Discovering strengths and weaknesses, learning about teamwork, looking at the community, and getting to know one another was the focus of an overnight retreat for the first group of participants in the Pridemasters Leadership Development Program at Allen County-Scottsville High School.
The program is designed to develop student-leaders that will serve both school and community. The Pridemasters will work toward becoming ambassadors for their school, serve alongside community organizations, and learn leadership skills that can be used beyond their high school experience.
The inaugural Pridemasters class spent 21 hours at the Center for Courageous Kids last weekend focusing on “Who Am I”---a question geared toward helping the participants learn more about themselves and the local community.
After opening ice-breaker activities, Joanna Coles from the Warren County Extension Office guided the AC-S sophomores through the results of their Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment---an assessment the Pridemasters had taken during the summer. The certified Myers-Briggs educator helped each student learn more about their personality style, personal strengths and weaknesses, and how leadership can be enhanced based on knowing and understanding one’s personality.
Pridemasters were also introduced to a teamwork mindset. Dana Russell, Senior Specialist-Human Resources at J.M. Smucker in Scottsville and Pridemasters Leadership Committee member, presented a program on different aspects of teamwork. After the presentation, the Pridemasters were asked to work together to solve a pair of challenging activities---under the supervision of Pridemasters Leadership Committee members Myra Little and Kerri Barman.
Saturday’s activities reinforced the ideas developed Friday evening. The “Who Am I” question was re-addressed with the attention turning to the Pridemasters themselves and the community.
Prior to the retreat, the students had been asked to research a little of their family history---including talking with a relative about their heritage and family traditions. Saturday, the Pridemasters shared with the group what they learned---including bringing with them an object that held special meaning or symbolized their family. Pridemasters told three-to-five minute stories and shared such objects such as quilts, a rolling pin, an old wrench, a hand-warmer, and a wooden shoe from the country of Holland.
To help the students learn more about “Who Am I” in terms of the community, Pridemasters Leadership committee members Maegan Renick and Don Meador shared historical facts about Allen County---including information about the 50-plus communities in the county, famous Allen County residents from the past, and the county’s arts and craft, religious, and music heritage. A scavenger hunt on the grounds had the Pridemasters working together in groups to solve clues and find objects related to Allen County and Scottsville.
Pridemasters attending the retreat were Gracie England. Mattie England, Harris Gregory, Meghan Higgins, Jackson Hite, Josten Lightfoot, Natalie Meredith, Zaide Jade Pinson, Tristan Skipworth, Megan Stinson, and Jaylee Woods. Pridemasters will continue their training with a day seminar session on September 20.
The retreat was sponsored and supported by the Allen County Extension Service, Allen County Public Library, Allen County-Scottsville High School Athletic Department, the Center For Courageous Kids, Edmonton State Bank, Farmers National Bank, South Central Bank, and US Bank.