Campus Ministry applications for the 2021-2022 Big Brother and Senior Retreat Leadership programs recently became available for the junior class.
The Big Brother program is meant to introduce incoming freshmen to the Loyola community and teach them about the school’s traditions, while the Senior Retreat Leadership program is supposed to foster the growth and development of the junior class through small group discussions at the Junior Leadership Retreat.
Campus Ministry Program Coordinator Christian Astran said, “I think the most important value articulated by all of these programs is the value of Servant Leadership as an all-encompassing call to change how they live out their lives on a daily basis.”
With limited spots available, these programs tend to be very selective. Campus Ministry tries to choose students who have proven themselves as leaders in the Loyola community and are willing to serve their Cubs brothers above all else.
Astran added, “Servant leaders are not the loudest people in the room or the highlight grabbing leader, they are the person willing to sacrifice their own success and glory to make a huge difference in the lives of their communities.”
Many of the juniors applying to these programs attended the Junior Leadership Retreat to learn about becoming servants of the community. Through group discussions and activities, students learned valuable lessons about becoming leaders who can better serve their communities and influence others to do the same.
Junior Jack Wynperle said, “The retreat made me consider what it means to go from being a member of the Loyola community to being a leader of the community. The self-reflection we did allowed me to consider what my strengths are and how I can use them to better serve those around me, which I feel will make me a much better Big Brother.”
In addition to teaching servant leadership, the retreat encourages many Cubs to leave their comfort zones and seek leadership opportunities where they can share their experiences with younger students.
Junior Spencer Lee said, “My experience at the retreat gave me the opportunity to engage in an open discussion with my peers. The candid discussions allowed me to open up and create a safe space where I felt comfortable around my fellow Cubs all the time. As a Big Brother, I want to share my experience of honesty and have incoming freshmen open up, cementing our community as one of inclusion.”
The retreat also utilized group activities to emphasize the importance of working together, which is something Loyola wants from their leaders.
Junior Jack Shoemaker said, “The biggest lesson I learned on the retreat was how important it is to have every person in the group work together. We learned how we are as only strong as our weakest link. The games and problems we had to solve showed this very clearly. If one person was not being productive, the whole group would slowly follow those same actions.”
Shoemaker concluded, “I am really excited to see how successful our Big Brother groups will be after learning these [retreat]skills. I feel that if everyone is willing to be selfless and give up glory, we should be able to grow as a group and people.”