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Leadership TriCounty Class of 2023 September Sessions

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Posted on Monday, December 5, 2022
By: Hailey Heimbach
Categories: General

Leadership TriCounty Class of 2023 September Sessions


September 8th- in the classroom with Mayor Stephanie Henrick

September 8th officially kicked off the start of the 2023 Leadership TriCounty cohort. It was a great day getting to know fellow classmates, Leadership TriCounty alumni and TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce Board Members.

We had the privilege to have breakfast with the alumni and BOD’s where we had the opportunity to hear from past participants and their experiences as well as Leaders who spoke about the growth and skills that they saw their employees gain after completing the program. One thing that was repeated multiple times from each alumnus was, “I was part of the best Leadership TriCounty class.” It was nice to hear how much they enjoyed their experience, however, our cohort declared that WE are the best class. Eileen Dautrich, TCACC President, also gave everyone a background of the program and what our expectations should be.

Everyone had the opportunity to introduce themselves, where they work, what they do, and what their own expectations were for the program. At the end of class, we wrote down our Leadership Statement that reflects how we want to grow throughout the program.

Mayor Stephanie Henrick spoke to us about her leadership journey and how she leads by example. Sometimes all you have to do is listen in order to lead. She said that she was not born to be a leader and was always following others. When she came to Pottstown, she finally felt a sense of community that she never felt before when living in California. This sense of community encouraged her to give back and the role as mayor was her opportunity to do that.

Mayor Stephanie Henrick stated that being a leader of any kind is hard work and can become personal but it’s important to stay strong and genuine to be the best leader because in the end it’s worth it. Even the best leaders have breakdowns, it just shows that they are human too. Being a leader is being open to criticism and trying to be better every day.

The Pottstown Mayor then went on to say that it’s important to face a mistake head on, because when you push it to the side, it only becomes bigger. She left us with being a leader doesn’t mean you’re perfect and you will make mistakes. What you should do is learn from those mistakes and try your best not to make them twice.

This first session was very eye opening to what leadership is versus how it is depicted. No leader is perfect, but they should continue to learn every single day to be the best leader possible. It was wonderful to get to know my classmates more on a personal and professional level.


September 9th- class bonding at Althouse Arboretum

Away from the safety of the yellow school bus and individual’s cars, we embarked on an adventure that would bring us closer together as a team and teach us about Green Allies. We gathered under a pavilion to hear the story of the “island” called the Althouse Arboretum. The informative debriefing was delivered by the master leader, executive director of Green Allies, Ken Hamilton. Green Allies is a private nonprofit organization with a mission to “empower and support students as they become environmental leaders”. Not only is Green Allies known far and wide for the Althouse Arboretum, an outdoor activity center completely designed and managed by high school students, the organization is willing to support and assist other organizations seeking to empower students. Like all great organizations, support is needed to help continue their work. Throughout the year, Green Allies welcomes partnerships with local businesses and community members but on September 9, 2022, our team was selected to conduct a very important mission for the organization.

Our mission was to travel to Althouse Island, find, safely secure and return Jimmy the Koala Bear to his natural habitat. Our team, which, by the way, is the most awesome leadership team ever, was not afraid to get physically close and collaborate on how to sail across the water, as an entire team, to Althouse Island. Once on the island, we quickly located Jimmy who was calmly sitting across a lava field. While one may think of crossing a lava field as crazy and impossible, the most amazing leadership team ever quickly had creative solutions to share. At first, a teammate, who had Herculean strength moved boulders; however, the gods of the island instructed us they would need to be returned. So a new plan was put in place. Teammates assisted each other to create a walkway with conveniently discarded planks, located nearby. Two fearless individuals took the lead and hopped across the boulders and helped anchor a plank. Once the first plank was put in place, the group laid another plank down, then one by one, each teammate walked high above the lava field. While the team balanced on the plank, the caboose of the group raised the last plank above nearby teammates, who then carried the plank to the front of the group so the final plank would bring us across the lava.

Once on the island, the team divided into smaller groups and embarked on an exploration of the island. We convened in a classroom which was established as a meet-up point. After some discussion we made our way to a low ropes site. Thanks to the supportive presence of teammates, we safely carried Jimmy across the tightrope. Next, we were met with the challenge of scaling up a mountain. Utilizing physical strength to support and lift members up and over the mountain, the team quickly brought another task to a close. But, just when we thought we were safely on board a ship and at the end of the mission, we had to escape from our sinking ship. With careful placement of Jimmy, teammates assisted one another up, through, and out of the porthole that would lead us to our life boat.

When we were back on the mainland with Jimmy, the most amazing leadership team ever was rewarded with pizza, drinks, sweet treats and additional information on how the Althouse Arboretum provides opportunities for high school students to develop leadership skills and become visionary leaders who will drive environmental innovation and change.

In summary the experience provided opportunities to learn about teammates’ personalities, strengths, fears and interests all while staying focused on the team’s mission of saving Jimmy.

Tagged:General, Information, Chamber, Leadership TriCounty

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