Monthly Archives: July 2015

Wednesday and Thursday Wrap-Up!

Round Two of workshops started yesterday, and by lunchtime today all delegates had completed:

  1. Diversity – delegates described their own unique traits, roles, and group memberships and identified the ways their own team is diverse. The analyzed the strengths and challenges of working with a diverse group, and developed strategies to utilize group diversity effectively. At the end of the week, ask your child about strategies of having a diverse conversation.
  2. Advocacy – delegates defined advocacy and identified how motivation and empowerment are tools for it. They explored different methods of advocacy and created an advocacy plan to motivate and empower others even after leaving MLW. At the end of the week, ask your child what he or she is passionate about.
  3. Decision Making – delegates reviewed values and their role in any decision-making process, and discussed consequences as an impact of making a decision.

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 talents that ranged from singing and dancing to bagpiping and martial arts.

In REALITY, groups are finalizing last details before making their presentations tomorrow. And in Group Time, we continued the fun and games that forge bonds among the delegates – bonds that will last far beyond Saturday.

As a reminder, the Closing Ceremony is Saturday at 10:45 in the Decker Theater (and will be simulcast in Tawes Theater) inside the Gibson Center for the Arts. Enter the campus at Greenway Ave. (NOT Campus Dr.) and follow to the parking lot behind Gibson. Additional parking is available in the lot between Athey ballpark and Kirby stadium. Delegates will be dismissed immediately following the ceremony, and you can meet them at their dorms to move out. PLEASE RETURN THEIR ROOM KEY. There is a fee of $35 for any lost or otherwise not returned key.

Stay tuned for our last update tomorrow!



Senior High Tuesday!

As of this afternoon, all delegates have completed Round One of workshops and have been through:

  • Public Speaking and Feedback
  • Group Dynamics and Facilitation
  • Self Awareness

Committees also met again, as they will every day. See yesterday’s post for details about workshop content and committee titles.

In today’s REALITY session, delegates began working on their final projects. Following that, the seminar for the day was presented by Mehran Hossaini, the charismatic Program Director of this year’s Advanced Leadership Seminar (ALS) which took place earlier this month. He spoke about his own MLW experience as a delegate, and talked about how ALS is the next step for those who are ready for a more intensive and personalized leadership experience following at least one year of Senior High.

Tonight’s acitivity was our first dance of the week and it was full of energy! For those not interested in shaking a leg, we set up a room with board games, and some even braved the heat to toss a frisbee around outside. A good time was had by all!

Senior High Monday!

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

  1. Group Dynamics and Facilitation – Delegates learned the individual stages of the Group Interaction Model, compared and contrasted varous group roles and their contributions to the group’s perfomance, defined facilitation, and learned the benefits of facilitation in group interactions. At the end of the week, ask your child which group role he or she most naturally falls into.
  2. Public Speaking and Feedback – Delegates established effective public speaking skills, evaluated public speaking strategies, and discussed different methods of delivering and receiving feedback. They then took time to practice both public speaking and feedback skills.
  3. Self Awareness – Delegates defined and established their strengths, challenges, and values, and determined why it’s important to be aware of them. They built a list of their won values and explored the relationship between self-awareness and leadership. At the end of the week, ask your child what his or her personality type is, and what his or her values are.

After lunch, committees met for the first time, tasked to plan the following program components or activities:

  1. Field Day
  2. Program Evaluation
  3. Keep In Touch
  4. Showcase
  5. Closing Ceremony
  6. Yearbook
  7. Friday Dance
  8. Community ID

Then our first REALITY session of the week took place, and today this time was spent in a classic MLW workshop – Project Planning and Implementation. Delegates first learned about SMART goals and how to set them. Then they learned how to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate a project.

Today was also picture day! Those will be made available to you online, so stay tuned.

Just before dinner, delegates attended the first seminar of the week titles Making Social Media Work for You. Delegates explored how to effectively and safely use social media in their favor.

Tonight’s activity is a games night in the indoor field house. Delegates get 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. See you tomorrow!

First Day of Senior High Workshops!

What a great kick-off to our week together! After the parents left, delegates were taken around campus to orient them to all the buildings where activities will take place throughout the week.  They then got to see their group rooms decorated to fit their teams, and they played games to start getting to know their team mates.

Before dinner we had a “Communty Meeting” where delegates got to hear from Program Directors Annie and Andrew, meet all the staff members, and hear from Executive Director Anita Anderson. After that, they broke into their “Tuning Groups,” which is when they get they get the opportunity for coaching in small groups with a staff member.

This evening, delegates participated in their first workshop. During “What is Leadership?”  they discovered and discussed the many different definitions of leadership. They explored how the meaning or application of leadership can differ from person to person and situation to situation. In the end, each team was tasked with coming up with their own definition of leadership to which they will refer the rest of the week. At the end of the week, ask your child what his or her team’s definition of leadership was.

The last formal activity of the evening is a special MLW tradition called “Visions.” This is a time where staff members share a quote, song lyric, story, or other meaningful experience with the entire group in order for delegates to get to know them a on a deeper level.

The day ended, as they all will, with a hall meeting and then lights out. See you tomorrow!

Last Full Day!

With workshops completed for the week, today was a day to put the final touches on committee work and MIX projects. In addition, delegates were treated to a seminar on 21st Century Leadership by guest facilitator Courtney Bartsch who is also serving as the program evaluator this week. In this seminar delegates discussed the evolution of leadership, explored what it takes to be a leader in the 21st century, and determined appropriate short- and long-term goals in order to have effective leadership. At the end of the week, ask your child to tell you their Leadership Pledge!

Delegates also got the opportunity to practice their facilitation skills by signing up to present a workshop on the topic of their choice. We saw everything from lessons on Sign Language and Ballet to Hair Styling and Soccer Tips.

Tomorrow’s Closing Ceremony, which was planned by the delegates themselves, will take place at 10:30am in the Decker Theater inside Gibson Center for the Arts. That’s the same place check-in was, so take the Greenwood Ave. entrance to the college and proceed to the parking lot behind Gibson. You can enter through the back door that faces the lot.

Delegates will be dismissed immediately following the ceremony, at which time you can take them back to the dorms to move out.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with your wonderful children this week. It was truly an honor and a privilege, and we hope to see you next year!

MSEL Thursday!

This morning, delegates had three workshops, completing the round that started yesterday. So between the two days, all have experienced:

  • Advocacy
  • Diversity
  • Pressure and Decision Making
  • Power and Purpose

These were the last workshops of the week! Now, while delegates are working in their committees and in their MIX groups, they have the full set of leadership skills and tools at their disposal.

The Variety Show committee knocked it out of the park tonight as delegates participated in a phenomenal talent show that encompassed everything from dance and music to comedy and origami. The rest of the committees are making great headway and most have completed their plans.

We can’t believe tomorrow is our last full day! We look forward to seeing you at 10:30 on Saturday for the Closing Ceremony!

MSEL Wednesday!

We can’t believe our week is half over already! Today we started Round Two of workshops with the following topics:

1. Advocacy – delegates explored passion and advocacy, the tools available to them to advocate for change, and how different personality styles can be incorporated into advocacy planning. At the end of the week, ask your child what he or she is passionate about!

2. Power and Purpose – delegates defined and differentiated between power, influence, and purpose. They identified sources of power, and explored the “butterfly effect” and how it applies in their own lives. In the end, they understood how to use power an influence to fulfill their own purpose in life. At the end of the week, ask your child about his or her personal brand promise!

3. Diversity – in what may be MLW’s most impactful and influential workshop, delegates defined and differentiated stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. They examined the roles of these concepts in society by recognizing how stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination have or could have affected each of them.

4. Pressure and Decision Making – Delegates brainstormed about sources of pressure in their lives and evaluated different methods of dealing with it. They analyzed how effectively dealing with pressure can help them be more successful as leaders. At the end of the week, ask your child about his or her own personal decision-making model.

Tonights activity – MESSY GAMES!

MSEL Tuesday!

This morning, delegates had two workshops, completing the round that started yesterday. So between the two days, all have experienced:

  • Communication and Presentation Skills
  • Group Managment
  • Self-Awareness and Identity

Lunch followed the workshops, and then rec time.

Now that the delegates have three workshops behind them, it was time for them to put their new leadership skills to work already. In a program component we call “MIX,” they’re presented with simulated “real world” projects (such as “Develop a new cartoon. Create the characters, the plot and then plan your release date”) that test their group development skills.

The rest of the day was spent working in their committees, playing games in their group rooms, and working with their Checkpoint staffer. Tonight’s activity – the first dance of the week! We also set up a room with board games for those who weren’t interested in shaking a leg.

Tomorrow starts a new round of workshops, so stay tuned!


MSEL Monday!

Today was the hottest day of the year, and of course we had the most outdoor activities scheduled! But we made it through with flying colors. This mornings workshops included:

  • Communication and Presentation
  • Group Management
  • Project Management
  • Self-Awareness

After lunch we took pictures, so stay tuned for those! After pictures, delegates played games in their groups, and then had Checkpoint time with their staffers. Committee meetings took place right before dinner:

  • Awareness and Empowerment
  • Variety Show
  • Newsletter
  • Closing Ceremony
  • Community Service

After dinner we had a little recreation time, then some more group time. Then our activity for the evening was Monday Night Olympics, which consisted of games such as Banana Roll, Crab Soccer, Pepsi Cola, and a relay race. At the end of the week, ask your child what game they liked the best!

Crab soccer Banana roll

Once we got back to the dorms, we had our weekly fire drill so we could practice our emergency procedures. Everyone will sleep well tonight after all the outdoor activities!


MSEL’s First Day!

What a great kick-off to our week together! After the parents left, delegates were taken around campus to orient them to all the buildings where activities will take place throughout the week.  They then got to see their group rooms decorated to fit their teams, and they played games to start getting to know their team mates.

Off to dinner! The “Green Team” (staff members who walk around and make sure everyone is eating healthy) challenged each delegate to drink a glass of water first thing, and to eat something green.

After dinner we played a game where the delegates got to learn a little something about each staff member. At the end of the week, ask them if they remember who’s a yoga instructor and who once played in the Little League World Series!

This evening, delegates participated in their first workshop. During “What is Leadership?”  they identified and explored different leaders and  leadership styles. They determined what skills and traits they already have that define them as leaders in their homes, their schools, and their communities. Finally, they established a leadership pledge that they will adhere to during the week.

Many of you have asked what the schedule is, so here’s what every day looks like:

8:00 Breakfast followed by “Morning Sing”

9:00-10:20 First workshop of the day

10:20-11:50 Second workshop of the day

Noon – lunch

1:00 Recreation

2:00 MIX – a simulated “real life” problem that they have to tackle using the skills and tools they’re learning in workshops.

3:00 Committee meeting – delegates plan different portions of the week. This is another opportunity for them to apply their newly acquired leadership skills.

4:30 Checkpoint – this closely resembles what we adults might call Executive Coaching, and this is an opportunity for delegates work in small groups with their staff members. At the end of the week, ask your child what personal goals they set with their checkpoint partner.

5:30 Dinner

6:30  Recreation

7:00 Group meeting – this is when delegates meet in their awesomely-decorated team rooms and play games that facilitate bonding.

8:15 Nightly activity (sports night, dance, talent show, games night)

10:00 Back to the dorms!

10:15 Hall Meeting – boys meet with their male staffers and girls with their female staffers. This is an opportunity to discuss the day’s highs and lows, and wind down at the end of the day.