The Guardian

Take Flight leadership retreat celebrates 11 years

Lucas Gonzalez, News Editor

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Take Flight, a leadership retreat held annually by the Office of Student Activities, celebrated its eleventh anniversary.

The main eight organizations in attendance included WWSU-FM radio station, Student Government Association, Sorority and Fraternity Council, Black Student Union, Rainbow Alliance, RCA and University Activities Board. However, other leadership organizations are encouraged to join in the future.

Every year, a different text is incorporated to fit the theme of the event. This year’s selected text was ‘Salsa, Soul, and Spirit’, which taught students about multicultural leadership.

The main activities were hosted by Camp Joy, which created an inclusive environment and understanding among peers by providing gender-neutral housing and distributing name tags that included gender pronouns.

“The friendliness and support has helped myself and others open up. I loved the sense of community that was present with all of us,” Patrick Schmalstig said, a junior who shared their experience.

Activities included interpersonal exercises such as poetry readings, a talent show and a group campfire. Students partook in physical exercises including wall climbing and jumping off a pole into the arms of their team members. The talent show served as a “snapshot for the energy of Take Flight,” attendee Jerica Starks said.

One event served as an exercise in understanding poverty. The activity worked by giving groups of students a bag of chips, each with different values. The groups were then organized by the highest, middle and lowest cumulative values. The ‘upper’ class in this case was allowed to re-write the rules of the game in their favor, in order to stay on top.

Students in the ‘lower’ class found themselves unable to advance, stuck in a cycle of poverty. This activity taught students understanding and compassion for less fortunate people, and to evaluate the effects of privilege.

Each exercise was structured to teach students about leadership, camaraderie and diversity, as well as make them challenge their own abilities. “They balanced teaching leadership with hands-on application,” said Allison Roberts, who helped coordinate the event.

“This year was really special,” Gina Keucher said, an event organizer for Take Flight. “It was one of the best Take Flight events.”

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Wright State University
Take Flight leadership retreat celebrates 11 years