“We Are Leaders”: Letterman Hold School’s First Leadership Summit

Dylan Reynolds

Photograph by Becca Farquahar
Photograph by Becca Farquahar

Students circled around Senior Nicco Jones, eagerly waiting for him to complete a seemingly impossible challenge: cut a hole in a piece of printing paper large enough for him to walk through. It was the group’s job to guide Jones through the steps necessary to complete the task, but each student could only give one word of instruction.

Initially, the group struggled to form a set of clear directions. After many failed attempts, Jones managed to slip through the hole, thus completing the challenge.

This activity was one of many that students participated in during Wilde Lake’s first leadership summit. The summit, organized by the Letterman and entitled “Enhancing Our Environment,” was held on November 30.

“Our goal here is to get you going on the right path, with the right people, so you can get the most out of your future,” said Mr. LeMon at the beginning of the summit.

Under Mr. LeMon’s guidance, Lettermen organized the students into a series of small groups. Wilde Lake faculty, County Council members, and other Wilde Lake students led the groups through the various activities, each targeting one skill needed for effective leadership.

In a session led by Senior Class Council President Kourtney Harrison, students learned the importance of teamwork, working together to carry out a series of confusing instructions.

“Leadership isn’t about working by yourself to tell others what to do. It’s about working together to achieve something great,” said Harrison at the end of the challenge as students congratulated each other on their collective success.

Following small grup activities, the students regrouped around a banner with three words on it: “We Are Leaders.” Each student signed his or her name on the banner.
Students expressed their gratitude toward the school and the Lettermen for the organization of the retreat.

“The idea of the retreat is great,” said Junior Daniel Ingham. “It gives Wilde Lake students an opportunity to succeed, and it’s an chance that so many students don’t have anymore.”

Wilde Lake intends to expand this opportunity by turning the retreat into an annual event. Lettermen requested feedback from this year’s attending students regarding how to make the retreat as effective as possible in coming years.

“The retreat needs more of a focus,” said Ingham. “Until the very end, I wasn’t sure how a lot of what was being discussed was related to leadership.”
Ingham sees the retreat as a place for improvement in coming years, but believes it has amazing potential.

“If [the Lettermen] can focus the retreat more, I think it can accomplish so much in the coming years. I still think it’s a great opportunity and I really appreciate what’s being done in our school.”

According to Mr. Miller, the leadership retreat is not the only extraordinary opportunity presented to Wilde Lake students. “You go to a great school, with phenomenal teachers who care about you,” said Mr. Miller. “You have more than you know, and you have all you need to be great leaders.”