Chrysalis’ Leadership Retreats

Dear Students and Families-

Hope this letter finds you all well. As it has been said, “Teamwork can be summed up in five short words: We believe in each other.”

The first leadership experience this past summer, held in Glacier National Park, was a success for the Chrysalis community. This initial retreat gave students the opportunity to be recognized for their positive contributions throughout the year; we would love to keep this positive momentum rolling. The staff, teachers, clinicians and directors feel it is both imperative and beneficial to continue gathering select students, who are demonstrating the characteristics listed below, for seasonal retreats throughout the year as an acknowledgement of their positive efforts to strengthen both themselves and the Chrysalis community.

A leadership criteria has been established with input from staff and house parents, school teachers, adventure staff, clinical staff and Kenny and Mary, that will hopefully help you clearly understand the purpose and context of these retreats. We want to illustrate what we are looking for from our students in order to gain an invitation to one of these retreats. The purpose of these retreats, in short, is to help each student attending Chrysalis strive to be intentional and purposeful in their personal, relational, educational, and community leadership.

Leadership has been defined as the ability to motivate yourself and others to accomplish a common goal through a united effort. Every student at Chrysalis has the potential to not only be the leader of their own lives, but also have the capacity to provide leadership for those they see struggling in the community. Leadership develops through direct involvement with family, school and the community.

So, what will it take to get an invitation to the next retreat, you might be thinking? The staff at Chrysalis will be looking for student leaders who are demonstrating the following characteristics:

  1. Responsibility: Staying on top of her daily responsibilities in all facets of the program.
  2. Optimism: Maintaining a positive attitude and helping students who may be struggling with negativity develop a healthier concept of their circumstances, opportunities and potential for success.
  3. Resiliency: Consistently turning obstacles into challenges, and overcomes these challenges through perseverance, determination and hardwork.
  4. Organization and focus: Maintaining an organized living space and consistently completing tasks; is able to simplify even complicated tasks into achievable goals.
  5. Diligence: The student who is willing to complete a task to its conclusion.
  6. Delegation: Embracing the support of others; not afraid, embarrassed or resistant to ask for and rely on help from others in the community.
  7. Encouragement: Openly and enthusiastically acknowledging the accomplishments of other students who are struggling to do well in the Chrysalis community.
  8. Trustworthiness: Earning the respect of the community through consistent leadership characteristics.
  9. Leadership Development: Willing to participate in activities that promote and encourage their own personal sense of what is right and good for themselves and the Chrysalis community.
  10. Accountability and Authenticity: Willing to hold themselves and others accountable, not just because it is expected, but because they sincerely believe it is the right thing to do for themselves, their peers and the health of the community as a whole.

It’s important to note that we don’t require that a student be doing all these things exceptionally well at this moment in order to be invited to a leadership retreat. That would be unrealistic, of course, because those are very high standards that few people completely achieve in a lifetime. We are, however, looking for girls who are working in these directions, demonstrating a capacity to grow toward this kind of excellence in everything that they do, and who have a willingness to commit to the process. If someone is willing to try very hard to get there, we want to do everything we can to help them accomplish that goal. Leadership starts with involvement! Students, involve yourself with your school, with your community, and perhaps most importantly, become involved and attuned with your self. Parents, encourage your daughters in this direction. It could make all the difference.

The Chrysalis staff looks forward to helping each Chrysalis student achieve their leadership potential and witnessing their sense of accomplishment upon receiving their invitation to the next leadership retreat.