The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

Launch Leadership Camp changed my life. It could change yours too.

Whenever I tell my friends I’m going to Launch Leadership Camp, their first reaction is to call it boring. They are confused why I would leave them for a week to go an hour away and spend my time with strangers. And whenever someone hears “leadership camp,” they assume it’s some boring nerd camp.  

But for anyone who has attended Launch, a program that develops leadership skills through teambuilding exercises, competitions and exposure to situations that require problem-solving, it is the best week of their summer.  

When I first attended, I felt the same way. I was an insecure, awkward 11-year-old who didn’t like talking to new people and just wanted to go home. I eventually opened up to my group and really enjoyed myself. We even cried together on the last day, something that’s held true to this year. Now, as a four-year veteran, my mom practically has to drag me away from Doane University.   

Launch was the first place I had almost full independence. I have gone to both Wayne State University and Doane with Launch. On the campuses, you are given a dorm that is yours and a roommate for the week. You are in charge of getting yourself up and ready for the day. 

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Launch divides all delegates, or “dellies”, into groups of 10-13. The people you are grouped with are in your age group and can be from anywhere in the country. Over five days at Launch, you will build life-long connections with the other people in your group. 

During the week, we participate in many different activities. There are co-op-only tasks, things you will do with a couple of other co-op groups, and whole-group festivities.  

In co-op, you will mostly do things tied to a deeper meaning, like working in groups, social awareness, and overall being a stronger leader. One of the most challenging activities from this summer was called “Uniperson.” We were split into groups of two or three and had our wrists and ankles tied to another person’s. We then had to complete a couple of activities in this state, like walking down the hall to get a drink from the water fountain and making a paper airplane. The activity didn’t end until we got to lunch, so my group of three had to walk down a flight of stairs and walk a few hundred feet to the cafeteria. This was very challenging and got extremely frustrating at many points, but the goal of this was to teach us compromise and communication.                                                                                                                                                                                         

There are also a few activities with all the other dellies in your age group. These are also tied to a deeper meaning. The most compelling activity of the week was called “The Color Purple.” Before lunch, we were all given a colored square of construction paper. This color ultimately corresponded to a social class. Orange was homeless people, green was lower class, blue was upper middle class and purple was royalty. Immediately upon entering the hall, oranges were instructed to stand along the walls in the entrance area. On the other hand, purples were applauded and escorted right to a lunch table. A prison was started, and there was almost a riot in the prison. This gave us a slightly exaggerated but compeling view of how the world can feel. This gave me a point of view I’ve never had and was very compelling to see how others in our society can be treated.  

The activities that include everyone are the most fun, though. The Olympics is the most hype night of the week. During the Olympics, you compete in co-ops and participate in several small tasks and activities, like throwing ping-pong balls into an egg carton or trying to keep feathers up in the air using your breath. You find out the results on the Banquet night. For this, everyone gets dressed up and takes pictures, and we get to eat catered food. Then, there is a ceremony dedicated to awards. My co-op placed second at the Olympics. There is also a dance after the banquet, which has a very homecoming-like feel.  

On the last night of Launch, we do a fire ceremony that is a visualization of “spreading the fire” of what we learned during Launch into our everyday lives. My most recent co-op got incredibly close during the week. By the end of the last night, we were all crying while sharing stories from the past few days. We were also able to do very intimate one-on-ones where you could explain directly to someone how they impacted you throughout the week. 

It sounds corny, but I don’t know who I’d be without Launch. I grew into myself as a person there. I not only learned about identity and morals but evaluated those things in later years. I was an extreme introvert for the majority of my life. I now consider myself an extrovert and have Launch to thank for that. Five days of forced social interaction will do that to a person. 

I cannot recommend Launch enough to my peers. Even if you aren’t a super social person, you will get more and more comfortable talking to your co-op and are guaranteed to have an amazing time. Registration for Launch is in January, so set your reminders and get ready for the best week of your summer! 

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About the Contributor
Grace Sunseri, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Grace Sunseri (she/her), and I am a Sophomore. I was voted most likely by the staff to become a conspiracy theorist. Outside of school, I enjoy golfing, traveling, and reading. I am also an avid cat lady and have 4 at home.
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