Forum returns for 55th year

This Saturday more than 700 seventh-12th-grade students, along with their sponsors, will register for the first session of Uplift summer camp. The three sessions of the camp will welcome more than 2,000 visitors.

But before the multitude of campers arrive, this week is drawing almost 300 ninth-12th-grade students for the 55th National Leadership Forum. The long-standing event, co-sponsored by Arkansas and Tennessee Farm Bureaus, Civitan and other civic clubs, and the American Studies Institute, attracts delegates with excellent character as well as leadership capabilities.

The students are learning leadership development through lectures, films and team building, all designed to assist youth to become better acquainted with the American scene and build pride in our traditions and ideals.

This morning John Foppe addressed the group on “Life is an Attitude.” The motivational speaker, born without arms, has had to break down and re-engineer every aspect of his life, and focuses on translating visions into outcome. He serves as executive director for Community Link, a nonprofit organization that helps adults and children with developmental disabilities. In other words, he practices what he preaches.

When the students leave Friday, the outcome will be better leaders in their communities, schools, churches and homes.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor

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