“It was awesome to feel like it’s okay to be me!”
– Wyakin Warrior quote from Warrior Retreat 2022.
For the 3rd year in a row, the Wyakin Foundation hosted a Warrior Retreat at Pilgrim Cove on Payette Lake in beautiful McCall, Idaho. The retreat was created to give the Warriors time to relax, gather together in comradery, and attend special professional development that benefits them in their personal and professional journey. Since the first year, the retreat has grown to become something the Warriors look forward to each year.
This year’s Retreat was planned by Wyakin Warriors Juan Garcia and Linda Hammond. The weekend was focused on the theme “Captivate, Persuade, Engage” with Dustin Leffingwell from Effective Presentations out of Denver, Colorado as the guest speaker. Dustin’s message focused on how Warriors can work to present themselves in an effective way both in a group setting and in individual conversations.
Sessions focused on building a story matrix of their experiences to include content, design, and delivery in their communication along with posture, gestures, eye contact, voice, and the use of pauses instead of filler words.
“This was awesome. I learned how to better use volume and eye contact. I also learned how to manage the flow of a conversation.”
A favored tradition that began in the first year was the campfire time in the evening with live music. The first year, a Wyakin Warrior brought his guitar and played while a fellow Warrior sang Hallelujah. Now, Warriors bring their musical instruments and look forward to the campfire music at the end of the day.
What’s a team-bonding retreat without outdoor recreation and games? The Warriors played a host of games like the human knot (shown below) to reinforce their communication skills and build lasting memories. The bonds created at the Retreat lead to lasting friendships that make the phrase Wyakin Family ring true.
“The experience really helped me step out of my shell, feel comfortable marketing myself and my skills, and create strong bonds with my peers. I am eager to apply my improved communication skills and think that the Warrior Retreat was very helpful.”