CADA Leadership Camp July 2012 Recap

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 As I embark on my last year in high school, I try so hard to get new innovative ideas to bring to Newbury Park High School and beyond! This year I was honored to go back to CADA Camp up at UCSB for my third time with my colleagues from Student Government at school. We planned, envisioned, and swapped ideas with other schools. Today I am just going to reflect on some of the key learnings from this years camp.

We arrived, all anxious and spirited for camp and enjoyed a great program on the green with our fellow campers as we met people that came as far away as Georgia for these couple of days. That first night we were moved by the fast paced talker Mike Smith. He started off by telling us that “your in charge of your attitude” and that “Leadership is making mistakes, admitting them and learning from them.” Mike went on and told us that we need to be in the “Change Business” if you want something. Then he got more personal about changing lives on campus and he told us that it started with Student Government. He went on and declared that we need to be in the “People Business Too.” Lastly he said if you want to change anything on campus in business or in the world around us it starts with a “smile” then you will need to “Step up to Do it!”

The next day, we all had to recover from Mike Smith and that killer Dance we attended at UCSB. The morning started off with my council, (council 15) leading program on the green to get everyone’s body moving after a long first day. We introduced our dance for the Flash Mob video which was to “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. In our council we had a huge debate on the song choice but through the leadership of a few people they took control and gave us options to vote on and be able to tell a story as well. That night we heard from our second speaker, Matt McFayden. He was an Aussie and everyone giggled over his accent and how he said certain words. The crowd just loved him and would not stop clapping after every word he said. But as he told us his stories of being on dangerous adventures to the north pole and the arctic he reminded us that we need to “Cherish your Friends.” His reason was simple because when you cherish your friend you can look to the right and left and there will always be someone their for you. At the end of the night our Student Government group discussed some goals for our senior year. Some of them included a winter formal and a link crew and communicating better with the student body.

Our third day came very fast. This day my council started to film for the Flash mob. We had to film each council expressing a character trait a leader would use then at the end would be the video of the whole camp dancing to One Direction. That night we were inspired by a new speaker that no one had heard of before. Her name was Harriet Turk from the South and yes she had an accent that the crowd roared too.  Her topic focused on “shedding your invisible costume and being yourself!” She went on by explaining that believing in yourself does not always have a positive outcome. The crowd was quiet. Harriet continued and  said that you need to “Get up and get in the Game regardless of how you Look!” But before that “you need to honor and respect you before you honor and respect each other.” After those serious words she got the crowd going by saying “when people start to put you down tell them it ain’t your DREAM!” As she rattled up the whole crowd she affirmed with us that you need to plan from your “Heart not the Mind.” Her last remark was People are watching what you DO rather than what you Say!” Harriet than got a huge round of applause and as she exited the stage the talent show was on! This years talent featured solos, duets and even dance crew from different schools. Our camp director Ron reminded us that this talent show had a lot of shirts coming off and how it should not happen when we headed over to our last dance in a courtyard under the famous UCSB tower. On our last day, we reflected and remembered our experiences from the last few days of camp.

One Team, One School, One Community, One Family

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Tonight I write to my Panther Family and the Greater Newbury Park Community. Through this last spring serving as the NPHS Baseball announcer it has shown me how a true family comes together. When the Panthers lost the game for league vs. Agoura, the team put their caps down but the fans were there to lift them up to the first round of playoffs vs. Long Beach Wilson. After the Long beach Victory the team had a grin of hope going into El Torro and eventually surpassing them. Then came the underdog Saugus, regardless of the disappointing coin toss the coaches still coached and the players listened.  After the big win at Saugus and the memorable night at Lampost Pizza and long bus ride home the team had a smile on their face while playing master slave and the number two pitcher on the team got killed by the announcer of the team. (aka me) Then the big game to determine if this team could come together to get to Dodger Stadium but only one roadblock was in the way Mater Dei #1 in the nation at the time according to ESPN. As I traveled down on the team bus for a huge game, I noticed that the team’s focus was not on stats or newspaper articles but just getting on bases regardless of who is throwing the pitch. The team sure proved that they believed in themselves and not just an idea of believing but a feeling of believing as they embarked on Dodger Stadium. After that game the Community came together as one by organizing Fan buses which was sponsored by NPHS ASG, and Cronies Sports Grill. The big day came and it all started with a game of master slave in the bus while we sat in LA traffic. As I was losing, I thought to myself that this team had it in them because they Believed as I stated the night before the game at their annual year end banquet. As we all walked in together all you can do is go WOW and try to take it all at once but we took it all in as a team not as individuals which in the end gave us the CIF Championship. Not a win just for the Baseball Team but a win for One community that came together to support this group of young gentlemen. This team never stopped believing through the playoffs regardless of the opponent or the stadium or the stats, they believed together that with ONE team, ONE School, One Community, and eventually One BIG FAMILY that anything can be accomplished if you believe in yourself and in each other.  I want to thank the amazing Panther Family for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime.


Daniel Lacey