Leadership Workshop


Olivia Guy, Staff Writer

As a sophomore, Katrina Dant “hasn’t had a ‘real’ Leadership Workshop experience yet” and was a “little bummed” when she found out that PA would not be hosting its leadership workshop at Triple R Ranch like in past years due to Covid-19. But Dant stated that, “Many traditions were kept and the staff kept the energy high.”

This year’s leadership workshop took place on March 27 and March 28 at PA, unlike the traditional three-day overnight event at Triple R Ranch.

Despite the pandemic, Leadership Workshop Coordinator Madeline Mckechnie–with the help from the leadership workshop staff counselors and the delegates–was able to ensure that the “workshop magic lived on,” wrote Mckechnie.

“I was very nervous that it would not have the same feel as the workshop normally does,” said former delegate Grace Ford, “because it was going to be at school. However, having it at PA did not take away any of the energy.”

According to Dant, “Thanks to the coordinator, Madeline, and the great staff, this weekend could have been anywhere and it still would have been one of the best weekends ever.”
Covid-19 precautions were put in place to ensure there was not an outbreak. Everyone had to wear a mask the entire time, and contact tracing was ensured with small groups. Each council stayed with their small group the entire weekend, and meals were in even smaller groups. The delegates maintained designated seating throughout the weekend both in the auditorium and council rooms. Games were planned so that there was no sharing of materials, and social distancing was enforced as much as possible.

There were eight councils with 10 to 12 delegates in each one to ensure small and safe groups were put into place.

With all of these precautions in place, Dant stated that she “felt comfortable,” and many games that were played in the past were replaced with others to prevent any contamination. There were some traditional games played, like the traditional teamwork competitions “dizzy bat and secret path.”

According to Ford, “The goal of Leadership Workshop also did not waiver, which is to develop leaders who will take what they learn from the weekend back to their community and PA. Having workshop at PA made that connection very clear.”

Dant noted that “they‌ ‌had‌ ‌an‌ ‌entire‌ day‌ ‌schedule‌ ‌with‌ ‌new‌ ‌events‌ ‌every day. ‌It‌ ‌was‌ ‌all‌ ‌very‌ ‌well‌ ‌put‌ ‌together‌ ‌and‌ ‌felt‌ ‌as‌ ‌though‌ ‌it‌ ‌was‌ ‌thoroughly‌ ‌planned.‌ ‌Almost‌ ‌every‌ ‌second‌ ‌was‌ ‌used‌ ‌to‌ ‌introduce‌ ‌us‌ ‌to‌ ‌new‌ ‌activities‌ ‌that‌ ‌educated‌ ‌us‌ ‌on‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌a‌ ‌better ‌leader.”

The main focus of the two days was delegate creation in their assigned council with a song on the first day and a skit on the second. Mckechnie was “so proud of the delegates,” and “they were the best songs and skits in PALW history, no doubt about it, and totally crushed it.”

Mckenchine stated that they “also introduced a new tradition to PALW, which will hopefully long surpass us: campfire. We gathered by (LED) candlelight in the gym and sang songs together with a live band made up of staffers. It was everything: sentimental, unifying, moving, and raw.”

Ford noted that, “Every single person who went was able to leave reality for a least a little bit and participate in creating skits, songs, cheers, and learning how to be a leader. The weekend was nothing short of magical.”