HOBY Olympics is a really great team building time for ambassadors, and always one of the highlights of Kansas HOBY. We had a beautiful night last night on the Quad on the K-State campus for Olympics. Ambassadors came together as groups and participated in a variety of games, cheering each other on the whole time.
We moved into Phase 2 of leadership this morning -- group leadership. After a team building and problem solving activity (which one group finished in only 10 minutes!), we had a panel discussion on media. The ambassadors had so many great questions for each of the panelists. Our panelists:
Kent Cornish, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters President
Beth Howell Day, Wamego Smoke Signal Newspaper Editor
Officer Matthew Droge, Public Information Officer for Riley County Police Department
Corey Reeves, Operations Director of Manhattan Broadcasting Station
After the panel was the Career Luncheon, sponsored by Westar Energy. Professionals from a variety of fields (accounting, law, medicine, photography, banking, business, architecture, agriculture, economics, law enforcement, higher education, pharmaceuticals, biology, etc.).
After the luncheon, the ambassadors hosted a carnival for community children, sponsored by Meritrust. It was high energy, lots of fun for everyone, and gave the ambassadors a chance to welcome children and cheer them on as they played various carnival games. They're now participating in more service projects for the rest of the afternoon!
Today, Kansas HOBY 2015 kicked off to a great start despite the rainstorm that started right at the beginning of registration time! The rain didn't stop our excited junior staff members from rushing to greet arriving ambassadors and carry all of their luggage. For those of you who are familiar with HOBY cheers, we were literally "singing in the rain."
The rain eventually let up, though, and we had some time for groups to get to know each other before starting Opening Ceremony, where we heard from our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Emily Lehning, the Assistant Vice President for Student Life and Director of New Student Services at Kansas State University.
Our ambassadors were also introduced to Phase 1 of leadership, the idea of personal leadership. Within this phase, they all completed a personality profile and learned more about the color of their personality, which helps define their strengths as a leader and team member.
We just wrapped up our first panel discussion on education, with a focus on the various options available to students post-high school.
Tonight, we'll start preparing for our service project tomorrow! It was a successful day at Kansas HOBY!
Our staff started off the morning with some Varsity Donuts and fruit to pump them up for the day. It’s a rainy day at the K-State campus, but we won’t let that stop us! Our enthusiasm is through the roof! Ambassadors are arriving and registration has officially begun. After everyone is moved into their rooms, we will all join together for Opening Ceremonies, which includes staff introductions and a fun skit. Then, we’ll jump right into Phase 1! We are ready for an absolutely OUTSTANDING weekend!!
The first station consisted of making dog toys. Ambassadors started by cutting scraps of denim into strips. They then braided the strips and tied knots in the end to ensure they would stay together. Over 200 dog toys were made to be sent to humane societies all around the Manhattan area.
The next rotation was the project of making bibs. Ambassadors used denim and t-shirt material to cut out a pattern. They would then pin the two pieces of fabric together followed by attaching a shape such as a star or heart, also made out of t-shirt material, to the front. The bibs would later be sent to foster home systems. 55 bibs were pinned and ready to go by the end of all rotations.
Lastly, the groups would rotate to the flowers station. Here, each rotation of groups had their own jobs. First group transported all the potting soil, flowers, and pots to the area that we would be planning. Next group was in charge of putting rocks and soil in the bottoms of each pot to prepare for the next group to plant. After third group planted flowers, the fourth and final group loaded to pots of flowers back into vehicles to be transported to a local nursing home.
With phase two, leadership through service, finished, it leaves only one phase left.
Spirit Stick history was broken as two groups came together to take the win at roll call.
Groups one and two decided to take a new approach on winning the spirit stick. Instead of doing the traditional chant at role call, the two groups combined a cheer so that both groups could receive the award.
“Team work can promote victory, I think the idea of working together paid off,” said Dakota Reynolds, Group 1 member.
With this being said, the group has started a new way of doing cheers at role call. Later in the day, two groups combined, however their efforts did not result in winning the spirit stick.
“It felt good to start a new trend. We represented real life and you will always have to work with other people. It taught us to work together,” said Maria Zurschmiede, Group 2 member.
At the end of the day, the team of two unanimously agreed that the memory of working together for a common goal will be remembered forever.
Leading through creativity, Group 9, Batman, receive the spirit stick after winning the group flag-decorating contest.
“I think we really bonded when we made the flag because we put Laffy Taffy down where certain colors should be. It was fun and we all had a common goal,” said Kami Miller, Group 9 member.
Through the flag decorating activity, the teams were able to bond and become closer. They also made memories that they agreed would be remembered forever.
“We easily just got together with some strangers and became a team, not a group, very fast,” said Yadira Nunez, Group 9 member.
Although this was the group’s first time winning the spirit stick, they agreed that it was a gateway to more successes, helping them come together as a team.
“I think it will help us win more because when we were all determined to win, we won, and everyone’s spirit went up,” said Tayler Mount, Group 9 member.
Sarah Koehn was happy to have the opportunity to address the seminar for the second of her three designated time slots. Her phase two of the Kansas HOBY’s leadership development centered on group leadership. Ambassadors did not just learn about groups, but rather teams. The difference between a group and a team is that a team has both a common mission and goal, and they cannot accomplish the task alone. Another main point was that successful groups are heterogeneous. In other words, teammates need to vary in strengths and weaknesses. The Ambassadors were told an analogy about six people on an elevator. They are a group until the elevator gets stuck, and then they become a team. Ambassadors were asked to reflect upon the question of whom they would bring if they were on the elevator after they did a self-evaluation of their most effective leadership role. Koehn made clear that “it is really uncomfortable…” to build a team with uncommon people. Nevertheless, the underlining message was everyone needs people who are different on their team!
Sarah Linn introduced SMART goals after the Leadership 4 Service projects (community service projects) by engaging ambassadors through thinking about goals they want to attain. SMART goals is a thinking and goal-forming process that can be used to accomplish goals. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Several students shared their ideas with the whole group, and they were analyzed as examples. Groups proceeded to do breakout sessions and discuss their individual ideas. This was wrapped up, and each group had the chance to share one idea they had with everyone. These will be considered for integration with a HOBY alumni event in the future!
Here to lead, mentor, and encourage Positive Mental Attitude, HOBY’s PMAs have helped the ambassadors start the process of becoming effective leaders of themselves, service and in their community.
“To be a PMA you have to have a lot of energy, a love for what you’re going to help the ambassadors with for what they are going through. Also just an outstanding attitude,” said Barrett Simon, Mr. PMA.
Not only do the PMAs lead all 200 ambassadors in cheer, and confidence, they also support the junior staff and make sure they have what they need to be effective leaders as well.
“I guess something that people don’t know is that one of our biggest challenges is keeping the seminar on time and making sure that all the ambassadors are present. We also want to make sure that our J-Staffers have a high morale and good PMA,” said Holly Ann Davis, Ms. PMA.
Mr. PMA explained the most fun part of being a PMA, exposing his love for HOBY.
“I just think we’re maybe the ones to take them out of their comfort zones. And being the ones they look to even before they meet their groups is my favorite part,” said Simon.
Between all the hard work, the PMA’s agree that their position on staff is fun, and worth while to ambassadors and HOBY as whole.
“We serve as role models and mentors and someone who they can look up to. We strive to be the face of HOBY because we represent the image that HOBY is,” said Davis.