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Introduction

For my Community Leadership Project, I decided to take what I have learned in class and

apply it to something that I was already a part of. I volunteer as a Young Life Leader for the

Centre County Region. Young Life is a Christian outreach ministry where we host fun events for

kids in State College throughout the week. I specifically serve on the Wyld Life team, which is

geared toward middle schoolers. We go to the Waffle Shop with 20-30 middle schoolers every

other Wednesday, and we have a small Bible study on Sundays, but our most exciting event is

Club. Club is just a crazy night where we play games, sing songs, and hang out with the kids. At

the end, we share a 10-minute story/lesson about the Bible that we think can be very applicable

to their lives. This event happens every other Thursday. I decided to take initiative in the

planning for our Club on March 14 of this year for my Community Leadership Project.

Preparation

Normally, our team of Penn State students will get together and plan club together. This

is effective because it allows us to have multiple ideas and cut down on time spent planning.

However, the time to plan this event was over spring break, so I took initiative. On a 15-hour

drive from Maryland to Florida, I spent a good chunk of it planning our event. This included

doing research on games we could play, keeping track of what items we would need in order to

make our event happen, and delegating responsibilities to my team. I attached the outline I

created for Club. It shows what tasks we did throughout the night, who did each of them, and

who was responsible for the technology aspect of each. I also had to set up the technology the

day of our event, which included a screen for our projector, making sure my laptop was

projecting properly, and setting up the microphones and sound system.


Coordination

I shared the outline with my team and had them all look over it and give me feedback. I

figured sharing the outline on Google Drive as the best option because we were all scattered

throughout break and it created a central location for us all to review the agenda. I also called my

teammates to bounce some ideas off them while I was making it. Before our Club, I texted all of

our leaders about who had to drive who at a specific time in order to make sure we all got to

Club on time to plan efficiently. This didn’t happen, but I’ll mention that later.

Self-Evaluation

I don’t often take initiative like this when it comes to leadership activities, so this was

pretty new for me. I think I did a good job of taking the reins for this particular event because it

saved my teammates a lot of time planning and stressing. On the other hand, I noticed I would

get stressed out when I was planning this event. I knew I wanted to do it on my own, but I think I

would get easily frustrated when I couldn’t come up with ideas or ways to execute them.

In terms of the event itself, I believe I did well. My teammates did not show up on time,

but I was able to speed things up when they arrived by delegating different tasks we needed to

complete before the kids arrived. For example, I had 2 people mix cool whip and food coloring

while I had someone else set up the technology with me. We did not have a projector screen for

some reason, so we ended up using a bed sheet. I think I did a good job distributing the work,

however, I think I got too stressed again. It just happens to me. Whenever something stresses me

out, it overwhelms me and affects how I treat others. I don’t like when I get harsh with others

and I need to learn how to best manage that stress. This is something that I will talk to my team

about and learn how to best treat them in those times.


Participants

The participants of “Club” were 20 middle schoolers from Park Forest, Mount Nittany,

Delta, and West Branch. I recognized 18 of them, but 2 of them were new. It is awesome when

we see unfamiliar faces because we have the opportunity to give them a great first-time

experience. We also had 3 new leaders join our team right before spring break. Not only did I

have to make sure they were included in some of our activities, but I also had to give them the

run-down of the event and what their responsibility was. This involved some risk management

because they had questions about what to do in certain situations. I had the chance to tell them

what to do based on some of my prior experience with middle schoolers. Running this event also

involves communication and coordination with the parents of the middle schoolers. We run the

event in one of their houses, so I made sure we had a house for this day. In addition, I had to

notify all of the parents to remind them we were having this event the week following break.

Summary

In conclusion, this was something I have been a part of for the past few semesters, but

this project enabled me to use what I have learned in class and apply it to the event. I was not

used to taking this much of a leadership position in the group. However, I enjoyed experiencing

Club from a more involved position. I think this project allowed me to see how other people on

my team feel at points when I am not cooperating with them properly. It also helped me learn

more about myself, what I can handle, and what I need to improve upon. I will use what I have

learned to try to make all of my teammates happy and make sure our future events run as

smoothly as possible.
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