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I remember my first summer volunteering at the age of 12 for my local YMCA summer camp. Being the youngest of three and seeing my older siblings head off to work each day as camp counselors, I was determined to get in on the action and not be left at home alone. I managed to convince the camp director to let me join the team as a volunteer that supported activities for the 6 year olds. That experience, coupled with many others -- including serving as a youth representative on a national board and launching a nonprofit at the age of 18 -- opened my eyes to a number of key lessons on how to effectively engage youth as volunteers, partners, and problem solvers.
Lesson #1: Build authentic relationships
Lesson #2: Focus on strengths
Lesson #3: Challenge youth with growth opportunities
Lesson #4: Celebrate and recognize
Read the full article about lessons for effectively engaging youth by Daniel Horgan.