Learning Leadership at VHSL

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Learning Leadership at VHSL

Juli Dempewolf

Juli Dempewolf

Juli Dempewolf

Zia Sampson, Managing Editor and Business Manager

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On April 5 and 6, 2019, BDHS students from SCA, SGA, and Leadership travelled to Virginia Beach for the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Student Leadership Conference.

The conference started with an opening rally, where all of the schools attending the conference were recognized and the layout of the conference was discussed. Every year a theme is announced and the conference is mainly centered around it, this year’s being “Building Leadership.” This was not only focusing on building individual leadership, but leadership in a community.

After the rally, there was a talk from Judson Laipply, a motivational speaker most famous for the “Evolution of Dance” YouTube video. His talk focused on a couple main ideas, the importance of laughter and the guarantee of change. He then gave a live performance of the “Evolution of Dance”, before teaching an abridged version to the audience.
Next was the service project, always a key component of the conference. This year, the students built sock puppets, bracelets, and thank you notes and bags for Operation Smile, a charity that helps provide surgery and physical therapy for children with cleft lip and cleft palette.

The night ended with an ice cream social and spirit trade, where students would trade school spirit gear with other schools across the state, often looking especially for t-shirts or other clothes.

April 6 opened with a pep rally, formatted very much like how BDHS does them. One of the highlights of this year was when each school sent down representatives to play knockerball, a game where a person stands inside a giant inflatable ball and play soccer, although seniors Brain Rios and Tyler Dindal enjoyed knocking other people over more.

The bulk of that Saturday was composed of break-out sessions, where people could pick three out of over 20 sessions to participate in. These ranged from leadership focused sessions, such as “Be The Change”, where people were told to evaluate their passions and see how they can make an impact using the guidelines of the sustainable living goals set up by the United Nations, to future planning, with a session on dorm life, to stress relief, which included a very popular yoga session.

One unique session offered this year was a “Mission Impossible: Obstacle Course”, where students were put into teams and had to complete an obstacle course set up across a large portion of the school.

Afterwards, students headed to an idea share, where they could talk about various activities their schools to for fundraising, service projects, and school spirit. The students then met with their schools to see what they could bring back home, which has led to a couple new changes at BDHS, specifically being able to paint parking spaces.

The conference concluded with a closing ceremony, highlighted by a talk by Olympian Sarah Wells, who expressed the importance of continuing to try and learning from failures.

At the VHSL Conference, BDHS leaders learned the importance of not only having leadership skills, but using them to make the world a better place.