(Photo take by Fraser)
The Set up
When my brother was in PLP he enjoyed every trip he went on. He would tell me about the cool and exciting stuff he did and learned about. This is the original reason about why i wanted to go to loon lake i knew i would regret it if i missed out on this trip and i was right this trip was definitely worth it. As with most worthwhile learning, going into something with a growth mindset makes all the difference.
My Usual Pre-Trip Freakout
As soon as Loon Lake was announced there were three things I was worrying about:
- Most of my friends were not able to come.
- I knew I would have a hard time listening and focusing for the leadership presentations.
- I was very anxious about having enough time to do the homework that I expected would be assigned. I would not have access to LAC or my usual supports.
These concerns while still important did not turn out to be as much a problem as I originally feared. I also made the conscious choice to talk to my teachers before hand about the work load which really helped.
My Personal Growth Journey
On day one Jono had us write down multiple goals/intentions that we wanted to accomplish this week along with a quote. I wrote down the following:
I want to be open to learning and experiencing new things.
I want to build off skills I already have.
I want to have fun and connect with classmates.
I also wrote down how I would achieve this: participating in activities, having a positive attitude and being open minded. The quote I chose to represent my week was by Don Ward who said “your mind can focus on fear, worry, problems, negativity, or despair. Or it can focus on confidence, opportunity, solution, optimism and success. You decide.” I decided to embrace the whole experience.
One of the first experiences that I am especially proud of is the rock wall that we did on day two. I was first up to climb the rock wall and I chose the left side in order to try something new but without too much risk. I finished it easily and thinking about my goal, decided to try the other side. That wall was much harder. I could not climb the wall with gloves on so my fingers quickly froze. I got stuck on a low point on the wall. Over the course of the activity lots of my peers got stuck there and asked to come down or eventually made it to the top. I am proud of myself because I did not ask to come down and I never said that I could not do it. I kept trying even though I was stuck for 20 minutes or so. Once I got past that part, I made it to the top fairly quickly. I knew that I could accomplish the wall and I promised myself that I would try everything!
I had heard small mentions of us doing a really tall trust fall activity on the last day of the leadership program. Because of those hints, I was very anxious when my group was told they were going to do a trust exercise. We started off with a willow in the wind activity where one person stands in the middle of a circle of people, leans back and then gets pushed around the circle by those forming the circle. Then we did personal trust falls, starting with only falling back a few inches to eventually falling back 45 degrees into the waiting arms of three people. I had a hard time doing all those things because I’ve never trusted someone to stop me from falling. Accidentally or otherwise. Then we were taken outside to where a chair was on top of a table. The speaker told us that we would now be doing a trust fall from that height. My first thought was no, no way, not in a million years. I watched four people stand on the chair, say their intention and fall back into the arms of 8 or 9 classmates. I knew that all the kinks had been worked out and that I knew I would regret it if I didn’t do it, so I volunteered to go next. You will see in the video below me saying my intention and then double checking twice with the catchers to see that they were ready. I actually ended up doing it twice, as we were given the option for another. My intention earlier that day was to push myself out of my comfort zone and I believe I did that with this activity.
The next activity that I showed a lot of growth was on the high ropes course. Someone went first and then I volunteered to follow. Once I climbed up the pole to the platform I pulled my torque over my eyes as a blindfold. The ropes course was considerably harder than I expected it to be but I kept the blindfold and with the help of my friends I made it to the end. The other part of the high ropes course was called the milk crates challenge. Two people on harnesses had to be on top of as many milk crates as they could pile. The challenge was to get more than the other groups. While only the two people stood on top of the crates the other team members were on the ground add to the structure. Even though I enjoyed being one of the people in the harness I found I showed more leadership when I was on the ground assisting. Ben T and Dillon were the people in the harnesses and myself and my team helped build the structure 12 milk crates high. Even though we didn’t break the class record of 15, I am still really proud of what we did.
For a couple hours every day John-oh talked to us about emotional intelligence, leadership, strength and values. Then from the information we collected there we were told to create a personal credo. This credo would communicate your values and who you are as your best self and be revised every few months. Twice we gave feedback to anybody who had completed theirs which I found really helpful in finalizing mine. I chose to focus mine on my three main values; family, faith and trust. Once I had written my credo I turned it into a wall paper which you can see below.
Using this credo we all created personal logos that would eventually be printed out and made into stickers for our IPads. In mine I represented faith with the main subject being a dove. I represented trust with hand-shaking and family with a people-filled heart.
Taking what I learned about intentions and setting goals I created 6 SMART goals 3 for this semester and three for this school year. The main academic goals I want to accomplish are:
- Get three extending in humanities projects this semester ( so far I have achieved two)
- Raise my grade for humanities (all year goal)
- Study not just the morning before tests (all year goal)
My more personal ones were:
- Try snowboarding: get good enough to go down hill with my family and not fall to far behind (this semester goal) by end of winter break
- Be able to wake surfing behind a non wake surfing boat like my dads without a rope (right now I can only do it on my uncles boat) I want to do this before the school year ends
- Learn people in my non PLP classes names ( I have always had trouble with names and I want to improve) I want to work on this all year
I then took these SMART goals and added them to my things apps as different projects that I would be able to write steps in order to achieve them. I am planning on checking them off before the end of the school year.
In the end I accomplished all the goals I had written on the first day. I want to be open to learning and experiencing new things. I showed my growth with this goal in the rock climbing and trust falls. I want to build off skills I already have. That one I used with the milk crates and high ropes course. I want to have fun and connect with classmates. Which I did in the activities, playing cards, and taking photos of them and our experiences that you can see at the bottom.
I learned a lot about myself throughout Loon Lake. I learned about making (and most importantly following through) on goals and intentions that I make myself. I learn how I can work better with a team, and how I can be more confident in myself. I will take this information, my credo, and my logo and use it to complete my SMART goals and other intentions I will make myself in the coming months.
Below here are photos I took during this trip.