Reflections from the Grade 11 Boarders Leadership Conference
by Lisa Chen (Symons House)
On April 20, all of the Grade 11 boarders got on a bus heading for Nanaimo in order to attend a leadership conference. The purpose of the trip was to get us prepared to take the leadership role in boarding and at school next year as Grade 12 boarders. I started the journey with some doubts about learning to be a leader in one day; but by the end of the trip, I felt that my whole body was filled with the spirit and passion of being a leader.
The first speaker we met was Ed Gerety who blew up the atmosphere immediately after he started talking. Instead of sitting next to our friends, we followed the instruction of Ed to sit beside people we didn’t know and talk to them, which taught us that being a leader is to be adaptive to a new environment anytime and to be able to step out of our comfort zone. The different stories Ed told us made us realize that “we can always go further than we think we can” and that “as a leader, we need to learn to reach up, down, out and beyond.” We followed Ed to repeat some of the keywords, including “positive people, positive things” and “gratitude and attitude” reminding us that our approach to a situation makes such a difference. Through visualization and repeating our goals with clarity, we make them a reality.
After a short break for lunch, we welcomed our second speaker Kate Whitfield. We were inspired by her stories of having the courage to be an individual and not what your friends want you to be. From Kate Whitfield, we saw a real example of a person fighting for what she believes in and following what her heart tells her to do.
Last but not least, we had Philly D to finish the conference. He showed us this video clip of “father runs triathlon with his son in tow” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH943Az_lPQ). While touched by the sincere love of the father, we learned that love and change is what is essential for a human being to be a human being; while being moved by the spirit of the father, we learned that rather than panicking and hesitating when facing a problem, we should “be the moment” and do the best as we can.
Time passed in a blink an eye, but what we have learned from this conference has reached down to the bottom of our heart. While becoming the Grade 12s next year, we will “BE” the change because, as Ed has said, it’s not “we want,” but “we will.”