The girls at the 2007 Harriet Braiker Leadership Retreat were asked to:
Describe briefly how the retreat affected you.
Following are some of their verbatim responses:
"Thank you so much for including me at the Retreat. All of us deeply appreciate all of (the) hard work that led to such a beautiful weekend. I believe I speak for everyone when I say that we all had a unique and incredible experience. I was completely blown away at how professional everything was. Once again, thank you for an amazing weekend."
"It was powerfully emotional. The whole idea of confidence and the way each person, no matter their personality, can truly make an impact."
"I learned more about the concerns and emotions of the girls, while also developing my own leadership skills and what it takes to be a role model."
"I feel so much closer to my friends and to myself. I learned how much I can help other girls who are like me. Thank you so much!"
"I now know I can be a leader."
"I thought this leadership retreat was so incredibly powerful, useful, and fun. I can just see the growth in the girls because of this weekend, and their openness and positive attitudes were incredible."
"Bonding with girls is an amazing experience. It is amazing how much ALL of us learned. I have so much hope for the future for girls and leadership. THANK YOU!"
"It made my year!"
"It gave me an amazing opportunity to bond with people I would never have otherwise talked to."
"In so many ways: strengthened friendships; increased/honed leadership skills; I became a stronger person. This was such a fun and positive learning experience for everyone. Thank you!"
"I bonded with my class again."
"I felt such a very strong connection with the girls. This weekend was awesome! Amazing!"
"Helped me feel more confident."
"The ropes and challenge course really helped me learn the importance of working together and trusting people. I had so much fun this weekend."
"I am a bit of a perfectionist and I try to pretend as if I have no emotions. During [one particular, highly emotional activity] I realized all of this and I finally let everything out that I kept inside me for so long. Who knew crying felt so good? Thank you!"
"The program brought me closer to my friends, and reminded me how much my parents care for me. I also became more aware of my strengths."
"It taught me to say something when I feel upset."
"I had a wonderful time this weekend and it really made me realize how much we (the girls) love each other and how much we impact each other's lives. I loved getting to know everyone."
"A really great bonding experience."
"It really brought me closer to my classmates. I never said or even thought badly of any girls in the class on this retreat. I feel we will be a lot closer when we go back to school."
"It has strengthened the confidence and leadership skills of the freshman class as a whole."
"I feel so confident in myself and all of my classmates and I hope we can really change how our school does things."
"I liked the retreat a lot. It was very fun and I strengthened a lot of friendships."
"I loved it! Thank you again for so much fun!"
"Growing closer to my classmates."
"Thank you so much. This weekend has been amazing!"
"I learned a lot about myself, others, leadership, and much, much more."
"This trip was a great bonding experience."
"I learned that people with more leader-like qualities have trouble getting along with each other because they both want to be heard and they don't give in to what other people say."
"I feel I am a lot closer to my classmates and got to know people better."
"An amazing trip! I hope I am a Senior Leader in four years."
"It really inspired me to try to take leadership positions and just put myself out there to try."
"I have gained a circle of girls who I trust completely."
"I loved the cabin chats at night -- they were really helpful in expressing emotions."
"This weekend was amazing. It was awesome to make new friends and to get to know the seniors. Everything went very smoothly and I have made some friends whom I completely trust. I'm so glad I came and feel sorry for the girls who didn't."
"I became closer to my friends, met new people and formed new relationships, and ate a lot!"
"It made me realize more how I come off to other people when I do or say certain things."
"It definitely affected my relationships with my friends and the seniors. I feel we're a lot closer and I found that I could be friends with any one of them."