Leadership Retreat

The L.E.A.D. Leadership Retreat of 2019 took place the weekend of Nov. 1 to Nov. 3. All participants had to go through a selection process, which was a submission of their resume and answering a few questions. Before going on the retreat, participants were to take a quiz that determined their esteem levels because the retreat’s focus was to strengthen one’s confidence. I was selected to go on The Leadership Retreat, along with about thirty-five other students. After arriving at Friendly Pines Camp, we started with fun icebreakers and a name game.  

Throughout the retreat several presentations were given, including “Mental Health Awareness”, “How to Motivate the Middle Members” (of your club or organization), “GRIT: Passion and Perseverance”, “How to Build Your Self Esteem”, “Active Listening”, and “How to Take Care of Yourself.” I will use the lessons that were taught in these presentations every day. 

We also participated in activities such as team building exercises, high ropes courses, kayaking and canoeing, and archery. All of these activities had two main points: believe in your capability and communication. My group’s team-building exercises consisted of balancing a board, walking through a net blindfolded or not being able to speak and the human knot. My team communicated well and we all listened to everyone’s opinion. We successfully completed all activities. 

Next were the high ropes which consisted of a zipline, a climbing ladder in the trees where we had to walk along the planks, and a giant swing. Being afraid of heights, I was unsure about some of these activities. I decided to try all of them. Personally, the most challenging one for me was the climbing ladder. This addressed my fears more so than the others. I did not think I would be able to reach the top but with help from my partner and encouragement from my team members, I did it. I felt extremely accomplished for completing the course and for believing in myself. 

Afterwards, we all went kayaking and canoeing. The kayaking and canoeing required communication from everyone in the boat. We all decided to race so I had to communicate with my team members in order to try to win. During archery, everyone was encouraging each other, even though some had never shot a bow and arrow. All of us stepped out of our comfort zone and decided to try new things. This experience was extremely enriching. I felt extremely motivated after and I believe in my capabilities 110%. I recommend the Leadership Retreat to anyone who wants to grow as a person and become a better leader.