November 10, 2016
This past week Platoon Leaders and Team Leaders gathered in Philadelphia for our annual Platoon Leader Summit. Over the weekend they learned skills from experts and each other that will help them create kickass service events, build relationships in their communities, and cultivate a thriving platoon.
Our Platoon Leaders are dedicated to making meaningful and sustainable impact in the communities they serve. They all have different leadership styles and different perspectives they bring to the table, and each person has something to help their peers learn and grow.
We’ve seen many different kinds of successful Platoon Leaders. But they all have a few core things in common. Based on the feedback we’ve gotten from our City Impact Managers, we’ve come up with a recipe for a kickass service project.
- Selfless. They think about others and will sacrifice their time and energy to make sure the platoon is successful.
- Personable. Someone who takes the time to get to know their platoon members’ background, stories, personal life, professional life.
- Safe. People feel safe around this person and know that they’ll listen to what they have to say and that they’ll take care of them in any way they can.
- Genuine. The most successful people we’ve worked with are genuine. They want to serve, love to serve others, and the platoon gives them ability to serve again. These people truly love their members for their efforts in supporting the platoon but also love them as people.
- First, with your selflessness, take two huge scoops of unrelenting drive towards accomplishment and put it in a bowl.
- Then, along with your personable and genuine character, blend in a few sprigs of homegrown task leaders and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Pour on top of safety, and bake for 1 hour with a top coat of volunteer appreciation, bake for another 15 minutes if needed.
- For an extra boost, sprinkle with swag and food.
- Salt to taste.
We put this recipe to the test, and the results were beautiful. Take a look at what we accomplished at the Platoon Leadership Summit! We held an Innovation Fair and working groups which were designed to let attendees explore and define excellence in their platoons.
Summit attendees also participated in a service project at Thomas Edison High School. This high school is located in Kensington and Fairhill, areas colloquially known as “The Badlands.” Regional Resource Specialist and project lead Marvin Cadet said, “Thomas Edison High School serves some of the most economically disadvantaged youth in the city.” Marvin explains, “poverty and drug abuse are very serious issues here.”
For this service project, we decided to refresh and beautify the school to give the building a more welcoming and positive presence. We broke up into teams and did painting, landscaping, bench building, and general clean up. We also upgraded their softball and football fields. It was inspiring to see teachers, staff, and students come out to join us. We worked hard and had fun along the way too.
This weekend was created to empower Platoon Leaders and their Team Leaders to innovate, network, and build skills to help their platoons be bigger and better. This year was by in large a great success, and we look forward to seeing what these platoons accomplish in their communities.
Feel inspired by what you just read? You can report for duty in your community with The Mission Continues too! Join us by serving with a Service Platoon at an upcoming service event near you or applying for a fellowship. You can learn more about our programs on our website and stay updated on the latest news and announcements on Facebook and twitter.