DURHAM, N.C. -- For the third year in a row, Duke sophomore student-athletes from winter and spring sports attended the Sophomore Outdoor Leadership Experience [SOLE] at Camp Chestnut Ridge this past weekend. This year an increased number of sophomore student-athletes, along with a new addition of Junior Leaders, were able to attend SOLE due to a generous gift from the Heidrick Family. 36 sophomore and 12 Junior Leaders attended SOLE this fall.
The addition of the Junior Leader component provides the opportunity to juniors who attended SOLE last year as sophomores to attend SOLE the following year as a Junior Leader. Juniors were paired up together to be the leaders of a group of sophomores. Junior Leaders were responsible for small group discussions, assisting with the participation of sophomores in activities, and the running of events.
The focus of SOLE is to help student-athletes explore and understand leadership in various capacities through activities, both individual and in groups, which challenge their comfort zones. These activities include high and low ropes courses, leadership development sessions, and fun times by the campfire. Service and serving others is an important component of leadership. Therefore, in addition to the greater number of student-athletes attending SOLE, a service component was added to SOLE this year to address all areas of leadership.
Leadership theories and practices were discussed and applied throughout the retreat activities, and student-athletes were encouraged to think of ways they could use their experiences with their respective teams. Group sessions focused on various leadership topics, such as effective communication and team culture.
Overall, Fall SOLE 2013 was another success. Many sophomore student-athletes already requested to be Junior Leaders for Fall SOLE 2014. The fall sport sophomore student-athletes will have the opportunity to attend SOLE this spring.