On Friday February 28th, a group of grade 7 students went to SJ Willis school to attend a leadership conference.
The focus of the conference was the phrase “Together We Can”. We left SMUS in the morning and headed straight to SJ Willis. Each of us established a goal for the conference. Some people wanted to meet 5 new friends. Others wanted to take in as much as they could from the conference. I wanted to stay positive and meet two new people. The first thing we did was called a Gym Riot. In the Riot everybody paired up and went to 10 different stations. In each mini group there were different people from different schools. I had fortunate luck to meet some really nice people in my group. While we played the various games we needed to use teamwork and have a strategy, which wasn’t always easy depending on the game.
After the riot, a band called the Jellyfish Project played. They spoke to us about keeping our waters clean and how different kinds of pollution affect wildlife. We learned a lot from the band about jelly fish and other sea life problems caused by humans. They spoke to us about ways we could control our waste going into the sea and environmental activities including using reusable containers and water bottles were discussed. After we stopped for a lunch break, we split into groups. Each of us went to a break-out session. The two sessions I went to were ‘Girl Rising’ and SMUS’ own ‘Introvert and Extrovert’ session. Girl Rising is a movie about a girls from different parts of the world and their struggle for women rights and their fight against poverty. We watched a short clip on a girl from Nepal who was a house servant from age six. This session was very interesting and we were told to take something back from it or spread the word. I started an Instagram account called women_strong to express my thoughts on women’s rights. Check it out.
In the second breakout session, Introvert and Extrovert we did various activities. The one I thought to be hilarious and informative was the spectrum analysis. Everybody stood in the hallway and answered a series of yes or no questions. Introverts answered yes to all the questions Extroverts answered no. You took a step to the left or right depending on your answer. I found myself way at the end of the hallway on the extrovert side while some of my peers were way at the end of the hallway on the introvert side. My group for this activity was very creative and came up with many ideas of what make an introvert and an extrovert. We learned that patience may be needed with an introvert while an extrovert may express thoughts aloud with great frequency. They also taught us not to be judgemental of people because in some cases introverts may come across as shy when in reality it is just their inner introvert rebooting itself.
“This Together We Can” conference was very enjoyable and well done. I achieved my goals and I think everybody else achieved theirs as well. I know every student who attended came home a wiser person and wanted to share their knowledge. I would like to thank Ms.Anderson for arranging this trip for the grade 7’s. We had a ball and left the conference inspired.
By Radha Raina (Grade 7)
When my mom made me write an application for this leadership conference I really didn’t want to do it and I didn’t think I would enjoy it at all. I was completely wrong, I had so much fun on this conference. I got to meet tons of new kids and I got to know two kids from different schools. It was a great opportunity for me to learn. I went to two presentations, one about Antarctica and achieving your goals and one about Money Management. They were both really entertaining and fun. At our first meeting, Mrs.Anderson asked us to each have a goal to achieve during the conference. My personal goal was to get to know someone better in the group of us going from SMUS, I achieved this goal easily during the activities. For example I learned that Bella can make friends really easily and I also got to know some other people in our group better. My favorite part was going to the small workshops. That is when I really got to achieve my goal and meet new people. When I was accepted to go I was really shy, I didn’t communicate with kids who weren’t my friends and I never wanted to lead, but after going to this conference I now have learned how to be more open-minded and to be a risk taker and step out of my comfort zone more often. I am very glad that I applied for this conference, I had a lot of fun and I got to learn about being a leader and helping others.
By Liza Weymar (Grade 7)