PCC’s Cardinal and Gold Leadership (C&G), under the supervision of Office of Student Affairs Advisor Carrie Afuso, will take a group of students and student facilitators on Oct. 18 to Camp Scherman in the San Jacinto Mountains of Riverside County to engage in a series of workshops towards self-discovery on how one can benefit their community.  

The retreat focuses on different areas of leadership. It will help students recognize and analyze the impact of their roles in life such as a sibling, youth leader, or employee. 

“It’s really to acknowledge the agency that you have as an individual in terms of how you can affect the world for better, how you can create a better community, how you can help those around you,” said Office of Student Life student intern Erika Nieblas.

Nieblas played an important role in planning the logistics of the retreat. It is her third year attending the C&G retreat, and her second year as a facilitator. She will lead many workshops throughout the retreat, using her experience to ensure students feel emotionally safe to share thoughts and experiences. 

The workshops are heavily packed into the retreat’s agenda for the entire weekend. Conflict resolution, communication, and vulnerability are a few of the themes that will be emphasized in the workshops to empower students throughout their roles in life. 

A ropes course will make its second visit to the retreat this year. The three-towered rope course is physically and mentally rigorous, forcing participants to communicate and trust each other. This activity encourages team building. 

“At first I was kind of nervous because it was my first time facilitating a whole weekend full of activities,” said Associated Students President Dionne B. Shelton, who is now a second-time facilitator. “But I was really eager to share what we planned because when we were going through applications, a lot of students felt down about themselves and were looking for a way to find friends.”

Students at the leadership retreat have opportunities to express gratitude towards each other. They decorate paper lunch bags with their names on it to look like mailboxes. The decorated bags are then stuck onto a wall where students can leave nice and appreciative notes to others. Notes will be read at the end of the retreat on the way back to PCC. 

“Since the semester started, I have been so busy studying for classes and working that I started to realize I had lost who I was as a person. I hope to gain pieces of myself through self-reflection and bonding with my fellow peers,” said first-time facilitator Albert Tran. “I also hope to establish a safe community where everyone can be themselves without apology and the campers can make friends with everyone around them just like how the previous year of facilitators did for us.” 

The application period for student retreat participation ended on Oct. 7, with a total of 46 attendees. The total includes 38 future leaders, along with seven facilitators and Afuso.

C&G events are open to all PCC students as part of The Office of Student Life (located in CC-105).

The retreat lasts through Oct. 20.

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