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FSU Sophomores Learn Sustainability Leadership at Sierra Club Camp

FSU Sophomores Learn Sustainability Leadership at Sierra Club Camp
FSU students Brady Moon and Michala Garrison

A good leader starts with a vision. Getting a team to execute that vision is a learned skill.

Frostburg State University sophomores Michala Garrison and Brady Moon, both of Cumberland, found this out this summer after attending Sierra Club Summer Grassroots Training, or SPROG as the organization calls it.

The weeklong training at Camp Darden in Courtland, Va., gave the two tools on how to better organize and execute campaigns. While the Sierra Club’s camp focused on environmental activism for college students, the skills could be used on an array of issues, the pair found.

In addition to campaign planning, they were taught leadership development, how to identify and confront oppression and how to interact with and influence the media.

“It was everything on how to run a good campaign,” Garrison said. “Now I know so many skills like base building, communication, elevator pitches and how to write a good press release.”

Garrison and Moon were selected to attend by the FSU President’s Advisory Council on Sustainability, as part of Learning Green, Living Green: FSU’s Sustainability Initiative to engage students, faculty, staff and community members to coordinate programs and projects that create sustainable solutions to environmental, social and economic needs.

One of the greatest lessons was working on being inclusive, Garrison said, through word choices and interactions.

“Every day, you sat with different people because you didn’t make judgements. There weren’t cliques formed,” Garrison said. “They called it ‘SPROG Magic.’”

Moon appreciated learning how to frame conversations through buzz words and terminology – such as natural gas versus fracked gas – and providing an emotional element to a conversation built around facts.

“And always put it in a positive way instead of negative, trying to work together and understand whom you’re talking to,” he said.

Sometimes magic can wear off and conflicts or distractions arise in groups working toward a common goal. Moon liked how the groups used a “vibe checker” to keep everyone focused.

“They would ask how everyone is doing, have us switch roles with somebody to make sure everyone is working OK,” he said.

The two are also members of the FSU student organization, Sustainability Awareness Society, and plan on sharing their new leadership skills with SAS members in the fall semester.

For information about sustainability initiatives at FSU, visit To contact the FSU Office of Admissions, call 301-687-4201 or email


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589