Thursday, August 22, 2013

Leadership for Life Retreat 2013

Leadership for Life kicked off its academic year service projects with a retreat, welcoming in a group of freshmen who have dedicated themselves and the next year to service.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Leadership for Life (L4L for short), these students commit to 40hrs of service and take one class altogether while living in a living-learning community out of a wing of Lincoln Residence Hall. We also welcomed back our L4L directors, committee chairs, mentors, and members who have decided to dedicate themselves to a second, third, or even fourth year of service with L4L.

At 10am we loaded up two vans and a couple of cars and headed off campus to avoid the rush of the general move in day (the L4L freshmen were lucky enough to move in the day before and beat the rush), and headed off to the house one of the administrators owns on Lake Springfield.

Doesn't she look just heartbroken about being out of the office?

We started off the day with ice breakers, starting off with something easy that looks hard, and something hard that looked so easy. The first ice breaker was to get in a circle and sit on each others' lap and walk in a circle, team work and a lot of trust was key.

Then we moved on to something that sounded easy, but was hard as we attempted to stand on a tarp and flip it over without stepping on the grass. While we might not have gotten that one to work we had a lot of fun, got to in each others' personal space a bit more than we might have liked, and got to stretch our problem solving skills to the max.

But the highlight of the retreat day is always the build-a-boat contest. Every year Dr. Dochterman splits the L4L members into groups and gives each of them identical and random objects to try and build a boat out of. Prizes then goes to the fastest, the Titanic, best team spirit, and most creative.

Everyone's first thought? What are we supposed to do with this stuff?!

After the initial surprise that they have to somehow build a sea-worthy boat that will float one member of their team using only misc. materials wears off everyone gets down to work. This year they were given duct tape, two pieces of PVC pipe, a large box, a medium box, a long piece of wood, a pool floatie,  a length of string, some tarp, and a bucket. 

All of them were fantastic, however, we quickly found out that some
were more sea worthy than others...

Note: No Team Leader was Harmed/Drowned in the Race Process...

Yeah, the race was probably the highlight of the day! It was great to see what each team had managed to come up with, and cheer each other on as the group leaders took the chance to hop on board to see if their ship would swim or if they would be going down with it in true captain fashion. 

How better to end the day than just jumping right in?

All in all the L4L Retreat was a fantastic way to start out the year, a great way to meet the people we'll be working with, and a lot of fun. 

- Erika
  UIS Vista

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