This year’s Lead Retreat was held at Sayler Lake Campground in Minco, Oklahoma from August sixth through the eighth. Lead Retreat is a weekend of fun and fellowship for all campus leaders from the newspaper staff to the football team captain, to connect and prepare for the upcoming school year. This formative weekend is filled with team-building opportunities, challenges, and loads of fun!
Lead Retreat featured a lot of iconic people from Jack Sparrow and Justin Bieber to SNU President, Keith Newman, and Misty Jaggers, past Executive Director of the Live Last Center for Learning through Service. However, these people were not actually at Lead Retreat (except President Newman), but were portrayed by SNU students in various skits! These skits were performed during the Nazagroove competition where each team came up with a unique and humorous skit featuring a pre-selected song and the SNU alma mater. It was a great feat of creativity and ingenuity and a delight to watch. All across the board, Nazagroove was the favorite activity. As Olivia Wilson, a junior communication and leadership for nonprofit organizations major states, “I think it is so fun to see what everyone can come up with in such a short amount of time.”
Each summer, student leaders go on this retreat to connect with one another and God, while learning about how they can best succeed as leaders in the upcoming school year. Julia Benn, a junior psychology major states, “Sometimes the competitive aspect of games and activities makes me feel like I can’t participate or I’ll let my team down. But this year I even surprised myself with what I was able to do.” She hopes to take this new confidence and apply it to her leadership role as a Resident Advisor and to other aspects of her life as well.
Over the weekend-long retreat, students engage in a variety of activities, including worship and reflection sessions. Some of the activities this year included a 9-square tournament, an ice-melting challenge, a word/picture puzzle, and the Amazing Race. Teams compete in each activity hoping to earn the most points to be named the winner for this year’s Lead Retreat. Players who show an appreciable amount of dedication are in the running to earn a plaque in the Live Last Center.
This year’s winner was the Black team! They did amazing throughout the weekend securing a top-three spot early in the competition and eventually rising to first place. They had a funny and unique skit featuring “Misty Jaggers” in which SNU and BFC were fighting for her. The way they incorporated the alma mater and “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift was ingenious, making their skit one of the best of the night. They performed well in all the activities and made it to the final round of the Amazing Race.
With all the fun, excitement, and rush of the activities, it was great to be able to take a break periodically to worship, listen to a sermon, and reflect with our groups. Pastor Ron delivered a message encouraging us to be bold, try new things, and fulfill God’s purpose for us knowing that the Lord is our helper (Hebrews 13:6). He challenged us to reflect on those who have shown us the love of God and to walk daily with Christ. He also encouraged us to become people that others can look at and say “I was able to experience God through them” (Hebrews 13:7). David Omosigho, Junior business major, states that “the biggest lesson I learned from Lead Retreat was to be a servant.”
Our leaders have taken on this servant-like mindset and are fired up and ready to take on this academic year. New ideas and events, the return of old traditions, and a large incoming class seem like a recipe for tons of fun and community!
Photo by Victoria Peter