2017 Leadership Expedition

Participants get ready for an activity on the beach at the Leadership Expedition

From March 20 to March 24, 2017, 11 students at had the opportunity to embark on the Leadership Expedition - a high impact program planned collaboratively by Student Activities & Leadership Development and Outdoor Recreation. The expedition was located in the beautiful backcountry of Tomales Bay, a part of Point Reyes National Seashore just north of San Francisco.

Evening Discussion on the beach at the Leadership Expedition

Grounded in the Social Change Model, students were given the opportunity to develop commitments to further action for social responsibility and change. What made this leadership program unique, is how the grounding leadership theory was connected to experiential leadership training of Outdoor Recreation. Expeditionary skills related to group management and self awareness allowed participants to have hands on experience developing and practicing their own leadership style - providing a real life setting in which to apply the values of the Social Change Model.

Getting ready to kayak at the Leadership Expedition

This rich combination led to an environment where students could more deeply engage in exploration of their personal leadership philosophies. One student commented in a learning assessment following the trip, “My personal leadership philosophy is that anyone can be a leader by being aware of themselves and contributing their talents to groups and communities.” This quote demonstrates and understanding of the non-hierarchical nature of leadership, the necessity for individual reflection and capacity development to be a better leader, and the resolution of individual leadership with group and community leadership change efforts discussed in the Social Change Model.

Dialogue on the beach at the Leadership Expedition

Furthermore, another student mentioned, “The biggest takeaway from this trip was the absolute beauty of the bay. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we went up to the top of the hill to the elk reserve. It will be something I will never forget.” This depiction of connection to nature through experiential education, coupled with the leadership development occurring through the leadership curriculum of the trip, provided for a rich and high impact learning experience for participants.

This trip will now become an annual staple of CSUMB’s leadership initiatives. We are very excited for what next year’s expedition will have in store! For more information about this program, please contact the Coordinator of Student Organizations and Leadership Development, Derek Gutierrez: degutierrez@csumb.edu.