Teamwork Takes Center Stage During Recent Youth in Action Retreat

The Retreat Took Place at Camp Esquagama in Gilbert, Minnesota

GILBERT, Minn. – The saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work.

During a recent Youth in Action retreat on the Iron Range, over 30 students from St. Louis County connected, in person, to help each other build and grow as good stewards of the community.

“I was a little bit nervous coming in actually,” said Lauryn Biondi, a junior at Hermantown High School.

It often takes a team to help calm the nerves.

“I think it’s really special to be around people with like minds and similar passions,” said Biondi.

For Biondi, the Youth in Action retreat at Camp Esquagama provided a chance to connect after a year of zoom calls and keyboards.

“It’s nice to meet with people, especially after the past year we’ve all had with COVID,” said Biondi.

Youth in Action works to get students of all ages involved in education, advocacy, and volunteerism.

“Giving yourself service and doing things for the community is one of the biggest leadership roles you can have as a person,” said Biondi.

Program coordinator Tyler Erickson has a passion for helping youth progress and develops into well-rounded young adults.

“We want to have them leave here with something they can take back to the classroom, their team, the community essentially,” said Erickson. “We hope they take these skills and use them in all aspects.”

With a theme of teamwork at the event, the conversation is key.

“If they can leave here and communicate a little better. We’ve got students who are shy and it took an hour for them to come out of their shell this morning, and they’re learning to communicate better,” said Erickson.

The camp was supposed to take place two years ago, however, COVID-19 pushed back the plans. Now new members have a chance to connect, learn, and when time allows, let loose.

“Youth in Action is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 9th grader, 12th grader, everyone has equal say,” said Erickson.

Students also take part in activities such as archery, basketball, volleyball, and a wide range of water activities, all while keeping their eyes on the priority of the program.

“Our big takeaway is if you say you’re going to do something, do it. Part of growing up is just following through on what you say you’re going to do,” said Erickson.

“You have to try new things. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is hard, but that’s how you grow,” said Biondi.

Click here if you or your child would like to get involved with Youth in Action.

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