Leadership 101: Summer Leadership Lab
By Louisa Stanwich
Every August at Randolph-Macon Academy rising junior and senior cadets, who have been appointed by their Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) teachers to become cadre, return to school early for Summer Leadership Lab. Cadets learn, through various activities, how to become effective leaders within the school. I’ve participated in the Summer Leadership School in both my junior and senior years and can say firsthand that the schedule is rigorous!
We wake up at 5:30 a.m. in order to be ready for Physical Fitness Training at 6 a.m. Physical Fitness Training includes running, and other core strengthening exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks. After we complete Physical Fitness Training, we have breakfast, formation, and an array of classes. Our classes range in topics beginning with how to wear the Air Force JROTC uniform properly, how to have a strong command voice, a Cadet Manual briefing, the 14 Principles of Leadership, and how to practice honor and how to influence a culture of honor within the school.
When we were not in the classroom we were practicing drill for the Element Drill Test and Flight competition, and competing in Project X. Project X was a new addition to Summer Leadership School this year. Lt Col Barry Sebring, MSgt Doug French, Mrs. Tamala Sebring, and CMSgt Mary Gamache joined in on the fun and set up different activities. These activities were created to build leadership skills and teach the cadets how to work through adversity strongly and as a team. Through Project X I learned that when are you trying to solve a problem I to solve it one step at a time in an organized fashion and that communication is key to working together.
This year the cadre corps is dedicated to bring the entire corps of cadets together and work to achieve the Distinguished Unit with Merit award for the following year. I hope that we achieve this goal as a unit and I hope with the training from Summer Leadership Lab that I will be able to aid in achieving it. I am grateful to have been selected to participate in Summer Leadership School in both junior and senior years. I was taught skills that will be helpful not only for this coming year but for years to come outside of high school. The valuable lessons on how to be an effective and respected leader will help me greatly in my professional career.