Every year at the beginning of the Fall semester, our leadership team for the coming school year meet at what we have come to call the Leadership Retreat. They use this time as an opportunity to reflect on previous experience, look to the future, and get to know each other.
Informal meetings where leaders reflect and discuss are not a recent development. However, a more formal structure developed back in 2015. In the past 5 years, this has commonly involved our leaders going to a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains a short drive away from Atlanta. Given the pandemic, this year’s Leadership Retreat at the end of August was a bit different.
This year many of our leaders met on Discord, the popular video communication app. They took the opportunity to introduce themselves, finding out about the teams they work on and their hobbies. They then participated in what has become known as the “notecard discussion” where the leaders personally reflected on questions about the RoboJackets mission statement, their previous experiences in the organization, and mentorship. The objective of this activity is to expose our leaders to different experiences and viewpoints across RoboJackets. They also participated in a virtual RoboJackets Trivia scavenger hunt in randomly assigned teams using the RoboJackets Wiki, to explore teamwork and work breakdown, necessary for effective team function. That evening, they took the time to play some party games including games in the Jackbox Party Pack and the newly popular game Among Us to unwind and team build. The next day the leaders worked on an imaginary hackathon where they worked in small groups to come up with fun robot ideas and tools necessary to create them, building on the teamwork skills explored in the virtual scavenger hunt. Finally, they looked at some topics related to the coming year and discussed what they wanted to focus on as an organization and any changes leaders wanted to see occur within the organization.
We look forward to seeing what our leaders will accomplish this coming year!