Kennedy students attend Fall Leadership Retreat

Rowan Bergen

Rowan Bergen, Writer

On Wednesday Nov. 5, Kennedy High School students gathered at Squaw Creek Park in Marion for the Fall Leadership Retreat. Students participated in leadership skill building activities then listened to guest speaker, Kent Stock.

“I’ve had a good day. It’s been fun. My favorite activity was the human knot. Oh, and birdie on a perch,” Caitlynn Holt, fr., said.

After a introductory game of “I like my neighbor who…,” students were separated into small groups were they participated in activities focusing the aspects of being a good leader. The aspects included staying positive, be inspiring, have confidence, be committed, keep an open mind, have a good sense of humor and have good communication skills.

When finished with these activities students gathered for a surprise guest speaker, Kent Stock. Stock gave a speech on his background and how he was considered a leader. He mentioned having a movie made about himself, his love of being a baseball coach, and his childhood idols. Then he tied in all of this to how everyone must follow their passions. Finally he wrapped up with speaking about how not everyone is a leader and some people are just great followers.

“It’s fun to interact with students outside the classroom,” Katie Bova said. Bova is a Language Arts teacher and the Leadership Retreat organizer.

Bova began annually organizing this event along with Jenny Wagner four years ago. They enjoy this event because it gives the students energy, enthusiasm and the fact that it is student worked. They said that “the term leadership is vague”, then explained how this retreat personalizes the term and “makes it more relevant.”

“It’s a good experience for new leaders, very sociable,” Melissa Osborn said. Osborn is a Social Studies teacher at Kennedy, and a supervisor at the retreat. “It’s an awesome time for teachers, students. It builds relationships. Makes students vulnerable,” Osborn said.

Each year the retreat tends to have a different focus, but it stays the same overall. This year the guest speaker was new. In the past they have done skits on the leadership aspects and signed a leadership pledge. In the past, the retreat has hosted around 200 students.