By Graham Rosen | Editor in Chief
Seventy-five of the new SOS Lifeguards participated in their annual retreat from June 12-14 at Lakeview Methodist Conference Center in Palestine.
The Lifeguards used the retreat as an opportunity to learn to work as a team with their quads, to effectively work with students in the classroom and to develop a mission statement for the mentoring group for the upcoming year.
The mission statement was a task given to the Lifeguards at the end of the retreat to summarize what they had learned and set goals for the future.
“What we had to do was create a mission statement that embodied the vision of the SOS program,” senior Lifeguard Brisa Willis said. “In turn, we all came up with a powerful, truthful statement that allows others to know what the SOS program is all about.”
The SOS Coast Guards who planned the retreat had specific goals in mind for the retreat that focused on the Lifeguards’ relationships with one another and their freshmen.
“Our highest priorities are building bonds between our SOS family, exploring our common purpose and training Lifeguards for their many important roles with their freshmen,” SOS Coast Guard Ms. Anna Saleh said.
The retreat also allowed the Lifeguards the opportunity to bond with one another.
“The retreat gave me the chance to meet and to get to know a lot of Lifeguards in my class that I may have never met or gotten to know,” senior Lifeguard Adrian Reyna said. “At the retreat we all learned to respect each other, and we made the SOS family that we are.”
Since the beginning of SOS in 2010, the program for the retreat has changed and continues to change to this day.
“When we started SOS we had fewer Lifeguards and no funding,” Ms. Saleh said. “Our first retreat took place at a Lifeguard’s family lake house with parent volunteers making our meals.”
“Each year we revise the learning experiences and activities to make them more powerful and more relevant to SOS as the program continues to evolve,” Mrs. Saleh added.