At the beginning of May, The Blue Ribbon (TBR) had the privilege of engaging a group of student leaders from the National University of Singapore’s College of Alice and Peter Tan (CAPT) in a 3-day leadership retreat at Kulim Eco-Trail Retreat (KETR). TBR was tasked to be the catalyst to enable the students to cogitate and ruminate over the challenges that face leaders – in essence, to arm them with a diagnostic framework that will enable them to identify specific leadership challenges and the potential remedies.
The leaders were CAPT’s Resident Assistants (RA), Neighborhood Heads (NH) to College Student Committees (CSC). Suffice to say their challenges were myriad and as facilitators TBR coaxed out of them their grievances and frustrations for them to thrash them out and come up with viable and contextual solutions. It was especially gratifying and also constructive as many of the leaders got to interact with each other for the first time despite being from the same college.
KETR, located in an old palm oil plantation and housed the manager’s estate on the banks of the Johore river, was ideal to put things into a practical perspective with outdoor activities such as raft building to get the students to appreciate the virtues of teamwork. The three days culminated in a pleasant two-hour hike up Banana Hill with stunning views of the surrounding area.
The packed three days we hope will serve to put into a motion a mindset that will enable the students to appreciate the complexities of leading, but also the utmost importance of humility and value in serving as leaders; to lead so as to serve something greater than themselves and not to be daunted by the inherent challenges.