Division D Leadership Camp

Every Hero’s journey starts with a call for an Adventure. The Hero goes from his or her current reality to the unknown. They gets help from mentor(s) through this unknown. They go through the dark abyss. Finally, going through a transformation, he or she steps back into the known world, having grown wiser during the process. That is the Hero’s Journey as described by Joseph Campbell. A Hero’s journey is found in all types of art forms, be it the journey of Luke Skywalker which leads him to becoming a Jedi Master or Frodo Baggins who goes through the adventure of his life with his best friend and comes out at the end a changed man.

The weekend  of August, 11th-12th, 2018, a group of people heard the call for an adventure by Olga Turek-Woźniak, Division D Director of District 108, to come to a weekend full of learning, fun and adventure at the Leadership Camp of Division D at Częstochowa, Poland. The first of its kind in the history of this Division.

The things we learned together are the following:

  1. As Area Directors, we can learn not 1, not 2, but 45 transferable skills that we can use in our professional as well as our personal lives.
  2. Mentoring is not only beneficial for protégés, but also for mentors and there is a way to structure the whole process of mentoring in Toastmaster clubs which benefits all members.
  3. Building club quality is about building members up, making them our stars and our ambassadors.
  4. Pathways is not only an improvement of the education program, but it is a revolution, that prioritizes members’ personal needs by providing flexibility.
  5. To organize successful contest, you need to read the latest Bible. The Bible called Speech Contest Rulebook, but not just read, THINK.
  6. All it takes to engage corporate clubs, is to create a personal relationship with them.
  7. Visionary leaders, empower their teams and trust them, not taking everything on themselves.
  8. Our sources of power are both inside us and in our teams. Use them.
  9. To become distinguished areas, we need to focus on our current clubs and our members, provide quality and things will fall into place.
  10. Teams work together to achieve common goals and help each other when they need help.
  11. There are many opportunities for improving our communication and PR by sharing best practices between our clubs and pulling our resources that already exist but are scattered.

It was not all about learning and challenges, but also fun. We spent a wonderful evening roaming around Częstochowa. We visited the famous Jasna Gora Monastery, went for a nice dinner and drinks in the city. Some of us even went in search of salsa dancing and found some disco polo instead, but they still rocked the floor with their dancing skills.

Piotr Chimko, District Director, joined us for an inspiring and enlightening session towards the end of the camp, fusing new energy in us through his enthusiasm and passion for Toastmasters.

At the end of this Hero’s journey, we all came out wiser, motivated and determined to make our division, President’s Distinguished Division.

The event was attended by all five Area Directors as well as the Assistant Division Director for Program Quality, Administration, PR and Finance.

Author: M Zain Ul Abidin, Area Director 2018-2019, www.zainspeaks.com

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