ELS retreat develops leadership

Freshmen Zach Aldrich and Kendra Clark perform their skit about Baker University’s grape arbor tradition at the end of the Emerging Leaders Summit Saturday at Camp Chippewa. The Emerging Leaders Summit is an annual overnight retreat in which freshmen and a steering committee participate in games, activities and discussions to build leadership.

Freshmen Zach Aldrich and Kendra Clark perform their skit about Baker University’s grape arbor tradition at the end of the Emerging Leaders Summit Saturday at Camp Chippewa. The Emerging Leaders Summit is an annual overnight retreat in which freshmen and a steering committee participate in games, activities and discussions to build leadership. Photo by Callie Paquette.

The Emerging Leaders Summit taught more than leadership last weekend; it taught the attitude of putting things into action.

ELS Executive Director Lauren Williams and her steering committee led a third year of this leadership summit at Camp Chippewa in Ottawa.

Twenty-seven freshmen attended the overnight retreat.

“I think it went really well,” Williams said. “The weekend was more about putting things into action, talking about the changes we want at Baker and actually doing something about it.”

Throughout the retreat, students participated in multiple activities. The activities included a true colors leadership style test and a new activity the committee implemented this year about how the toys you play with as a child can help explain your leadership style.

Each game or subject discussed taught the students about leadership and also about their own, personal leadership styles.

Freshman Kacee Britton was one of the students who participated in the summit.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other freshmen who wanted to learn about leadership,” Britton said. “Also, it was a good way to get away for a weekend.”

Britton found that ELS teaches students to put themselves out there and learn how to be a leader while setting examples for others.

“I learned a lot about myself at the retreat,” Britton said. “I am taking what I learned and applying it to my leadership positions on campus.”

ELS adviser Brett Bruner helped start the summit in the spring of 2010. He has seen it grow and come to be a great leadership opportunity for freshmen students.

“The program has really taken off since the spring of 2010,” Bruner said. “We continue to look at the programming and look at the feedback to match what students are looking for in this program. This 2011 class (is full of) movers and doers. They have great ideas and want to leave their mark at Baker.”

Putting it into action has been a reoccurring theme for each summit, and this year the freshman class added more to that.

“They had so many more ideas than we did last year when I went through it,” Williams said. “They really want to make changes and implement new things to the campus, just like (Baker Orange photo editor) Callie Paquette and I did last year with the new group Baker Serves.”

Applications for the steering committee for next year have already been sent out to students. There are three different positions on the steering committee, marketing, programming and recruitment. The positions for the steering committee are open to anyone who has graduated from the ELS program.

“I would definitely get involved with the ELS steering committee,” Britton said. “I would really like being involved again and being on the other side to plan out the event.”

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment