Monday, July 25, 2011

AFLV LeaderShape: Day 1 by Madeleine Stroth

AFLV LeaderShape: Day 1

I won’t lie… the drive from Iowa City, IA to Lawrence, KA was rough.  Waking up early to sit in a car for hours only to end up missing one… or two exists, is not exactly my idea of a great morning.  After finally arriving at the KU campus, and getting lost a few more times, I was walking up the steps of the Phi Kappa Psi chapter structure and beginning an experience I had been told I would never forget.

Signing in and getting acquainted with the sleeping quarters was the easy part, but suddenly, I felt an emotion I wasn’t used to.  I was nervous.  I’m talking racing nerves.  Had I really given up an entire week of summer to a leadership development program? All at once I was silently overcome with doubt in what I had gotten myself into… or maybe what my advisors let me get myself into. Hmm...

This unsettling rush of nerves was thankfully and quickly relaxed by blaring music and the joyful entrance of the AFLV LeaderShape faculty.  My mood and outlook for the week flipped dramatically and I was sure I had made the right choice.

Opening discussions and the encouragement of the staff to “dive right in” allowed me to make fast friends and participate in intelligent and in-depth discussions about leadership qualities and opportunities.

As if I wasn’t excited enough for the rest of the week, I was then introduced to my Family Cluster, the small group I would be spending a great deal of time with in the coming days.  Immediately our small group began to share our abridged life stories and more importantly, we shared laughs along the way.  

I am so happy I have the opportunity to connect with this small group of leaders who took the same risk coming here as I did, braving the unknown, and hoping for the best.  

Here’s to the Alpha group of AFLV LeaderShape adventurers!  I know it’s going to be great!

Madeleine Stroth
The University of Iowa

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