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Students at LEAD camp pose for a group photo

(above: LEAD students who were strangers days before camp are now friends.)

A day on the lake with watermelon, volleyball and dancing does not sound much like school.

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Team-building raft game at the lake

But for two busloads of Collin College students who travelled to The Prothro Center at Lake Texoma at the start of the fall 2014 semester that is exactly what it was.

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Students loading up on food during an active day

Individuals involved in Leadership Empowerment and Development (LEAD), a new co-curricular student program focused on developing leadership qualities within students, spent the day learning through entertaining activities and engaging speakers.

“My favorite event was the raft building on the lake,” said Anne Voltin, a Collin College student. “We split up into groups of six and had to build a raft and make it out to the buoy without sinking. It was so much fun.”

Voltin said while all of the activities were enjoyable, she also recognizes their educational value, which included team building and other essential lessons.

“I learned the importance of keeping a positive attitude despite being tired, in a tight space or in a hard situation,” Voltin said. “At camp, you got to develop a side of yourself that you normally don’t in the classroom.”

She also enjoyed District Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Development Dr. Colleen Smith’s speech about what not to do as a leader.

“It was a nice contrast to the information you hear all the time about steps you can take to be a better leader,” Voltin explained.

Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement Director Dr. Terry Hockenbrough facilitated the camp and said the event is invaluable for students, both academically and socially.

“Camp ignites the fire of leadership in students and connects them to faculty, resources and each other,” Hockenbrough said. “It empowers students in their experience at Collin College.”

After returning from camp with peers who were strangers just days before, Voltin recalls receiving an on-going email the next weekend from the same people. New friends were initiating communication and encouraging each other to get involved on campus.

“It was really a wonderful experience,” Voltin said. “I would recommend it to everybody.”

For more information about LEAD, contact the Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement at csce@collin.edu or call 972.881.5927.