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Lessons in Leadership: 5th and 7th Grade Retreats
Fifth graders are blind folded while being led into the woods where they followed a rope to help them search for a way out of a maze. In the task, boys learned to persevere and push themselves, while also discovering that it is okay to ask for help when needed.
Fifth graders worked in small groups to lift and walk with a tennis ball resting on the top of a bottle using only string and a metal o-shaped ring. The boys quickly learned that the only way to accomplish the task was to work as a team while following directions from a single person. Even though every team member had good ideas was able to contribute, it was important to follow directions of the leader. The boys realized as a leader, it is important to be able to follow directions as well as give them.
Seventh graders work together in a stressful operation to learn how to better function as part of a team during the Leader Reaction Course at Camp Bullis. The group must work together to transport a case of needed supplies to the far-side of the obstacle course without touching the water below.
During their day-long retreat at T BAR M on February 7, the fifth graders worked in small groups completing tasks in different stations designed to teach various leadership lessons. While students have a great time at each station throughout the day, they are also processing— as individuals and as a group— their experiences and connecting them to the lesson being taught.

Assistant Commandant, Patrick Atkerson, said the program “is an effective and important part of helping Academy boys become responsible and honest young men.”

A week later, seventh graders visited Camp Bullis on February 14, where the U.S. Army South hosted and served as mentors at the Leader Reaction Course. Students were placed in small groups where their leadership styles and physical and mental abilities were put to the test. The primary goals were to let the boys apply and develop leadership principles while learning how to work as a team and operate under stress. Each group had a designated leader and they could only use the equipment and resources provided. They were given a task and had to work as a cohesive team in order to successfully negotiate each event during the course.*

"We want our guys to know not only what it is like to function as part of a team, but also how to come up with ideas and direct others in times of stress," said Frank Stanage, Commandant. "This exercise perfectly simulates that."*
View the 5th Grade Leadership Retreat photo album.
View the 7th Grade Leadership Retreat photo album.

*excerpts from “Army South hosts, mentors seventh graders at Camp Bullis” The Leader, U.S. Military, February 19.


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