better know their fellow group members before the leadership sessions began. In "L.E.A.D.", delegate groups compete against each other in a series of fun games that test their leadership skills and their ability to work together as a group.

We have been honored to win state and national awards for our B.L.T. Saturday program, which now is well into its second decade. More importantly, B.L.T. Saturday has resulted in better prepared Student Council Executives, more student participation in our Student Council, an increased interest in student leadership, and more involvement with other schools in our community. It has also served as a valuable recruiting tool, getting other schools more interested in LTC and ultimately in joining and/or becoming more active in the NJASC.

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