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Senior High Tuesday Update

Last night’s rain gave way to a cool breeze welcomed by all. Delegates finished Round 1 Workshops and started Round 2 Workshops.

Some highlights of the day:

In Creative Problem Solving, delegates debunked the myth that only some people are creative and learned how to navigate the creative process as leaders.

In GroupME (Group Dynamics, Motivation and Empowerment), delegates discussed the dynamics of working with groups, how to utilize their strengths to move through he stages of group development (performed via rap cypher!) and determined ways to use motivation and empowerment to advance causes in their communities.

In committees (broken down by geographic region), delegates continued to forge bonds and discuss issues facing their shared communities. Many of our delegates hold school and regional leadership positions so these meetings are an excellent opportunity to build  strategic partnerships and prepare for advocacy back home.

During group meetings, delegates had the opportunity to attend different “club” meetings during their unstructured time. During today’s session, staff member Hunter led delegates through Improv games and activities to learn how to react with spontaneity and humor.

In the evening, delegates experienced Tuesday Night Activity, or TuNA as it has been dubbed, an interactive series of games meant to spark ways of thinking that aren’t as commonly practiced. Activities included logic puzzles, guessing games and even a dance battle!

At the end of the night, delegates reflected on their day during hall meeting. Round 2 Workshops will be in full swing tomorrow and delegates will start preparing for their end of week presentations in REALITY.

Senior High Is In The House!

Here we are at the end of our first full day! After parents left yesterday, delegates got a tour of the campus and played ice-breaking games with their teams.  Then they had their first workshop, “What Is Leadership?” where they explored what leadership is and how it applies to them. They also identified leaders in their lives and discussed characteristics of good leadership.

After dinner in the dining hall, delegates were treated to a decades-old MLW tradition called Visions, a candle-light ceremony held outdoors after dark. Delegates sat in silence while staff members, one at a time, recited a poem or song lyrics that has meaning to them personally. This provided delegates an opportunity to learn a little more about their staffers, and it was a nice way to settle down after a very active day.

This morning after breakfast, delegates enjoyed their very first Morning Sing of the week with an old favorite, Baby Shark! The purpose of Morning Sing is to get delegates energized and excited first thing in the morning before we start our formal activities of the day.

Today was the beginning of Workshops Round One:
  • Self Awareness: Delegates explore how their upbringing and environment have contributed to what they believe and value in the world.

  • Basics of Communication: Delegate gain an appreciation and experience with different contexts and forms of communication to maximize the effect and appeal of their message.

  • SMART Decisions: Delegates create SMART goals that help to maximize their efforts towards goals, big and small.  They also discussed how values influence the decisions we all make daily and over the years.

After lunch, delegates met with their Regions for the first time. They were introduced to all the delegates at the camp from their county/region. They played get-to-know games to begin with then shared what they considered various strengths of their county or region. This committee will, by the end of the week, identify issues that impact their region and work towards creating solutions.

Delegates then spent time with their teams working on their REALITY project. Each group has a different project to work on either in partnership with a non profit or advocating for a cause.

Prior to dinner, we held our first seminar called Finding Your “Hype.”  In this seminar, delegates were encouraged to think about what is important to them, what energizes them, and how to put that energy into their own communities for the better.

After dinner, delegates got to blow of steam at our Monday Night Activity where they played fun games  – Steal the Bacon, Lava, and an MLW favorite – SPOONS! Staff took this time to observe how delegates work, play, and solve problems together.

Next was what typically turns out to be everyone’s favorite activity every day – Tuning –  where delegates worked in small groups with out staff to set their S.M.A.R.T. goals for the week, leading to the creation of stretch goals for when they get home.

One last group meeting of get-to-know games rounded out the evening. More tomorrow!

Hear From the Delegates Themselves

In lieu of our regular update, we present to you a website that the Newsletter committee created to share with you what their week has been like. Visit msel2017.weebly.com to read all about it!

Don’t forget that the Closing Ceremony will take place starting at 10:30am at the Gibson Center for the Arts, which is where check-in took place. Delegates will be dismissed following the ceremony at approximately 11:15. Don’t forget to return your key! It’s a $35 charge if you forget.

We can wait to see you tomorrow and show you what we’ve learned!

Thursday Update

Another beautiful (and humid) day in Chestertown! Thursday saw the end of Round 2 Workshops and the continuation of Mix and committees. As we near the end of our week together, delegates are beginning to put the final touches on their products and presentations.

Some highlights of the day:

In the Pressure and Decision Making workshop facilitated by Maggie and Rob, members of The Ozians searched for clues hidden around the room. However, there was a catch – certain delegates were limited by requirements such as “You can’t use your hands!” or “Keep your eyes closed” or “Stay seated.” Their fellow teammates had to effectively communicate and troubleshoot to help them navigate the room.  Activities like these help our delegates learn the value of effective communication and how to navigate challenges in a group setting.

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During recreation, delegates took a few minutes to decompress and connect with friends. Even though it may seem like a small part of the day, many delegates take this time to play games, interact with delegates from other groups and create new bonds through things like football , hula hooping and sketching.

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As is tradition, delegates spent Thursday night at the annual Variety Show. Delegates auditioned and performed their unique talents in front of the entire program. For many delegates, this was their first time standing in front of a large group. Acts included dance routines, piano solos and even a song performed on a ukulele!

With our last full day on the horizon, delegates will be completing their Mix sessions, the program-wide community service event and attending the ever popular Friday night dance.

MSEL Wednesday Update

Wednesday was a beautiful day and the start of Round 2 Workshops! Delegates took part in two of the following:

Advocacy: Delegates explore various methods of advocating, understand advocacy’s connection to communication and determine ideal roles and settings in which to advocate for a cause.

Diversity: Delegates address the differences between stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination and examine the roles they play in society.

Leadership, Power and Privilege: Delegates discuss the kinds of privilege they possess, determine the effects of privilege on the process of gaining power and reflect on how power and privilege impact their leadership.

Pressure and Decision Making: Delegates share pressures faced by today’s middle schoolers, brainstorm strategies to effective combat pressure and analyze how these strategies make a leader more effective.

After lunch, delegates enjoyed sports and board games during recreation followed by their second Mix Session of the week. During this time, delegates use the skills they’ve gained in workshops to address a challenge in a simulated project. (ex: The Athleaders have been charged with designing an inclusive Olympiad that accommodates individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities.) The sessions often start with competing ideas and a bit of confusion, but staff observe and debrief with delegates to help them determine ways to adjust their process to work effectively towards their goals.

Following Mix, delegates enjoyed Tuning and continued to make progress on their S.M.A.R.T. goals for the week. They often get feedback from their tuning group to help them identify opportunities to work towards their goal while on site.

In committees, delegates worked on their individual projects to begin preparing for their end-of-week products. For example, the Variety Show and Closing Ceremony are  all completely planned by delegates and offer a unique and fun experience that reflects the personality of this year’s delegate class.

After dinner and a round of group games, delegates got to enjoy Messy Games Night! Delegates played competition games with all kinds of messy supplies and by the end of the night, most were sporting a shaving cream beard or face mask. And of course, what Messy Games Night would be complete without a water balloon fight?! Needless to say, everyone was asked to shower tonight. :)

Delegates ended the night with a hall meeting to wind down and reflect on the day. On deck for Thursday: the second half of Round 2 Workshops,  Mix Session 3 and the Variety Show!

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messy2

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New Pictures!

Here are some photos of yesterday and today. Stay tuned for our next update!

The Ozians get to know each other better by playing Tell the Truth.

The Ozians get to know each other better by playing Tell the Truth.

The Lost Delegates come up with their own definition of Diversity.

The Lost Delegates come up with their own definition of Diversity.

The Athleaders learn about Advocacy - what it is, why it's important in our daily lives, and what it means as a part of our leadership toolbox.

The Jedis learn about Advocacy – what it is, why it’s important in our daily lives, and what it means as a part of our leadership toolbox.

Athleaders do an activity to learn how our ideas connect us.

Athleaders do an activity to learn how our ideas connect us.

 

Monday/Tuesday Wrap Up!

First of all, here are the team pictures!

The Ozians

The Ozians

The Lost Delegates

The Lost Delegates

The Athleaders

The Athleaders

The Jedis

The Jedis

This morning, delegates had Round Two of yesterday’s workshops – Motivation & Empowerment, Self Awareness & Identity, and Leadership 101. See previous post for content details.

This afternoon, a third workshop was added to the schedule – Communication and Professionalism. Delegates learned the difference between verbal and non verbal communication, and how to utilize professionalism to gain respect in different contexts.

The weather stayed nice so we had outdoor recreation after dinner. Frisbee, football, hoola hooping, bubble-blowing, and other activities allowed delegates to take a break from the day’s structured activity.

In Tuning, delegates worked toward setting their S.M.A.R.T. goals for the week, leading to the creation of stretch goals for when they get home.

Our evening activity was a favorite – the Tuesday Night Dance! A game room was also set up for those who didn’t want to shake a leg.

Coming up tomorrow, the first day of Round Two workshops which will include Pressure & Decision Making; Leadership, Power, & Privilege; and Diversity.

 

 

MSEL’s Great Start!

MSEL Indoor Rec - DANCE PARTY!

During Indoor Recreation – DANCE PARTY!

Hello MSEL families!

We’ve had a busy first 30 hours! We kicked off the program with a tour of the campus and then ice-breaking games so the delegates can get to know each other better. Our first formal activity was “Jump-Off,” which consisted of problem-solving games designed specifically for the staff to observe delegates’ different leadership abilities so they can best select their “Tuning Partners” – which are their mentoring pairs for the rest of the week.

After dinner, delegates attended their first workshop, “What Is Leadership?” which focused on different leadership styles, what leadership means to our delegates, and how it translates to their everyday lives.

Following that, delegates were treated to a decades-old MLW tradition called Visions, a candle-light ceremony held outdoors after dark. Delegates sat in silence while staff members, one at a time, recited a poem or song lyrics that has meaning to them personally. This provided delegates an opportunity to learn a little more about their staffers, and it was a nice way to settle down after a very active day.

This morning, delegates experienced the first Morning Sing of the week. Little Bunny Foo Foo was followed by our Announcements song. At the end of the week, ask your child what their favorite Morning Sing song is!

The first round of workshops began this morning, and they were divided by teams:

The Lost Delegates: Motivation and Empowerment with Ed and Cece

Delegates defined motivation and empowerment, and distinguished between the two. they discussed various types of motivation and discovered ways to empower others. They analyzed the meaning of power and influence as they relate to motivation and empowerment. Finally, they understood how to apply motivation and empowerment within the context of their daily lives.

Athleaders: Self Awareness and Identity

Delegates defined self awareness and determined the importance of having it. They defined identity, determined the strengths they each possess, and explored the importance of self awareness as a leader.

The Ozians: Leadership 101 with Ciara and Jasmine

Delegates identified the steps of planning a project using S.M.A.R.T goals. They defined and practiced the concepts of contingency planning, troubleshooting, prioritization, and revision. They explored the roles individuals play in groups. They discussed the steps to effectively plan a project while moving a team through the stages of group development. Finally, delegates developed evaluation skills to measure a project’s success.

The Jedis: Group Meeting

instead of a workshop, The Jedi’s had their Group Meeting which is a time for games  purposely designed for them to bond deeply and quickly with their teammates. We want them to go home with 20 new best friends!

After workshops, delegates had lunch and then attended their committees, where they are able to immediately put into practice the skills learned in their morning workshops:

Variety Show: Plans and implements the Variety Show that will take place on Thursday evening.

Closing Ceremony: Plans and implements the Closing Ceremony that will take place Saturday morning.

Community Service: Constructs a 30-minute community service project that all delegates can participate in on Friday morning.

Newsletter: Creates an online newsletter of each day’s activities.

Awareness: Selects an in issue important to them and their peers, develops an awareness campaign to engage other delegates throughout the week, and hopefully be something for continued advocacy upon return to home and school communities.

Next, delegates went with their tuning partners for an hour of goal-setting and mentoring. Our recreation time had to be moved indoors due to an approaching storm, but luckily that indoor space is attached to the dining hall so we still made it to dinner on time regardless of the weather outside.

More to come tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday and Thursday Wrap Up

We can’t believe the week is almost over already!

ALS Workshops:

Wednesday – Empathy: Delegates learned the importance of being able to see the world as others see it. Through different activities, each person developed an understanding of the influences that shaped another’s’ perspective of the world.

Thursday – Impact: Delegates analyzed their spheres of influence from a personal level all the way up to a societal institutions and mapped out their connections to each in order to define their own impact points.

ALS delegates keyed up after their evening activity of a dance party.

ALS delegates keyed up after their evening activity of a dance party.

Bridge Workshops:

Wednesday – Collaborative Leadership: Delegates defined collaboration and determined its purposes. They developed an awareness of their own collaboration style as well as that of others. Finally, they engaged in simulated activities to use different methods of collaboration.

Thursday – Societal Movements: Delegates explored social movements throughout history and determined the mission and structure of each. They discovered connections between movements of the past and current issues.

Staff entertains the delegates by recreating a scene from the musical Hamilton.

Staff entertains the delegates by recreating a scene from the musical Hamilton.

Journey Workshops

Wednesday – Communication and Courageous Conversations: Delegates explored how to effectively communicate both in person and online, developed a list of strategies to communicate with people with opposite opinions, discussed the importance of sensitivity and empathy in difficult conversations; practiced giving feedback, and practiced methods of appropriate confrontations.

Diversity: Delegates defined and examined diversity and its various aspects, defined intersectionality and the challenges associated with it for women, identified examples of stereotypes and prejudice and recognized how they relate to privilege, and brainstormed ways to leverage differences and increase their own understanding of others.

Thursday – Self and Society: Delegates evaluated the role that social media plays in their perceptions of themselves and others, discussed acceptance and inclusion vs. judgement and exclusion among young women, and practices strategies for finding their authentic selves.

Journey girls and staff relax in the evening by painting each other's nails.

Journey girls and staff relax in the evening by painting each other’s nails.