Inside scoop: Being a Broadreach program ‘Leader of the Day’
By: Broadreach HQ High School Adventures, Middle School, Parents, Scuba, Sailing, Marine Biology, Vet Medicine, Medicine, Wildlife Biology
Here at Broadreach, we consider teaching leadership skills to be an (incredibly) important part of all programs. We use the role of ‘Leader of the Day’ on all trips to encourage leadership development for all students. This role is universal to all Broadreach programs, no matter where in the world the program is running!
The student leader is a very important role and is vital to the success of every program. We believe our students thrive when given responsibility. One such responsibility is acting as a liaison between instructors and students, bringing the needs of the group to instructors or by creating the day’s schedule and presenting it to the group. The Leader of the Day is also responsible for writing a trip update, which is posted to share with friends and family what the group has learned and achieved that day. Broadreach daily leaders also lead roundtable discussions, build a consensus for activities, facilitate goal setting and lead dinner activities – this experience builds leadership skills, confidence, openness and independence within our students.
Our instructors set each student up for success by guiding them individually through the Leader of the Day process. Each leader has a meeting with their instructors to discuss leadership styles, activity options, daily goals and potential risks the group may encounter, and how to minimize them. At the end of the day, instructors lead personal debrief sessions for each Leader of the Day – this structured feedback allows students a rare opportunity to reflect upon and learn from both their own leadership practice and from watching other students lead. We believe in teaching students that leadership is not a skill you are born with, but one which is developed through experiences and hard work.
By having the Leader of the Day role so deeply ingrained in our programs, instructors are able to take a step back near the end of each program, handing over more elements of the program for students to lead. The instructors become guides to assist, rather than leaders to follow. The students make decisions on daily schedules, activities, meals and everything else that goes along with the day-to-day aspects of a program. For example: on our advanced sailing program, the students decide which islands to visit, where to provision the boat and are given a budget.
The Leader of the Day experience sets Broadreach apart from other summer travel camps or passive ‘vacation’ type experiences – our model of teaching leadership and empowering students to make decisions that influence the direction of programs is fundamental to our programs. Of the many things students can and do learn on Broadreach programs, learning how to be an effective leader is the one with greatest potential for applicability after they leave Broadreach.
While our students’ talents and experiences may differ dramatically, even the smallest decisions and facilitated discussions can have a profound effect on our participants. The choices, interactions and opportunities each student encounters have the ability to shape each student’s life!
Schedule a call with one of our program coordinators to learn more about this or any of our other program aspects. We hope to hear from you soon!