This upcoming year will be my fifth and launch is like any other place I've ever been. LAUNCH is a place where you just feel like an overwhelming amount of support and you know that everyone that you meet has the best intentions for you. Everyone at LAUNCH wants to see you be the best kind of person that you can be, which I think is something that you don't find in a lot of other places.
So you know these kids for five days and you make these lifelong friendships, which I think is insane because you think of some of the people that you've been to school with for the past five years and you, you wouldn't even tell some, some of them what you tell your kids at LAUNCH.
And so watch just sets you up for such a growing week. And so it's really easy to make friends. It's really easy to make those connections and it's really easy to self reflect. And I think that's one thing that LAUNCH does really well. Even though LAUNCH is five days out of the year, it sets you up for a year of success.
It gives you the inspiration and the drive and the motivation that you need to better yourself and those around you.
What's the age limit to be in LAUNCH?
So launch starts, you can start going the summer, going into your sixth grade year. So LAUNCH has three different camps. They have a middle school camp, a high school camp and then a senior camp. So in middle school you can go as soon as you're going into sixth grade and that's sixth through eighth. And then you go into SLW, which is the high school camp, which is the summer going into 9th through 12th. And then if you're a delegate who has been there before and you're going into your senior year, you go into ALW which, which is what I'm going to be in this upcoming year.
What if you are an introvert and completely nervous to go into a camp like this and they spend the night imagine, right?
Would it be okay for someone like that or do you need to be like an extrovert and a leader and confident?
Yes. So, I've always been an extrovert, so it's something that I haven't experienced personally, but so you get in these groups called co-ops and so I've had four different co-ops throughout the year, um, throughout the years that I've gone. And I would say at least 50% of my co-op are introverts. You do say overnight you get assigned a roommate from a different school, promoting those new connections again.
And I think that introverts strive probably more than the extroverts do just because launch is a place that you learn that confidence and you feel that confidence because they set it up so differently than anything in school that it's a place where you, you can kind of take those little risks and learn that confidence. And it's really cool as an extrovert to see all my introverts kind of break open their shells by the end of the week, which is something that LAUNCH is perfect for introverts, I would say.
So what have you learned at launch that you've taken it into the next year, that, that has helped you?
I think one of the biggest things I've learned every year is, as I said, I'm a pretty big extrovert. I think one of my biggest things is the skill of observation. So everyone takes something different away from LAUNCH. But my thing that I always really reflect on is I need to spend more time observing others, um, in order to make myself grow.
So I'm always one that will stand up and I'll just take the lead and that's kind of a natural thing for me. But I think LAUNCH has really helped me in the fact, I need to let others take the lead and then I can observe what, what tendencies do they have, what can they do? And honestly, that has made me such a better leader myself because the skill of observation is a phenomenal way to learn without being the leader.
So give me an example of what that means, like what would you observe? Like someone doing that that teaches you something. What would an example look like?
Outside of a LAUNCH or in LAUNCH?
Um, in LAUNCH.
Ok. So in LAUNCH, throughout your day you do a whole bunch of different activities. So for example, sometimes we have activities where our group has to get through four or five different puzzles in a certain time limit. We have to get everyone through the puzzle. Everyone has to participate in a certain way. So naturally I'm always the one that's like, okay guys, what's the plan? Like we're going to go through this.
So in an observational learning system, I would be the last one to say something. But then I get to watch how other leaders would tackle the problem. And I think that it's really made me realize my own strengths and weaknesses because, I do have really strong weaknesses and so it's nice because when someone else has that has my weakness as a strength, I get to watch how they, how they would handle the situation with that strength. And that's made me better, my weaknesses.
What would you consider your weakness?
I would one say trying to please everyone within a group team dynamic is really interesting because you don't want conflict, but at the same time you have to efficiency is also very key. And so I'm, I'm the person that goes around the circle. Okay. What's your opinion? What's your opinion when sometimes you just have to be efficient and make those decisions for your group to be successful? And so I think that would be one of my weaknesses.
Another one of my weaknesses, I think, would be maybe overlooking some ideas that are thrown out into the group just because once, once my group does get on a plan, I'm like, full force, "K let's go with his plan" rather than like getting into it and being like, "Oh, maybe let's go in a completely different direction." So sometimes my creativity, once we have a plan isn't as prominent as I would like it to be. So those are two things that I have bettered by watching others lead.
That's very interesting. I'm always the type of person that also takes the lead, but I do it more in a way of pushing myself to be more confident. But that's interesting to think about is as not taking the lead and seeing and learning from what other people say and how they approach it and solve the problem.