The C5 experience begins with a 25 day resident learning experience in outdoors. Rising eighth graders learn and develop fundamental leadership skills in an environment that emphasizes positive relationships, challenging adventure experiences, community involvement and C5 culture. Through the curriculum, participants identify their leadership strengths, explore the idea of going to college, and gain a better understanding of how they are influenced by and influence others.
In the second year, participants build on the skills they acquired in their first year. Once again participants are away from home for 25 days in an outdoor learning environment. C5 participants practice providing leadership for the first-year participants and engage in a series of leadership challenges that allow them to test their ability to lead and work effectively in groups. Their skill development focuses on processes including conflict management, ethics of leadership, public speaking and group dynamics. Among these challenges is an outdoor adventure trek that engages participants in stepping out of their comfort zone and trying out their skills in a new environment.
Throughout the year participants come together to plan and prepare for a travel/adventure experience that will take them to Wyoming. Although clearly a journey into the great outdoors, participants also spend significant time exploring their personal mission and goals and identifying the steps they need to take to achieve their mission. C5 Bridges begins with helping students envision themselves on a college campus and then through exploring National landmarks, rafting rivers and backpacking in the Big Horn Mountains, participants come face to face with their own personal challenges and discover the strength which lies within them and within the group to overcome challenges. The Rexam Leadership Challenge is designed to expose teens to new environments which require them to employ the leadership skills they have learned and to begin planning for their future.
Participants plan and execute a seven day exploration of regional College and University campuses. Emphasis is on exploring what campuses offer as communities as well as learning about the academic programs available. The Road To College provides participants an opportunity to identify and plan for the steps they’ll need to take to preparing for the transition to college. Significant youth engagement in planning and leading the experience are also key components to the program’s effectiveness.
The fifth year signature Event, the A.C.T. Now Summit, is the culminating experience for all four of the C5 curriculum areas. The acronym A.C.T. stands for “Actively Changing Tomorrow” and challenges participants to identify and explore an issue that is creating a problem in their community and then develop a plan to take leadership in solving that problem. The 7 day Summit is based on a college campus, providing youth an opportunity to experience college life and utilize college resources. Youth identify a social issue that has community significance, design and conduct research on the issue, interview stakeholders, plan organize and come to consensus on courses of action, identify resources for the planned project; and present their plan and their findings verbally, visually and in writing. Participants are encouraged to use this experience as the starting point for the design of their own Medallion Community Action projects during their final year.