This week’s blog is a recap of the retreat at Kfar McCabbiah where the Jr Leadership Development (LDP Jr) Program continued to focus on preparing for their trip to the United States this coming March as well as continuing to build their bond with each other.
On January 29th and 30th the members of the Jr Leadership Development Program (LDP Jr) got together for another memorable retreat filled with laughter, education, and friendship. The goal of the retreat was to review expectations ahead of their trip to the United States, and to allow the kids to get to know each other better. The kids also had a special guest appearance from PPI friend, Dr. Chad Ford, a conflict resolution expert and ESPN senior writer specializing in the NBA draft.
The retreat started off with a fun icebreaker where the participants were part of a team, but each person on the team had to complete a different task such as doing burpees, making up a cool handshake, dancing, or drawing the best portrait of a staff member in under two minutes.
It wasn’t all fun and games, as a large part of the retreat was spent on the history of PeacePlayers, the different programs within PeacePlayers International-Middle East, and the conflict resolution model we follow. Dr. Chad Ford facilitated a session where he discussed the different ways people can see one another, with an emphasis on trying to “see people as people,” which is at the core of the PPI curriculum. The participants even had a homework assignment where they tried to see everyone they encountered as a person for 12 hours and report back the next day. Some were very successful while others had a lapse or two, where they saw others as irrelevant. The task proved to be harder than most had anticipated.
The participants also took out time to learn about customs that are slightly different in the United States compared to the Middle East, such as the importance of being on time, and not to double-dip when eating food! Next, there was a mock panel discussion where the LDP Jr practiced answering some of the questions they might encounter in the states and received feedback from their peers.
The retreat ended on a light note with the participants playing one more game that forced them to partner up and get creative because one person in the group was not allowed to touch the ground. It was an intense two days but as leaders do, they easily rose to the occasion.