By: Audrey Bertin
Every summer the TEC leadership team gets together to spend four days at the Moriah Lake House planning the upcoming year. The purpose of this trip is to build unity among the officers, prepare for the challenges of the upcoming year and beyond, and to ensure that the year will be the best one yet for Westlake TEC. We sit around a big table and have six meetings lasting around three hours each on the Mission Statement and the year's goals, how to be good leaders, fundraising for the organization, all aspects of video, how we can build and develop the organization, as well as any other topics brought up by the officers.
Every day during the retreat, we follow a similar schedule. Wake up early to start cooking the traditional breakfast of custom pancakes, bacon, and fruit, have the first meeting of the day, make sandwiches for lunch and take a foosball break, have the second meeting (and sometimes a third), cook dinner on the grill, then spend the rest of the evening either playing cards, doing a team-building activity, or watching a movie that relates in some way to the mission statement – for example, this year we watched Apollo 13. The sheer amount of time the meetings take might seem intimidating, but, when balanced with the rest of the retreat, it's not bad at all. We get to spend a few days at the end of the summer relaxing with our friends and feeling great after discussing the new year. To give an example of some fun experiences we've had, last year we all went swimming in the lake by the house and ended up getting our shoes washed downstream when they opened the dam. We had to spend half an hour tracking them down, and when one person realized that his were lost forever, we carried him up the hill so he wouldn't step on any burrs. What a fun time that was (I'm actually being serious, we laugh about it to this day).
While you might be thinking about it as just a time to hang out and talk about things, you might not realize how many great and innovative ideas actually come out of there. When all of us get together and talk about problems and solutions, a lot can change. It's the place where the Mission Statement originated, and it's also the place where – based on our actions – we decide just how good or bad the year is going to be. However, there's no need to worry, as this year's Leadership Team is super excited and ready to make this year as amazing as it can be. Just to give you all a sneak peek, we're working on a lot of super cool technical improvements for video crew, an easier way to get everyone calendar and uniform information, a revamped Battle of the Bands, a possible super awesome secret trip for next year (after NYC), and a bunch of other small changes to give you all the best experience we can! More details about our plans will be revealed once the school year has started, so stay tuned!
We're very excited about all of the new ideas we talked about and we hope that you are as well. Let's all work together to make this the best year yet, because I KNOW that we can.