Our Senior High Workshops (SHW) delegates arrived at Washington College yesterday, which means our final Summer 2022 program is underway! After registration and saying goodbye to family and friends, delegates headed into their first group meeting where they participated in a variety of name games and icebreaker activities in order to get to know one another. Delegates also got to see their creatively decorated group rooms that correspond to their group’s theme. Delegates then headed to community meeting where they learned about the expectations for the week and were able to meet delegates in other groups. Following community meeting, delegates participated in “What is Leadership?” which is an introductory activity meant to push delegates to think about the traits of leaders, how leaders have impacted our society, role models who have shaped one’s understanding of leadership, and what they would like to learn from this week.

At the end of the evening, delegates participated in an MLW tradition- “Visions”. During Visions, staff members share inspirational quotes, song lyrics, and stories that are significant to them. This activity sets the tone for delegates to be reflective about their vision for their experience at SHW. Delegates then participated in their first hall meeting where they shared their highs and lows (favorite and least favorite) parts of the day and got ready for bed.

Today, SHW delegates began Round One Workshops with topics including Who Am I, CommUNITY, and Under the Surface.  In Who Am I, delegates explored their past experiences, interpersonal differences, and other perspectives to gain insight into their own unique identity; analyzed their current leadership style and its relation to their current self, and learned the importance of adopting a growth mindset.

In CommUNITY, delgates learned about different individual communication styles and preferences, learned conflict management strategies in order to build healthier relationships, examined the role of boundaries in relationships and how lack of clarity impacts healthy dynamics, and practiced strategies that foster healthy relationships and collaboration.

In Underneath the Surface, delegates defined decision making and shared prior experiences with it, explored the Decision Making Process and how to utilize it, identified the impact of values and other factors on decision making, and analyze how agency factors into our daily lives.

Following morning workshops, delegates participated in their first REALITY session. Delegates will work in their teams on a week-long REALITY project designed to help them practice their new leadership skills. Each REALITY project is centered on a real-world issue such as youth homelessness or access to arts education. Delegates are challenged to use their leadership skills to develop a product that contributes to solving the real-world issue.

Delegates also participated in group meetings where they completed more team building activities and had their first Tuning session. Tuning is a time where delegates meet in small groups with a staff member to set goals, debrief what they are learning throughout the week, and get to know each other in a small group setting.

Tonight, delegates will close out their busy day with Monday Night Activity (affectionately known as MoNA) where they’ll rotate through several indoor and outdoor stations with games such as Sharks and Minnows and Hum That Tune! These games will allow staff to observe how each delegate solves problems, works within a team, and responds to challenges, all of which helps the staff better frame the rest of the week’s activities. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update!