“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.”
Harold S. Geneen
The ball came flying and I dove to save it. I missed. We went to the sidelines to watch the next team score in biju ball. No one walked up to me and said, “Nice save Conor!”, in a sarcastic way. They just said: “Nice try, we’ll get them next time”. We were all taking the game seriously but we still came together as a team to celebrate our wins and losses. As we were taught leadership in our classes, I felt we learned more in this game.
Last week we went on our class camping trip to Belknap on Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Last year when we went to Windsor mountain for our 8th grade trip which was great and I thought going to Caribou would be even better. Except...we didn’t go to Caribou. A couple days before the trip, I learned that we’d be off to Belknap instead. I was disappointed. I had heard from other fenn boys how fun Caribou was and how it lived up to the hype. From hearing all about it, than not going, I had low expectations for Belknap.
It was actually great going into Belknap with low expectations because you could only go up from there. When we got there I saw the big grass field and I knew it would be fun. As soon as we dropped our bags at the cabin we started a football game with most of the grade. Then we went to lunch. We sat with our cabin, which was great because I got to talk to kids I don’t normally talk to. The food was just ok but better at dinner. We did this thing called freeze where we would, freeze, and if you moved you had to bring the plates in. Thankfully I didn’t move first. On our first night we played this game called biju Ball which was like soccer with our hands. It was a great way to begin the night.
Although Belknap gave me great experiences it dwelled too much on leadership. It also dwelled too much on us being 9th graders. I felt like we did much better in teamwork in games like biju ball or bombardment. I felt it when we were cheering on our last teammate in bombardment than the hour long leadership segment. In bombardment our team wasn’t the best and we never won but we had a lot of heart. It would often end with 1 of our players against five of them. It was often tucker left in but once it was me. I felt my team on my back, and although I lost I felt what it felt like I was a leader. My team in biju ball was insane. We won the most overall with cannons like Alijah and Buck and speed like Tucker and Matthew. As we all know, I’m not a Star athlete but this game let everyone shine. I had a couple nice saves and passes. We didn’t just have one leader we had many and that’s how 9th grade should be.
Belknap taught us how to be basic leaders, but we grew ourselves. Through talking to our cabins and unknowingly being yelled at, we became better leaders and mentors. Fenn also has taught us this and we were lucky enough to go to Belknap to be stronger leaders. This trip really gave me lasting friendships and lessons to keep with me for the rest of my life