Growing Excellent Leaders

Building student leaders

As Dolly Parton says, “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader.”

At the Chrysalis School in Montana, the most anticipated trips are the two annual Leadership Retreats. These trips are by invitation only, with invitations extended to students who either are currently demonstrating extraordinary leadership skills in the community or who have manifested the promise of potential leadership. The retreats are held in various locations, but without fail the destination is somewhere incredibly beautiful, providing a backdrop for introspection and personal growth. Recent destinations have included Glacier National Park in Montana and the Bugaboos Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada.

While all of the adventure trips at Chrysalis are awe-inspiring, Leadership Retreats focus on strengthening connections with peers and new skills to gain confidence and demonstrate leadership are learned, which makes each leadership retreat unique and special. Activities, group discussions and initiatives are designed to teach students how to lead and build on their leadership skills.

Perhaps the most special and inspiring part of the trips is reserved for the end. The students’ families, friends, peers and relevant Chrysalis staff write letters to each participant beforehand. Each letter contains personal and heartfelt observations, challenges and words of encouragement. These letters are given to each student in a ribbon-wrapped packet after a group and each student is provided time alone to read, to process and absorb the impressions of other people who are important in their lives have of them. Without exception, they come away inspired, with a renewed spirit and resolve to be their very best. These leadership retreats are an important piece of the programming at Chrysalis. At Chrysalis, creating an environment for leadership and reflection is of value.