Leadership skills put to work at Camp Carl retreat

Every year, student council hosts a leadership retreat at Camp Carl.

The meeting on Mon., March 2, was held to inform possible “presenters” about the process and duties of the job. Presenters are a big part of the retreat and teaching attending students important life skills. Students must have already attended the retreat to become a presenter.

Possible leaders must go through a five minute interview with Mr. McMahan and Ms. Kotecki. The interview will mostly be the interviewee talking about what he or she is most interested in presenting on and if they have a specific teacher they would like to present with.

“There’s going to be a different feel to leadership this year, but I think it’ll be great. There’s still going to be tons of fun and games but students also get to hear from their teachers and peers about their personal leadership experiences,” attending teacher Danna Kester said.

Presenters need qualities like passion to teach peers about leadership and being capable of having fun but also being serious when presenting their topic to the attendees.

This year, the retreat is on Thurs., April 23 through Fri., April 24. Students will be separated into groups where there are various activities and stations that each teach a different pillar of leadership. Some of these pillars are time management, community service, how to deal with stress and planning for college.

There are two groups of students attending the retreat. The first group are the attendees who have been elected by a teacher to go. This group of students will be split up into teams and assigned a teacher and presenter. The other group consists of the presenters who are the people who plan the presentations and activities for the retreat.

There will be 12 groups consisting of one teacher and one to two students or “presenters.” Each group will come up with a presentation on a topic of choice for anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. Presentations typically consist of an introduction, an activity and a review of what was learned.

The role of the presenter is to work alongside the teacher to create an inspirational and motivational presentation that can be expanded on in a discussion with the groups they present to.

It is preferred for the presenter and the teacher to be able to put a personal connection in their presentation so that the topic and goals that go along with the topic seems more realistic to the students. If the attendees hear about a real-life situation relating to the topic, they are more likely to listen to what is said and to apply what they learn.

Some activities include a water balloon toss, a three-legged obstacle course, rope swings and constructing a tire bridge with a team.  There are also activities done with the entire group of people attending the retreat. Some of these activities are capture the flag and a bonfire at night before it is time to go to bed.

“In the past, my experience at the retreat was truly great. I got to meet so many new people who I never thought I would become friends with.  The tips and skills they taught were more helpful than I ever thought they would be. I’m looking forward to the next retreat and meeting new people again,” sophomore and hopeful presenter Olivia Hauser said.

The goal of the retreat is to have a leadership conference that will inspire students to conduct self-assessment of their own leadership skills and weaknesses. Those planning and hosting the retreat hope that students who attend will bring back the things they learned and maybe even teach those skills to their peers and possibly the community.

The retreat is fun and educational for everyone that attends, even for the presenters and teachers who have already attended in previous years.

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