When it came to picking a mentee last year, I wanted only one mentee so I could put my undivided attention on him/her especially during the Mentor/Mentee retreat this past weekend. When I decided to take the chance with two mentee’s instead, I was really nervous about having to divide the attention equally. The more I got to know them, the more I noticed that their completely opposite personalities were going to mesh well and make our family tree successful. One of which has a spunky attitude that loves to make people laugh and take the lead in anything. The other one has a quieter voice but when he speaks out, he has some amazing ideas that can accomplish any task as a leader. During the retreat at Eagle Village on September 6, 2014, I saw both of these leadership style’s take action in our Team Narwhal group!
Our Team Narwhal group was made up of what I like to call ‘the misfits”. Every other group had a team name when ours was originally Team 5, we had the honorary LAS members, and we had the mentee’s who mentor’s couldn’t be there. We didn’t let this stop us but instead we used it to our advantage. We were able to bond right off the back while coming up with our team name along with the sounds and symbol. Along with having the honorary LAS members, we were able to view how everyone else can be just as amazing as a leader and influential as we can. We were able to “adopt” and love the mentee’s who were homeless without their mentor’s and make them feel as if we were their mentors for the time being. This created a powerful atmosphere and brought us to be a very strong group.
Our first tasks included activities of tag, finding objects blindfolded while being tied together, and playing on teams that influenced body language instead of verbal. We powered through these activities, some within seconds, and had creative debrief sessions afterwards. Our chill vibe allowed us to complete the tasks without getting frustrated with one-another and just having a lot of fun with it. Being able to meet everyone in depth and playing games during our break time allowed everyone to become family. At the end of the night, being able to appraise each other for their efforts really made the day feel so happy and accomplished!
Being able to encourage my mentee’s throughout the high ropes course the next day was exciting to me. One of my major goals last year was to be more influential in positive encouragement. Knowing that I had the responsibility of that with two mentee’s really pushed myself to accomplish that goal. Once again, the two completely different personalities showed on the course when one was showing her confidence and the other was trembling with fear throughout the challenges. This motivated our family to help and push one another to greater heights (pun intended).
When we all put on our matching LAS shirts, I was able to see our cohort officially become that family. Not only for the fact of wearing the same letters but because when we take those shirts off, the bonds will still be just as strong after the weekend. Seeing our cohort become the role model to the mentees and create this experience better then when we went through as mentees proved how far we have came as leaders already. Seeing the mentees step up and prove we can be one family allowed us to grow and change together. I could not be more proud of my family tree and for everyone else in LAS for accomplishing so much in one weekend. I can easily see our cohort become one that helps, supports, influences, changes, and loves one another as a person, friend, and family member. Forever onward, Ohana.