Over the past several days, the entire Ironwood campus has managed to partake in many productive, exciting and fun events. While we have all been away from our family, it has been easy to recognize that we are never alone. Our friends and staff have been supportive, our memories are still with us and the hope and opportunity that lies ahead provides the most comforting of thoughts.
As the new year neared, each of our students had some time to reflect on 2018. Students were asked to take pride in what they had accomplished, acknowledging their challenges and all that has been overcome. We spent time sharing precious memories and past events that made many smile. It was easy to recognize for many that 2018 was a year to be proud of.
Students also spent time pondering what they wanted most out of 2019. Not only did everyone share their own individual resolutions like “Continuing to learn Japanese…creating a better relationship with my family and waking up with a smile everyday”. They also spent time thinking about ways to support the follow- through of these important goals. Later, students viewed a movie about a young man who struggled to return home after being separated from his family. He finds a similar lost wolf companion in the forest and starts a friendship that would change his humanity. “Alpha” is the movie, if you’d like to view it over this weekend.
In between groups, school, chores, and snow shoveling, there has been plenty of opportunity to enjoy the snow, as well. Epic snow sled races down the Beaver Pond hill, makeshift snowboarding (on sleds), snowman making and a “revolutionary war style” snow ball battle that was hilarious to observe.
During a social group, students had the opportunity to learn about different styles of leadership…Democratic, Authoritarian, and Laissez Faire. Students split into groups and took turns being their own leader of the group and picking one of these styles of leadership. Then, the stage was set for a 3 way game of capture the flag. After each game, the students discussed what was beneficial about each style and when it might be appropriate to use this in a general life setting.
While there has been plenty to celebrate, the mission of the Ironwood campus has remained focused on individual growth, accountability, and progress. Highlights of student hand rolling sushi and a night sky filled with fireworks to welcome the new year has not distracted our students from what is most important, making the most out of their day and accomplishing their individual goals in preparation for a return home. All of us at Ironwood are excited to see how much our students can accomplish in the months to come. Happy New Year to everyone and we wish you a most pleasant weekend!