Central Ontario Leadership Seminars (COLS)
The Optimist Club of Oakville is a long time supporter of this leadership training seminar for Grade 10 students. Each year we sponsor 10 students, one from each of the Oakville Public and Catholic High Schools, to attend this incredible event which is held at the Mississauga Campus of the University of Toronto during the last weekend of May. The mission of COLS is to spread positive thinking through collaboration, communication, and teamwork. These students then return to their school and local communities to share and spread what they have learned. By sharing their lessons with other parts of our community, we will be able to grow and change our country – enabling our youth to be more active where they live. In summary, COLS focuses on developing leadership and community involvement in each ambassador through a series of interactive speakers, panels, discussions, and activities. COLS focuses on teaching how to think, not what to think and on the importance of being involved in the community.
Here are some gems from the thank you letters sent to the Optimist Club of Oakville from COLS 2016 participants:
- "COLS helped me expand my learning and it has changed me. I think I am now a more open-minded person as well as I am not afraid to take risks!"
- "I learned alot about being a true leader. It means staying standing when everyone else is sitting down. Or, showing up for life and not being ashamed of it. ... But probably my favourite is: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
- "COLS gave me the tools I have needed all along to mold myself into the best person possible."
- "I had the time of my life - I really do think this has been the best weekend of my life."
In May, 2016, we sponsored and sent 10 Oakville Grade 10 students including 4 Junior Optimists to COLS this year. Two of our Grade 11 Junior Optimists returned to COLS as leaders. Our Optimist President also attended as an adult leader. A fantastic program for youth.