Monday, July 19, 2010

SGA Leadership Retreat 2010

This past weekend I, along with two other teachers from North and one set of parents, took 21 high school students to St. Simons Island on a leadership retreat for SGA (student government association). We loaded the bus up Friday morning and left promptly at 7AM (yikes). We only made one stop and arrived on time just after 3PM. Friday afternoon, we gave the kids some time unpack and then before beginning, we made each student fill decorate a paper bag with their name. These were going to be used as "mailboxes" throughout the weekend. They each drew a name out of a hat and that was the person they had to write words of encouragement to anonymously-- they could still write to their friends, but they HAD to write to at least this person.

We had to find some way to be able to divide them up into smaller groups, so they took a colorful personality test. It was really just a personality quiz that classified them into a specific color:
Blue= emotional
Gold= precise/highly organized

Each color has their own strengths and weaknesses. We also emphasized to the kids that just because they were in one group doesn't mean they don't exhibit any characteristics of another color, in fact, there were only a few people who were so obviously one color or another, while most of them were just barely the color group they were in, and no one had all the answers for just one color. From their color groups, we divided them up into four equal groups so that each group had, for the most part, an equal distribution of color personalities. Later that afternoon, we went outside under the shade of the giant and very old droopy trees to play some team building/ icebreaker games before going to dinner and then eventually the campfire where we got into some heavier topics their fears and accomplishments.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures Saturday... or really even Sunday either.

Saturday morning we continued with the discussions in our meeting room about different personalities, team building exercises outside, and then eventually a trip into town for some brief shopping and then on to the beach for some fun in the sun. Once we returned home, we played some more team building activities outside-- one of them required the group to get out of the space they were in defined by a rope tied around three trees. They had to get everyone out from between the trees, but they couldn't go under the ropes, touch the ropes, or help them get over the ropes by putting hands underneath them. The ropes were shoulder height. They did a very good job working together as a team and did eventually get everyone out of the enclosure. Another game we played was having everyone stand on a MASSIVE tarp and they had to move the tarp from point A to point B. Again, once they started to listen to each other, they accomplished their common goal.

However paradise was shattered when one of the girls stepped down from the bench by the campfire wrong and collapsed. It was a terrible end to a string of awful things that had happened to her that day. First, she woke up and hit her head HARD on the bottom of the bunk beds, then she was stung by a jellyfish at the beach, next she stepped on a snake on her way to the campfire and hyperventilated. She was sobbing and begging us not to call her parents or take her to the hospital, but being the responsible adults that we are, we did both of those things. One of the parents on the trip had to drive down separately, so luckily, we had a car there (it would have been torture to figure out how to get her on the bus to take her). I went with her to the hospital along with one of her friends, and kept in contact with her parents the whole time. Good news... it was just a sprain and her parents were very pleasant people-- not mad, sad, worried at all. Mostly amused by everything that had happened to her that day. By the time we left-- two hours after we arrived (very fast), the pain killers had taken affect and she was in a much happier mood!

Sunday was brief since we had to be checked out by 11:30, but by the end, everyone found out who their secret note buddy was and the group had begun talking about themes for homecoming! Exhausted, we boarded the bus and drove back to the school... playing a game of Outburst I initiated when I decided I was bored!

It was a good weekend and I am really looking forward to working with these kids this year on SGA!

Blue Group

The other chaperones laughing

Green Group-- notice, there are only 2 of them!

Orange Group
**not pictured: Gold

Saluting the "captains" in a game of Ships and Sailors

one of the commands was "3 men rowing" so this girl had to leave and go make another group of three before time was up


Frog Jump

"Machinces" was a game where they had to make a machine out of the people in their team... this was a rollercoaster... going up the first big hill

A lawn mower... the girl up front was pick the grass as the two girls on their hands were growling like the motor

A train, complete with whistle and backwards caboose

Group picture by the fire

playing a game called "Big Booty" by the fire

Big Booty

Windi, the head of SGA

This raccoon was scavenging for food, and our boys were happy to toss him some marsh mellows... freaked the girls out since the raccoon was getting really close and not going away.

Kelly, another leader, sharing during the campfire

Girls on Sunday before we loaded up the bus... notice the girl on crutches in front...

The boys before we loaded the bus up

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