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Phasing into Leadership
By Audrey White
July 9, 2010
The second phase of Face to Face, the Leader-In-Training program, is an opportunity for participants to come back for a second year of the program to expand on the skills they gathered in their first year. Toward the end of camp, they had the chance to lead programs on their own. After supper Friday evening, they designed and led LIT Game Night, splitting the first-year participants into dialogue groups to compete in different games and activities dressed as zombies, hippies, hillbillies, nerds and ____, with the staff participating as the rock stars. It gave the dialogue groups, which had grown so close through personal conversations, a chance to get rowdy together and have a great time in silly costumes.
The next morning, the LITs offered a panel where they each shared their experience in the year long program with their home groups the previous year, including what projects and programs they had led. They also offered insight about what the LIT year had been like for them. Alejandro, from the U.S., put it very simply when he said “In my participant year, I learned to speak. In the LIT program I’ve learned to sing.” Many of them created and led programs both within their Face to Face year-long experiences, and it gave the first-year participants inspiration to continue the work we were doing during the two weeks. Dalit, a participant from South Africa, said “I feel like I’m sitting in front of a group of young activists, and I hope we can be as successful.”
The panel reminded all of us that the work we do in our wonderful safety bubble at Holmes is all in preparation for continued action. Hearing the stories of tangible activism and active leadership proved that the tools we learn at camp, from how to communicate effectively to how to evaluate the roles of faith, conflict and identity, are applicable in a wide range of contexts. When the participants and LITs leave on Sunday, they will scatter to four continents, and it is up to them to let the change within them shine and change others.
All Things Catholic (John Allen)