By Alex Burt
Titan Shout President
For some GTCC students, learning how to lead takes them far away from the classroom.
The GTCC Student Government Association holds a special student retreat and workshop annually during the fall semester for students who are interested in learning how to gain, develop, and improve leadership skills they can utilize in various areas of their lives. Held in Sophia, this event is free for students who attend all GTCC campuses. It allows students to focus on teamwork, encourage one another, learn new perspectives on problem-solving, and make new friends.
The event is organized by Berrilyn Cross, GTCC Director of Student Life, who participates in the weekend event with the students. She guides participants through morning activities, and then during four hours in the afternoon, students partake in teambuilding exercises. Throughout the evening there is a workshop and then later on there is a bonfire where students eat smores and share their experiences with each other.
"On Friday night, everyone participates in a business etiquette dinner," said Cross. "We have a facilitator that walks us through all the aspects of dining that would be important for a job interview or business meeting. On Saturday, we travel to the Caraway Conference Center for the overnight portion of our trip. We do icebreakers and get-to-know-you activities throughout the morning. The afternoon is team building exercises facilitated by Caraway Conference staff. The evening program this year was hosted by John Salici, of Get Rhythm Programs. John did a two-hour workshop and related his drumming to leadership. Sunday morning, we were lucky enough to have Pamela Adkins from William Peace University who walked us through Diversity in the Workplace."
While the retreat offers opportunities for students, Cross said that students must meet certain expectations as well, including “learning how to socially engage with each other and communicating effectively through team building activities" and "being exposed to different thoughts regarding difficult topics such as workplace learning, diversity, and communication.”
In order to be eligible to attend, students must be enrolled as curriculum students with at least six semester hours and a 2.0 GPA.