Sunday, April 29, 2012


Photo by: Richard Juarez

"People who are good at taking risks continually seek out and find meaning in what tests them. They embark on risky activities knowing that what they are doing makes sense to them at a very deep level of their being." -John Graham

Courage, as defined by John Graham, is facing what scares you, including risks that test your spirit as well as your body. In the book Outdoor Leadership, John Graham focuses a whole chapter on courage and shows how having this quality can help you conquer any risk and positively influence your life.

As I finished reading the chapter, I realized that my classmates and I, who chose to stay in Senior Seminar, have courage. We took on a risk. We accepted the challenge to complete a senior project while handling many other important things during our senior year. This risk is scary because of having to sacrifice other things in order to reach your end product and even having the possibility of failing, but we stuck to the project because we find a meaning in what we are doing. Whether it is composing music or guiding young women, we are doing it because it is our passion.

As I realized this, I remembered the whole point of this senior project, to find a passion and take a risk by developing a project around your passion, and this is exactly what we have been doing.

It can work Anywhere

Qualities leaders learn in the outdoors don’t have to stay in the outdoors; they can be implemented at work as well. This video called eZine Setting the Tone as an Effective Project Manager by Youtube user IndabaeTraining shows how these different qualities are used in the workforce.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sprint the last 100 m.

Alright, there is roughly a month left till the school year ends. This means that I have less than a month left until I wrap up my project and present my demonstration of mastery. I have a list of what I want to accomplish before I finish my project. First, I want to write about my experience during the Creativity Week trip and post it on my website. Second, I want to see if I can create at least one more video (I still don’t know about what I want to record) and post it on my website. Third, my Senior Seminar teacher, Susan Davis, wants me to create a curriculum of a three day trip in the outdoors and post it on my website as well. Finally, I want to make my website look more attractive, so I guess with these additional add-on’s, my website will look pretty professional. So this is what I want to shoot for before I present to the world my demonstration of mastery.

Photo by Richard Juarez

Saturday, March 31, 2012

What happened?

Image from Google Maps:

From March 5th – March 8th my school had its annual Creativity Week, and as I mention earlier, I was going to help Stephen Vrla and Lee Bryant lead a camping trip. Originally Lee had planned out to camp at Lake Houston, but because the park closes on Tuesdays we weren’t able to camp there. She chose another location, Big Thicket National Preserve, but this also didn’t work out. Lee and Stephen ended up choosing Sam Houston State Park, which is north of Houston, and that’s where we ended up camping at.

Honestly, the camping trip was more of a learning experience for me. I had planned out to teach the students about outdoor leadership, but I feel that I was the one who learned about outdoor leadership. Throughout the trip I was learning about leadership by being in charge, for the first time, of a group of 19 students and giving them instructions. I felt that I had a many mistakes here and there, but I’m glad that I had those mistakes because they uncovered many things that didn’t know. For example, I had to find a way to get the students together and quiet down before a gathering. I didn’t know how to do this at first; I would only ask them quietly to settle down, but towards the end of the trip, I got better at this and began to properly use my authority.

Throughout the trip, I felt like I didn’t pull my own weight because I didn’t do as much things as I wanted to, and Stephen and Lee were helping me out with things I should have already figured out. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right, but, now that I look back at the trip, I was feeling this way because I was learning.

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Trailer

This is a trailer I created for my Senior Project.

I am "The Leader"

Picture by Richard Juarez; PNW 6/9/10 - 7/9/10

While I was reading “Outdoor Leadership” by John Graham, I came over a passage that said that a leader should see him/herself as “The Leader”. It’s all about confidence. Even if the trip completely fails, a good leader should still have self-confidence and manage to keep everything under control.

This caught my attention because as Creativity Week comes closer, I fell as though I’m going to fail the purpose of my project. I feel as though everything is going to go out of control and Stephen and Lee will have to step in and pick up my slack. As I read this passage, I was told that it doesn’t matter if the trip fails; part of being a leader is being able to keep a cool head when everything isn’t going according to plan. Being a leader means that I will have to be confident in my decisions and keep the trip alive if something wrong happens.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Change of Location

Last Friday, I had another meeting with Stephen, Lee, and the students who are going to attend the Creativity Week camping trip, and Lee informed us that there is a possibility that we weren’t going to be able to camp at Lake Houston because the park is closed on Tuesday. She said we can work around this, but we won’t be able to camp at the park for two days as we planned.

After the meeting, Stephen, Lee, and I looked up different parks, and agreed that we would research different park over the weekend so we can find another location. Stephen informed me on Tuesday that Lee found another location called Big Thicket National Preserve. Stephen said that both him and Lee liked the area, and I agreed with them as well after I looked it up.

So now we are not camping at Lake Houston anymore, we are heading out to Big Thicket National Preserve this coming Monday. Here is a picture of where Big Thicket is located.

Image is from Google Maps.