Article Contributor: Leda Brockman
“It is not what you say you will do, but what you DO.” This is only a glimpse into the eye opening experience and training that our 21-student leadership team went through at the California Leadership Academy. For the past seven years, Scott Miller has been taking select groups of student leaders to this camp to be trained and prepared for the upcoming marching band season.
This year, the 21 of us that attended became “Sharkbait”, otherwise known as the Rodriguez Entertainment Unit leadership team. Scott Miller and booster parent Jan Sears drove our team to Chapman University, where the camp is held. Upon arrival, the camp sessions began immediately - the camp involves two different types of classes; indoor and outdoor sessions. In the indoor classes we got to learn the true meaning of leadership, from mentors Dave Kuhns and Bill Humbert. These classes allowed us to have hands-on and mind-engaging activities where we had to test our abilities to figure out problems by creating viable solutions. These activities set up opportunities for us to practice leadership in a room full of other leaders. Many of us found ourselves breaking out of our comfort zones, and stepping up to speak publicly, or finding the confidence to start a conversation with someone completely new to us. The outdoor sessions were led by mentor Greg Solomon and consist of team building games, that have deep leadership meanings about the inner workings of a marching band. They allowed chances for us to practice teaching marching basics, by first being taught and then becoming the instructor ourselves. The purpose of this camp is to not only make us better leaders, but better people. The lessons reached a personal level with us by expressing real life situations to explain how the choices we make affect our present and future lives. Once the last session of the camp came to a close, we were left with a final reminder of all we had learned: we now have a choice to “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” This decision began the minute we drove away from camp. Mr. Miller picked us up and took us to Embassy Suites to have a pizza dinner and debriefing of all we had just experienced during the camp. During this time we got to reflect on our experience and explain how we are going to use what we learned to make changes and improve different aspects of our lives and our leadership.
Typically after the debriefing Miller takes us to Downtown Disney, however he switched it up this year and took us to Newport Beach, and after to Creamistry for ice cream, ending the trip with much fun! “Sharkbait” left camp eager to share the lessons and techniques we have learned with our fellow bandmates, and we are ready to use our learning to take on the next marching band season with the hope of making this season's experience even better than last for everyone involved!
Leda Brockman is currently a senior at RHS, and one of this year's Drum Majors for the Rodriguez Entertainment Unit. She hopes to attend George Fox University, and major in creative writing. Her loves are performing, volunteering to help the community, and activities with her church youth group.