Elks send West Milford students to leadership conference

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By Patricia Keller

— The West Milford Elks Lodge #2236 sponsored four West Milford High School students and an adult advisor to attend this year’s conference: “Elks and Youth: Discover. Create. Inspire.”

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, NJ State Elks Association hosted their annual “Peer Leadership Conference” at the Ocean Place Resort and Conference Center in Long Branch, NJ Feb. 2 to 4. The purpose was to develop and implement an alcohol, tobacco, and drug use prevention project in their community.

According to the NJ Elks Association, the NJ Elks Peer Leadership Conference was open to all New Jersey students in grades 9 through 12 during the current school year that are proud to be alcohol, tobacco and drug free. Students are selected in conjunction with recommendations of school principals, guidance, and student assistance counselors, or a community group administrator and staff.

Students selected to attend the conference should be those who:

Are likely to earn the trust of peers, parents and administrators.

Are proud to be alcohol, nicotine and drug free.

Are emotionally mature enough to give service to their home, school or community.

Have good listening skills and will respect others by not talking when they are - especially during presentations.

Are motivated to do the hard work to make a difference in the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

Have displayed or have the potential to develop leadership skills.

The accompanying adult advisor chosen shares the Elks experience and work actively with the team, both at the conference and at home assisting in implementing prevention projects.

The advisor serves as an active participant at the Elks conference, attends activities with their teen group, and attends special advisor meetings and workshops.

Advisors selected to attend the conference should be those that:

Like and are willing to listen to and learn from teenagers.

Are willing to enthusiastically join activities with teens.

Have a sense of appropriateness about themselves and in setting limits with teens.

Are likely to earn the trust of students, parents, peers and administrators.

Are willing to offer the credit for accomplishments to teens.

Work easily and cooperatively with students and other adult volunteers.

Actively participate in the entire conference.

Look for good in ALL teens.

Are willing to be a healthy role model for teens.

The West Milford students selected were: Kelsie Murphy, Rachel Armellino, Olivia Del Olio, and Jenna Longaker.

Vicky LoScalzo was selected as the accompanying adult advisor.

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