Leadership goes camping

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, September 26, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
Seventeen Atmore businessmen and women met early last Tuesday morning before embarking on the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's 15th Leadership Atmore class experience.
Since its inception, the Chamber has held an opening retreat each year at Camp Beckwith, which is hidden in the woods of Fairhope and features a challenging ropes course that teaches trust and communication skills between classmates.
Leadership Atmore steering committee chairperson Tim Manning believes this year's class bonded well at the retreat and looks forward to the monthly classes, which begin in October and teach class members about Atmore's history, culture and business and industry.
"It seems to be an exciting class," Manning said. "It didn't take long for the bonding to ignite. I feel like the overall retreat went well."
Chamber executive director Emilie Mims believes this year's class has its unique characteristics, but compliments each other like classes in the past have.
"I'm just always blown away by the Beckwith experience, but most especially, the ropes course experience," she said. "It never fails to accomplish bonding this group of individuals who boarded buses early that day as complete strangers. By that evening, many new and lasting friendships had been formed."
Mims said that when the class arrived at Beckwith, they participated in several exercises, which consisted of physical and mental challenges that "involved quite a bit of team building and consensus."
Following lunch, the class strapped up and took to the high ropes. That evening, members of the Class of 2007 served the new class a steak dinner. Wednesday morning, Denise Stewart facilitated the Myers-Briggs assessment and revealed each team members' characteristic traits based on the exam, which was taken the prior week in Atmore.
"It was exciting to see the lights of self awareness come on as Denise Stewart facilitated the Myers-Briggs portion of the retreat," Manning said.
Mims added that the class is full of friendly and outgoing people.
"The dynamics of every group are different, but we always have good groups and this group is no exception," she said. "There are many extroverts in this group as proven by the Myers-Briggs assessment, so that in itself should make for an interesting year."
Manning went on to thank the members of the Leadership Atmore steering committee, Shelly Williams, Stewart and Chuck Stevens Chevrolet and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians for providing transportation to Beckwith.

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