The Wetfoot Blog

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lessons in Collaborative Leadership

Sometimes the best lessons in life come from experience.

Two weeks ago, 60 eighth grade students from Maple Dale Elementary School in Fox Point, Wisconsin, travelled north to Camp Manito-wish YMCA for a three-day leadership program.

This is the third year that Maple Dale students have had a Manito-wish experience.

The Maple Dale staff set some simple goals: build stronger connections among students, foster awareness and maturity, and instill collaborative leadership skills.

After the program, the students were asked to comment on their Manito-wish experience. Here are their own words.

Something I learned while at Camp Manito-wish is…
“How to organize a plan.”
“The people in my group were really different than I thought.”
“Respect for others’ ideas, and openness to new relationships.”
“Although your intentions are good, they may not be received that way.”
“How to work better together in a group.”
“Not to be so shy, and to share my ideas when I’m in a group.”
“Try not to give up, and try to notice how different people react in different situations.”
“Listen more. Communicate. Other people’s ideas count.”
“It’s OK to be wrong.”
“You have to let go of things.”
“We could get along with people even if we don’t really talk.”
“To ask questions when you need help, and not do something just by yourself.”

Was the program useful? Why?
“It gets me ready for high school.”
“It taught me to respect other people.”
“It was nice to kind of get out of my comfort zone and to get to know people better.”

Final comments:
“It was extremely fun.”
“Manito-wish was AWESOME!”
“I hope that I can come back.”

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