Just before incoming students arrive on campus, lots of preparation from staff and students take place! One of those preparations is attending the annual LEAD retreat. This retreat is designed to help students who have taken leadership roles on campus learn how to strengthen their leadership skills, build relationships, and have a healthy dose of competition.
The purpose of the LEAD retreat is to unify, align, and prepare student leaders for the capacity in which they will serve. Student leaders were empowered to be pushed outside of their comfort zone in a healthy manner through collaboration and competition. In total, sixteen different teams of students and mentors competed for the coveted prize: the crimson cup.
This retreat was jam-packed with fun group-oriented activities including making boats out of cardboard, performing a skit as well as incorporating the alma mater in a selected song, and competing in a relay race on Salyer Lake campgrounds. Each team earned various amounts of points for each activity which meant that participation was key.
To close out the retreat, there was a celebratory dinner where mentors and staff served students catered food from Qdoba, Dr. Keith Newman gave an impactful speech about leadership, and the traditional ceremony of washing each other’s hands took place. Excitement for the upcoming school year was definitely in the air!
Olivia Harris, a junior at SNU and a first-year NSI mentor, gave insight into what her experience was like. “LEAD retreat challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and experience new things,” says Harris. “My favorite part about the LEAD retreat would be the games because we had to work together as a team.”
Ashley Finch, a junior at SNU and a leader on the volleyball team, says “(the retreat) challenged me to put myself out there more and helped me see that what I say and do does matter.” When it comes to her favorite activity, Finch says, “I really liked the relay race and how we had to all work together to finish it. I loved my team and thought we had a great dynamic when it came to executing good ideas for activities.”
Collectively, mentors, leaders, and students dedicated their time and effort to make this new school year a successful one. Next time you see a student leader on campus, be sure to thank them for all the hard work to make this school year possible!
Photo by Hailee Thompson