Diamond Leader Retreat

Jerome and I were successful partners on our trust walk through the bamboo forest at Fellowship Farm on this weekend’s Diamond Leader retreat.

If you can Wobble with us, you’re in the club. After attending the LeaderShape Institute in May, our official Diamond Leader dance became the Wobble–the Philly version of the dance moves, of course. And our new director of the Office of Leadership Development, Lauren Bullock, wasn’t put off or intimidated, but jumped right in and wobbled along with us. So welcome to the club, Lauren.

Diamond Leader retreats are always those weekends each semester I look forward to. A fully-funded trip by Temple out into the Pennsylvania wilderness to reflect. But this year, I wasn’t. I miss my best friends from my summer in Colorado, it’s my last semester at TU, I’m taking my capstone, I’m still giving tour, and I’m working with the Union. I’m busy every minute of every day, and I didn’t want to make the time. But I’m so thankful I did.

We loaded the bus and 25 DLs headed to Fellowship Farm in Pottstown. We were greeted by Joe Urbanski of Collegiate Empowerment, who has attended every retreat since I was a freshman and is more like a mentor and friend than facilitator. He began with an activity he ran three years, called the “Board Break.” We were going to chop karate boards. The first time I did this, the experience was life-changing. Joe had us write on one side of the board all of our fears and anxieties–everything that was holding us back–and on the other side, our dreams and goals and mantras–what we wanted to break through to. Every challenge or trauma or issue I’ve had in the past three years, I thought about how I would put that on my board. And on Friday night, I got the chance to do just that, and Joe recorded my break on YouTube. My board had changed a lot in three years, and it made the experience more emotional, more meaningful. My broken board now hangs on my dresser, surrounded by pictures of my best friends and family, a testament to the support written on the board.

The rest of the weekend was full of reflection and growth. We got the chance to bond as a group and think alone, which I certainly needed. It was wonderful to be surrounded by people with the same goals and aspirations in personal leadership, across many different fields of studies, one of the many reasons I love the Diamond Leaders. We were able to define our group’s mission and goals, and have a blast while doing it. While it may have been my last DL retreat, it’s certainly one I’ll always remember. Thanks for a great weekend, DLs!

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