Valdosta Lowndes County YMCA Teen Leaders Club Attend YMCA Blue RIdge Leaders School

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, July 10th, 2024

The Valdosta Lowndes County YMCA Teen Leaders Club took eight local teenagers to the 2024 Blue Ridge Leaders School in Black Mountain, NC June 15-22. The purpose of Blue Ridge Leaders’ School is teen leadership development through YMCA health and physical education. Blue Ridge Leaders’ School is not a camp. Rather it is a physical education training school profoundly structured with high standards of behaviorphysical participation and individual performance.

Tierney Walton completed her fourth year at BRLS and served as a counselor for other teens.  Clark Davenport and Holden Walton finished their third year at BRLS - taking classes on Working With Special Populations and Officiating Sports. Manny Martinez and Emily Harding completed their second year -  learning how to volunteer more effectively at their local YMCA, lead games for children, as well as better communication skills. Jacob Howard, Ethan Haugabrook and Michael Simpson completed their first year at BRLS - learning how to help with Safety Around Water and Swim lessons, while learning personal fitness lessons. All Leaders participate in Character Education small groups all week.

The Leaders learn life skills while making lifelong friends at Blue Ridge Leaders School.

Third year Leader Clark Davenport said, "Blue Ridge gets better every time I go. I've learned how to teach a class, how to lead others and how to be a more outgoing person. I had a wonderful time and cannot wait to go again next year."

Second year Leader Emily Harding agreed and said, "I had an exhilarating experience at my second year at Blue Ridge Leaders School. The week I get to spend each year always makes me feel like I have a home away from home. The friends I have made, the bonds I have forged and the lessons I have learned will stay with me for years to come."

You can learn more about YMCA Blue Ridge Leaders School at

To learn more about the Valdosta YMCA Leaders Club, please email [email protected]. Claire Walton serves as the Volunteer Advisor.

The club will be accepting new members between the ages of 12-17 starting August 19.