Leading Minds is a program created by dedicated student leaders on campus with the aim of bridging the transition to Williams in a fun, community-building environment and with a focus on leadership development. In this program, students engage with a plethora of opportunities to explore themselves, gain experience working with and contributing to a team, and see the impact that they can and will have on their peers and community. This program offers a great blend of aspects of several other Ephventure programs, including outdoor activities, interactions with the off-campus community, and community building, all in ways that focus on leadership. Through full-day programs consisting of small and large group team building, workshops, personal assessment tools, ongoing dialogue, and a breadth of interactive activities both on and off-campus, participants define the beginning of their own path as a Williams student leader, forge new friendships and connections, and learn the ins and outs of living in the Purple Valley.
Day 1 – First years meet their group and their leaders, and they hit the ground running right out of the gate, engaging in team building, bonding, elevator pitches, and some friendly competition.
Day 2-3 – Focusing on the self, group, and community, Days 2 and 3 begin the activity-filled days with bonding in small groups, workshops around public speaking, planning, and leadership styles, and fun puzzles and games. Groups will also take the skills and connections made in small groups and transport them into the greater Berkshire community for on-the-ground service. Plan on getting your hands dirty, while making a difference in the lives of people you’ve never met. At the end of Day 3, look out for an eye opening, bond-forming late night experience that requires wearing hiking shoes and some heavy coats…
Day 4 – A fun day spent with your group and other groups. In the past, we have done the Camp Becket ropes course, gone camping in a cabin, and had a field day with plenty of team competition. The result of this team building will make the bonds you’ve built into something that will last. Engage in leadership in a whole different dimension, and finish with a night under the stars.
Day 5 – The self, group, community, and now back to self. As we close for one final activity together as a whole group, engage in a small dose of self care before leaping back into the remainder of First Days. Leave refreshed, awakened, and ready to take on the world as a new Eph and a leader on campus!
“It gave me guidance as well as confidence.”
“It was not what I expected, it was better! I learned a lot more than I thought I was going to, both about myself and about leadership.”
“It really helps capture what Williams is all about.”
“I expected many workshops, but never could have imagined to learn so much about myself and others.”