Leadership Conference Promotes Confidence


Kaveh Varghai makes the “leap of faith” at the 2010 leadership conference. Photo from Beachcomber archives by Elana Gloger.

BHS will hold its 19th annual Leadership Conference this weekend.

Conference adviser Craig Alexander explained that the conference is a 30-hour experience where students will interact with new people and learn leadership skills.

The conference, held mostly at the high school, will consist of group activities that encourage teamwork and group bonding. Participants will also go to a ropes course at Camp Ashbury in Hiram, Ohio.

“[Activities] include icebreakers…so kids get to know each other,” Alexander said. “On Saturday, it’s a ropes course that focuses on low ropes for team building, high ropes for individual challenges, and then there’s an individual climbing tower also for individual challenges.”

“It’s a very supportive environment,” he added.

Alexander explained that the conference is planned by students. There is an application process to join the planning committee, which began meeting in September to plan the activities and town halls.

When you’re at the conference it’s so much different from school. It’s more about being the best people we can be…

— Senior Maya Neyman

Senior Maya Neyman, a member of the committee, explained that it required dedication and hard work to plan the event.

“You have to be really dedicated to the conference because it’s a lot of time,” she said. “And it’s not fair to half-commit.”

“On the other hand, it’s just an amazing experience,” she added. “It’s one thing to be  part of something fun and grow…but it’s something else to create that experience for someone else. I think that’s a really great gift you can give to someone.”

This year they are introducing a stress-management activity organized by guidance counselor Liz Osicki and senior Sydney Leiken.

Neyman explained that the conference provides a safe environment for students to grow.

“The leadership conference is a place that allows you to  become a lot more confident in your abilities and just be in a safe environment that promotes growth and encourages it,” she said.

“I just think it’s really amazing and so different than any program I’ve ever been a part of in Beachwood,” Neyman said. “It’s not focused on just the academics or just the spirit.”

“[W]hen you’re [at the conference] it’s so much different [from school],” she said. “It’s more about [being] the best people we can be…”