DURHAM, N.C. -- For the fourth straight year, a group of Duke student-athletes attended the Sophomore Outdoor Leadership Experience [S.O.L.E.] at Quaker Lake Camp in Climax, NC, this past Friday and Saturday, August 29-30. Thirty-nine sophomores and 11 juniors from Baseball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Fencing, Men’s and Women’s Golf, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Rowing, Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving, Men’s and Women’s Tennis, Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, and Wrestling teams attended the annual Leadership Retreat run by the Duke Athletics Leadership Program.
S.O.L.E. focuses on helping sophomore student athletes explore and understand their leadership potential through various group and individual activities. As groups they work together to problem solve, communicate, discuss and reflect on their roles as sophomores within their team cultures. Individually they challenged themselves by pushing their limits and testing their ability to work with others. Activities included Chillin’ and Grillin’, High Ropes and Low Ropes challenges, and a session on their own behavior style through a DiSC assessment.
The juniors who joined us are current student-athletes who attend S.O.L.E. last year and displayed leadership growth and qualities during their sophomore year at Duke. During the retreat, they served as mentors and facilitators, leading group discussions on team culture, leadership qualities, and sharing their experiences as sophomores student athletes. The junior leaders are an essential part of S.O.L.E. because their experiences play a pivotal role in helping the current sophomores developmental begin as team leaders on their respective teams and as well as in the Duke Community.
Leadership theories and practices are discussed and applied throughout all retreat activities. S.O.L.E. wraps up with a reflective exercise on what each person has learned and ways they will commit to being leaders on and making their respective teams better. Overall, the experience creates awareness for current sophomores about their role as leaders and how their journey as leaders has already started.
S.O.L.E. is made possible in part by a generous gift from the Heidrick Family and has allowed more student-athletes to participate in this retreat. Spring S.O.L.E. 2015 will take place in early January for current fall sports student athletes.