While many students kept busy enjoying the last few weeks of the summer, members of the Indiana Wesleyan University athletic department boarded a plane for scenic Glen, Mont. for the second annual Student Athlete Leadership Summit on Aug. 6.
Those invited on the week long trip included one student from each IWU sports team, one athletic training student, Athletic Director Mark DeMichael and several coaches.
“This year, for the first time, we had the opportunity to go to Montana,” DeMichael said. “There is an organization called the Gainey Foundation that built a camp out on a ranch in Montana. The foundation’s ministry is college leadership training, so Mr. Gainey invited us out there this past year to come out during the summer.”
According to DeMichael, the purpose of the trip was two fold: first to develop servant leaders within the athletic department, and second, to unify the athletic department.
“We basically learned what it really means to be a servant leader,” said tennis player Kyle Johnson (so). “I struggled with the question, ‘Can I really be a servant leader like Christ was?’”
Daniel Martin (jr), the athletic training representative, said he enjoyed “learning about others’ leadership styles and how they deal with different issues that come up during the year.”
Students also got to know their fellow athletes better.
“I had really good talks with the other people that went,” Johnson said. “The setting was perfect and I really grew as a person and got to know others well.”
DeMichael said he sees this trip continuing for years to come: “The Gaineys have invited us out until further notice, so provided we can raise the money to get all the athletes out there, we will be going to Montana. And even if we can’t go to Montana, we will go somewhere, because this is something that is important and consistent with our athletic department mission.”