About 20 minutes ago, three of my daughters were off to camp. TAR (Teenage Republican) Leadership Camp.
For daughter Meredith (in the center), this is her 7th and final camp as she matriculates out into college. And as she heads out the door, daughter Sydney on the right will enjoy her first camp. Daughter Peyton who rounds out the crew will be enjoying her third camp.
As I dropped off the kids at the bus, one of the long time TAR Directors remarked that it was hard to imagine that 6 or 7 years ago, the kids (like Meredith) running around all over the place would emerge to be such strong leaders.
Why do I send them off every year, losing my cadre of babysitters, grocery carriers, clothes folders and general help for a week? Because for middle school and high school students, there literally are no leadership training opportunities in South Dakota that can hold a candle to it.
Students have fun activities, including trips to Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills Playhouse, and the Rushmore Waterslides. They also get to hear from statewide elected officials – US Senator John Thune, Congresswoman Kristi Noem, Governor Dennis Daugaard, all the constitutional officers, and all GOP statewide candidates participate in TAR Camp each year.
For my daughter who is in her final year, it helped her get several scholarships based on the leadership roles the camp prepared her to take in many school organizations and activities during the school year. Later in life – many of these kids turn out to be elected officials at all levels of government.
While it may be too late for camp this year (unless you run them out to the camp today), there will be a Teenage Republican Event in Sioux Falls – TAR’s in Action – September 15th and 16th. I can guarantee you that my kids will be there. For their enrichment, your kids should be there too.