LAS Returns to the Adventure Learning Center for Mentoring Retreat

Emma Bautch, a sophomore Leader Advancement Scholar from Brighton, MI, swings from the high ropes course at the Mentoring Retreat

Emma Bautch, a sophomore Leader Advancement Scholar from Brighton, MI, swings from the high ropes course at the Mentoring Retreat

On September 12th and 13th the entering Leader Advancement Scholarship (LAS) cohorts of 2015 and 2014 traveled to the Adventure Learning Center at Eagle Village for the annual mentoring retreat. Ninety-one students spend two days at the training center participating in a variety of leadership and teambuilding activities ranging from high ropes and rock climbing to canoeing and problem solving games.

Every new member of the LAS class has a mentor. For some, this has been a relationship that starts with flowers arriving at their high school or a surprise visit at a graduation party. For others, it is a care package and a handshake at freshmen orientation. For everyone, it’s an important connection to a successful freshmen year.

Think about the first days of college. For many, this can be some of the most trying times of a young life. First time away from parents and family. First time in a college classroom. First time sharing a bedroom. It’s a big change.   For these students, who are overwhelmingly successful (historically, the LAS cohorts have a 98% first year retention rate and a 96% five-year graduation rate), this success is possible because they’re supported, comfortable, and ready to learn. Having a mentor to show them what it takes to be a successful college student eases the adjustment to college.

And, while you would be correct to assume the mentees appreciate their mentors, what you might not expect is the fervor with which the mentors approach their role. The love it, they thrive in the role.

Why? It’s often said that college is a place to find yourself, the most successful students know that college is the place to decide who you want to be. Our mentors help our newest leaders be the person they want to be. That’s exciting.

See photos from this year’s LAS Mentoring Retreat.

Riley Bussell, a member of the freshmen LAS cohort, created a wonderful video of her experience during the weekend.

About

Dan Gaken is a student affairs administrator, author, and leadership trainer with 10 years of professional experience, primarily in the field of student leadership development. Dan builds environments where others are able to create something that excites them.

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