The 2011 Program is based on extensive teamwork, and students need to be able to support one another. Teamwork and on-the-ground leadership are becoming increasingly important skills for students, employees and entrepreneurs. They can't just be acquired or tacked on to other learning activities in a superficial way. They have to be taught, practiced, implemented and honed.

Theory by itself isn't useful; leadership in practice is the experience that's valuable to students as they enter college and the career of their choice. Our program encourages students to reflect on their own values and how their goals and daily actions align with their definitions of success. Students are accountable to themselves, the staff, and each other to work actively toward their goals every day in some measurable way.

Integrity is paramount, and students will be challenged to apply effective encouragement and conflict-resolution tactics in difficult settings. They will be pushed to get more out of the situations presented to them. They will cultivate a team and support system that helps them to realize what we hold true: how you choose to spend your time is how you’ve chosen to spend your life.

Our leadership curriculum is built on the writings of renowned leadership experts including Warren Bennis, Burt Nanus, Daniel Goleman, Albert Schweitzer, Charles Garfield, Howard Gardner, Peter Drucker, and others. It provides the students with a basis for the skills they will be learning and practicing.

Students should leave the summer with the following experiences and skills:

• define those values that are important to them, and articulate why;

• define and articulate short- and long-term goals for themselves that are aligned with those values;

• evaluate when they are acting with integrity and improve the presence of integrity in their lives;

• work in teams to evaluate how current situations could be improved, and improve the experiences presented to them in a respectful and positive way;

• structure working toward goals as a daily activity. Students will focus on evaluating their own responsibility for their goals;

• learn how to encourage effectively, using appreciative praise over evaluative praise. Learn to accurately define “positive” as working toward improvement;

• practice and implement the Ladder of Inference conflict resolution strategy; and

• understand the fundamental core leadership and life philosophy of Loop: how you chose to spend your time is how you’ve chosen to spend your life.

By taking personal responsibility for your decisions, you grant yourself the power to shape your own life toward your goals.

Leadership classes and activities are a part of our weekly curriculum. In between meetings, students will have exercises that push them to make the improvements we discuss each week.

This program is a chance for students to practice leadership and evaluate their own goals, strengths, and weaknesses in a safe environment. It provides the chance for students to experiment with changes to their normal patterns of behavior and get feedback on those changes, with the goal of moving them toward being better leaders. In particular, their time as volunteers and on the trek will allow them to implement the leadership skills they have learned.