This weekend, 18 children ages 7 to 12 together with 17 of their adult counterparts met at Carson City's Boys and Girls Club to participate in a workshop designed to help them hone their personal mastery skills.
Through a series of puppet shows, stories, skits, crafts and games, this two-day seminar is designed to help children gain self-esteem as well as teach them leadership, communication and team-building skills. (Parents, gathered in a separate room, participated in the adult version of the seminar.)
This is the first year the Boys and Girls Club has offered this course, designed to help children avoid being stymied by the challenges incurred in every-day life.
Lacy Nathan, director of teen services at the Boys and Girls Club first attended the two-day seminar last summer. Two weeks later she took the 5-day advanced course in San Francisco, and since then has been dedicated to bringing it to the children of the Boys and Girls Club.
"Usually, the parents take this course first, and then the children," Nathan said, noting that bringing the children and parents into the course at the same time was very important to her.
"I can't imagine what it would be like to learn (these techniques) at such a young age, or to be in a family where the dynamics were learned early, by both parents and children."
Klemmer & Associates have been conducting this personal and professional development seminar for the past 21 years in many foreign countries: Japan Canada, Europe, and the Philippines.
Maria Carter, a facilitator with Klemmer & Associates said it's a life-changing course.
"Children, as well as their parents, learn new communication skills, and more about themselves and how life works," she said. "Through these new communication techniques, they can learn to set goals. . . . and achieve balance in their lives."
This weekend's group included all kinds of people from the highest to the lowest socioeconomic rungs, said Nathan.
This seminar usually costs $375 per weekend for adults and $175 for children, but this weekend's activities were offered free of charge through the support and efforts of sponsors and volunteers.