My Experience at the CTeen Leadership Retreat

2 months ago Leighest 0

Aaron Cohen, Mequon, WI

When I found out in May that I was going to be a leader for my CTeen chapter next year, I was so excited and quickly began brainstorming ideas. But as I was thinking of how to make my chapter bigger and better than ever before, I got stuck. I called up my rabbi and he suggested that I go on the leadership retreat. I had never heard of it before, but he told me that it would be a really good experience and that I would get many ideas for our chapter which I could bring back and use. Hesitantly, I agreed to go and I tried to convince the other leader from my chapter to come with me. Although I could not convince her to come, I was excited that at least one of us was going to attend the retreat and come back with fresh new ideas.

Going into the retreat, I expected lectures on becoming religious, praying very often, and many aspects of Judaism that I didn’t feel applied to me. It wasn’t until I arrived at the hotel and saw the other teens attending that I realized how wrong my expectations were.

The people on the retreat were just like me. They were Jewish teens with varying levels of observance who mostly attended public high school. The moment I arrived at the hotel and saw this, I became even more excited to meet everyone and exchange ideas.

Throughout the retreat, I learned so much about Judaism and I feel like my connection to it grew immensely. I learned so much about so many different topics in Judaism but also leadership and what it means to be a successful leader and leading people to become leaders, rather than followers.

All in all, the entire retreat was a really amazing experience and I am so glad I went. I came back with so many ideas to improve my CTeen chapter and I cannot wait to begin in September!!