Written By: Heather Ullman
On September 13th, Leadership Kearney Adult Class 32 met at the Younes Conference Center South to begin their two-day retreat. The morning started off with a delicious breakfast provided by CHI, while Kara Greenwalt, with Kara Mae Photography took head shots of each class member, as well as a group photo of the class. The Pillars of Kearney Panel Discussion consisted of some of Kearney’s most prominent leaders: Chairman & CEO of Cash-Wa Distributing Company, Tom Henning; Kearney Public Schools Board Member, John Icenogle; Mayor of the City of Kearney, Stan Clouse; VP of Patient Care Services at CHI Good Samaritan, Kimber Bonner; Kearney Parks Horticulturist, Coelette Gruber; and Executive Director of the Kearney Visitors Bureau, Roger Jasnoch. After listening to each of the panelists, Clifton Strengths Instructor, Kayla Shundoff, presented the class with Leadership Development training and additional information about each of the Clifton Strengths. Upon completion of the morning training, the class had another great meal, also provided by Younes Hospitality.
After lunch, a seven-car convoy took all the class members to the retreat destination, Camp Comeca, located in Cozad, Nebraska. Upon arrival, the amazing staff distributed room keys and allowed everyone to check in and unload bags. Each room was slightly different, but all were comfortable and clean, complete with extra bedding, pillows, and towels. Access to the gymnasium, rock wall, canoeing, sand volleyball, gaga ball, and cornhole was available for a couple hours before the next scheduled training activity.
Special Education Director of ESU 10, Jean Anderson, led the group through the Hartman Personality Profile with insightful stories and engaging activities. This personality profile tool revealed each class member’s intact, innate personality. Responses to the test placed each class member into four categories appointed by colors representing a different personality. The knowledge provided helped each class member understand what motivates them and the people they interact with daily.
Camp Comeca’s hospitable staff prepared a delicious meal for all camp members, complete with chicken fried steak, green beans, mashed potatoes, salad bar, and cheesecake for dessert!
Leadership Kearney Olympics were held, encouraging each team to use critical thinking skills to achieve different recreational tasks. Each team was asked to solve a seemingly impossible problem, requiring everyone to participate and offer solutions. The teams were asked about valuable lessons learned while completing each challenge. Some responses included were listening to your team members, getting all the details before attempting to solve the problem, and trusting your teammates were just a few of the suggestions. The evening concluded with a campfire social including refreshments, s’mores, and music.
Campers woke up to a pleasant meal of biscuits and gravy, provided by Camp Comeca’s staff, before heading out to morning activities. Class members had the opportunity to experience the zip line, as well as archery. Fears were met and overcome as each individual ascended a towering pole to reach a small platform before dropping down the zipline. Archery was available, as well, for those who wanted to improve their marksmanship skills.
Wrapping up our time at the retreat, the class collaborated on ideas for the class project, which will be completed by May of 2024. Many creative ideas to better the Kearney area were discussed and considered. Plans to research details and re-approach topics with more information at the October meeting were made.
Overall, the retreat sparked inspiration, creativity, and networking skills for all the class members to apply at their place of business and amongst their peers. Special thanks to all the panelists, instructors, camp staff, and LK Class 31 members who made this experience a success!