Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Experiencing the meaning of the word fellowship

by Paula Castaneda

Three officers, one active member and two advisors went to a conference in Syracuse on October 16-18. I feel so happy that I am one of the people that went to the conference because I learned a lot of things there. It was a Leadership conference and every night we had fellowship events. On Saturday night, we went to an indoor amusement park called WonderWorks. That night, I learned what fellowship, leadership and group work means. There is one attraction with ropes, called a High Ropes Course. It is 70 feet tall and it has different obstacles that require a lot of balance. It was a very fun experience but I was completely scared. I started to walk through some of the obstacles and at some point I couldn’t walk anymore. I felt so scared that I didn’t want to do it. So I was stuck in one place until my advisor came and she helped me to advance. My advisor started to encourage me, to tell me that I can do it and that she was not going anywhere without me. Her words made me leave my fear and advance. My fellow officers and new friends from the conference were also telling me that I can do it and they advised me how to continue and what was the easiest way. My teammates helped
me to move past my fear with their encouragement words. They were telling me things like “I came through this way, it’s easier,” “do it like this…,”  “it’s ok to be scared but we know you can do it” and so on. With their words they made me think that I didn’t want to disappoint anybody. It was a new challenge that I overcome at the end with their help. In that moment, I experienced the meaning of a leader and being surrounded by friendly people that have the same interest as I do.

Another attraction where I learned the meaning of teamwork was similar to a bike. It has
two seats, one behind the other one and we have to pedal in order to make it work. Before my partner and I, another couple were in the ride. Both of them were pedaling and they had to make a 360 degree turn by pedaling which they did. When we got our turn, I didn’t pedal because I was also scared. I was thinking about what would happen if we got stuck upside-down because we didn’t pedal enough. As a consequence, we couldn’t make the whole turn because my partner was the only one pedaling. Everybody has challenges and they help us to build strength, experience and our dreams are behind every challenge.

Thinking about this,  I am working to overcome my fears making myself more confident of the things that are out there, of the results of the work that me and my teammates can do. As a result, I am becoming a better teammate because all of my friends in the conference made me understand that our fears don’t let us progress. In that moment, I realized that team work is very important. Sometimes, you cannot do things just by yourself and you have to learn how to work with the people around you. You have to trust your work with others in order to achieve a goal, but others also have to be able to trust in you.

I like roller coasters but these kinds of attractions where you have to make them work make me feel insecure. It makes me feel that if you do something wrong, it may fail and cause an accident. However, I am really happy I was there because I learned important things like how to be a good leader when everybody started to encourage me to continue my path in the obstacles with ropes. I also learned the importance of teamwork when my partner and I couldn’t accomplish the goal of making the 360 degree turn because I didn’t pedal. Teamwork and leadership are very important because we need both of them when we want to accomplish a goal that involves other people. We are going to find a lot of situations in our lives where we have to work with different people in order to get somewhere or do something and the best way to do it, is learning those two skills.

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