The STAR Council on Substance Abuse has challenged kids to become better leaders for three years, through Camp G.U.T.S, which stands for Gearing Up Towards Success. Participants in this invitation-only camp are challenged to build leadership skills through team-building activities, games and follow-up exercises.

The 10 sixth-ninth graders who have participated in the two-day camp are taught four lessons- team building, communication, assertiveness and goal setting.

After the students participate in the camp, the STAR Council follows up with them during the school year.

We meet with the kids about once every six weeks and see how they are coming along on the goals they set for themselves during the camp, said Randi Williams, prevention specialist with the STAR Council.

The camp, however, is not always all work and no play. The children are able to go outside and express some creativity with sidewalk chalk or toss a ball around, activities that help polish those communication skills.

Its so neat to see the kids when they first get here and they are standing in their own corners, but by the time they leave, they have made friends and hopefully they will carry that confidence into the next school year, Williams said.

The children are chosen for the camp with the help of the Henderson Junior High counselor. STAR Council provides the funding for the camp.