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MSEL’s Great Start!


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.

MLW Announces Merger With Leadership Maryland

Today we are very excited to announce that MLW and Leadership Maryland have completed a merger to join our two organizations. Under the agreement, MLW becomes a division of Leadership Maryland and will continue to host our summer programs and community outreach activities. Anita Durall Anderson will remain in the role of Executive Director. Together, we now offer a continuum of statewide programming that educates and empowers local leaders from middle school through retirement and beyond. Download the press release: Leadership Maryland Merges with MLW.


Staff Applications Now Being Accepted

We’re pleased to announce that MLW is now accepting applications from those interested in staffing our 2017 summer programs. Instructions:

  1. Click HERE to access our online application system.
  2. Click on “view” for “2017 MLW Staff Application”
  3. If you’ve never staffed before, click “add” under “New Staff.” If you have, select “add” under “Returning Staff”
  4. Click “continue” on the right side bar under “Your Selections”
  5. Enter your email address under “Lookup Account” and click “next”
  6. If you did have an account, enter your password and proceed. If not, fill in your name and birthday and proceed.
  7. You should now be able to fill in your information, see the staff description, and answer the necessary questions
  8. Click “continue to cart”
  9. Click “complete” and you are finished!
  10. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a bunch of forms attached. You can ignore those for now. Staff who gets hired will be required to complete them at a later date.

If you have any questions, contact our Staff Recruitment Coordinator, Ben Kilduff, at Thank you!

Registration for MLW 2017 Is Now Open!

We’re pleased to announce that applications for all five of MLW’s summer programs are now being accepted! If you would like to register online and pay with your credit card, please click here for further instructions. If you would like to pay by check, please download a Word or PDF version of the application using the links below.

Thursday Wrap-Up

SHW 1   SHW 3

Yesterday we finished the second round of workshops! We highlighted Diversity and Public Speaking and Facilitation yesterday, and here’s what we did in Advocacy!

Advocacy: Delegates will define advocacy and understand the importance of being a student advocate, identify techniques for advocating effectively, explore the different roles of motivation and empowerment as tools for advocacy, understand the components of an Advocacy Strategy Plan and analyze their order, and practice advocating for a cause or issue by creating an Advocacy Strategy plan.

Committees are well on their way to completing their tasks. In particular, the Talent Show committee knocked it out of the park by presenting an amazing showcase with all kinds of talents!

In REALITY, The Conductors presented their project on arts funding to Eliot Pfanstiehl and Monica Jeffries from Strathmore, a world-class music and arts center in Montgomery County. All other groups finalized last details as their presentations are today. And in group meeting, we continued the fun and games that forge bonds among the delegates – bonds that will last far beyond Saturday.

We’ll see you all tomorrow at Gibson Center for the Arts – the same building where check-in took place. The closing ceremony is from 10:45-11:30am, and dismissal will be immediately following.

Wednesday Wrap-Up


Round Two of workshops started today! Here’s some of the content that will be covered in Round Two:

Diversity: Delegates will identify the aspects of cultural identity, understand and analyze perceptions of different individuals and their cultural identities, determine the benefits of diversity and how these benefits are essential to leadership, and examine barriers to cultural competency and how to break through them.

Public Speaking and Facilitation: Delegates will identify personal strengths and challenges with public speaking, compare and contrast effective public speaking strategies, define facilitation and identify its importance within group interaction, and distinguish between contexts for public speaking and facilitation

The seminar prior to dinner was on Courageous Conversations. As leaders, it’s important to be able to work with people from backgrounds different than our own. Knowing how to navigate those difficult conversations that are sometimes necessary for us to recognize and realize our differences is an important skill for leaders of today to master.

We are continuing to work together in Committees (where we tend to be pretty product-focused) and in REALITY (which is sometimes a bit more process-focused), and we’re playing lots of games. Tonight we had even more group meeting time, which many teams spent outside playing Messy Games! We can’t believe the week is already halfway over. We’ve been working (and playing) hard, and it’s going by so quickly.

Tuesday Wrap-Up


As of yesterday afternoon, all delegates have completed Round One of workshops. Yesterday we highlighted the objectives of Group Dynamics and Decision Making. The third workshop in the round was Self Awareness:

Self Awareness: Delegates identified components of their strengths, values, motivations, and relationships and determined why it’s important to be aware of them. They built a list of their own values, needs, leadership experiences, goals, strengths, challenges, and interests and explored the relationship between self-awareness and leadership. At the end of the week, ask your child what his or her DISC assessment type is, and what his or her values are.

Committees met again, as they will every day. See yesterday’s post for details about workshop content and committee titles. Delegates also had a mini workshop on Project Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation. They continued to work on their projects in REALITY, talked about their progress on their goals in Tuning, and played group games and team bonding activities in Group Meeting. Ask your child what his/her favorite group game is!


Today was our first full day together, and it was indeed full! We started our first round of workshops, which include the following content:

Decision Making: Delegates distinguished between individual and group decisions, identified the steps of the decision making model, worked to understand the relationship between values and decision making, and compared and contrasted decision making styles.

Group Dynamics: Delegates learned the individual stages of the Group Interaction Model, compared and contrasted various group roles and their contributions to the group’s performance, differentiated between different types of groups, and analyzed group dynamics in specific contexts. At the end of the week, ask your child which group role he or she most naturally falls into.

After lunch, committees met for the first time, tasked to plan the following program components or activities:
Field Day
Program Evaluation
Keep In Touch
Closing Ceremony
Friday Dance
Community ID

Because of the heat, we postponed picture day until Wednesday, when it’s supposed to cool down to a balmy 92 degrees. Ahhh…summer in Maryland!

Just before dinner, delegates went to their first REALITY session, which is when they have an opportunity to work on a rea-lifel project but also practice their new leadership skills in a safe environment.

Last night’s activity was a games night in the indoor field house. Delegates got to have fun, burn off some steam, and meet other delegates outside of their group. We top the day of with a fire safety drill, and then finally lights out.