Hey everyone! This week has just flown by and I think it is because this past weekend was one of the best times of my USC experience. As a member of the Order of the Torch we get to facilitate the Emerging Leaders Program retreat. The Emerging Leaders Program is composed of Freshman, Sophomores, and some transfer students who are seeking to learn more about leadership and take active leadership roles around campus. The 12 members of Order of the Torch, or Torchies as we like to call ourselves, got to facilitate the learning that happened over the weekend, and it was an absolute blast!

We departed from campus at 2:00pm last Friday and drove all the way up Pacific Coast Highway (one of the best views in California) to the middle of Malibu. Here we found our camp which was high in the hills overlooking the beach and ocean, it was beautiful. We first split into our Cabin groups, two Torchies per cabin and about 15 ELPers per Cabin. We played a lot of icebreaker games and started to learn more about one another and why we were at the retreat. Throughout the weekend we had Leadership groups, different than Cabin groups, for all of the activities that we lead. Each leadership group had two Torchies leading them and about 15 ELPers as well. We did activities like the human knot, trust falls, teeter totters, goal setting, and strengths based leadership overviews. All of the ELPers and Torchies read a strengths based leadership book and took a personality test associated with our leadership qualities. We reviewed these results throughout the weekend and learned how to bolster our strengths and compensate for our weaknesses. More importantly we learned a lot about how to work in teams with other personality types. A lot of the activities we lead helped the ELPers to understand their leadership skills better and allowed them time for self-reflection and goal setting.

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Outside of the leadership activities we did night hikes, morning runs to the beach, skits, night time bonfires, and some brave soles even slept under the stars during the last night we were at camp. There was never a dull moment with silly string everywhere, mess hall chants, and random dance parties. It was a great program! And as much as I helped to mentor the ELPers on the trip I also learned so much about myself and had a chance to reflect on the great experience I have had at USC so far. I can’t believe it is my last semester ….. ahhhh!

There’s always a reason to smile. Find yours.

Have a great weekend!


Now Playing: Red Lights by Tiesto with Legacy by Nicky Romero vs. Krewella on deck.