So it begins!!!

Tampa Connection Class of 2017-2018 Opening Retreat

So it begins!!!

Our class year has begun!  We had the privilege and pleasure of welcoming the Class of 2017-2018 at our Opening Retreat on Friday, August 25, 2017.  We had a fun-filled and action-packed full day at Busch Gardens, learning about Tampa Connection, our projects, our teams, our board of directors, and our class members.

Our mission for the day was to “Provide the class of 2017-2018 with a fun and energetic day that will prepare the class for a year of leadership development, community involvement, and relationship building with fellow team members, class members, and the Board of Directors.”  Enjoy reading below on how we accomplished this mission!

We began the day learning about the history and origin of Tampa Connection along with what we anticipate our class will learn from the programs and projects this year.  We also spent some time on fun facts (some true, some slightly embellished) as we introduced the class to our twenty four members of the Tampa Connection Board of Directors.  Our board members introduced themselves and shared their own individual community service passions with the class.

Tampa Connection Board Members Chris, Erin, Woody, Chair David and Rick

A central theme throughout the year will be leadership development.  Dr. Joe Carella, Senior Faculty at Eckerd College’s Leadership Developing Institute, and Psychologist to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led our class in a number of exercises designed to show us various leadership styles.  The class also learned different problem solving approaches along with the strengths and value that each leadership style contributes to solving common goals.

Leadership and Team Building

We then broke into teams and headed into the park for lunch, fun, and some team-building exercises.






Red Team – David A Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Red Team 2017-2018
Red Team 2017-2018

Blue Team – Hillsborough Education Foundation

Blue Team 2017-2018
Blue Team 2017-2018

Green Team – Brandon Foundation

Green Team 2017-2018
Green Team 2017-2018

Purple Team – Hispanic Services Council

Purple Team 2017-2018
Purple Team 2017-2018

Orange Team – MacDonald Training Center

Orange Team 2017-2018
Orange Team 2017-2018

After exploring the park for the afternoon, the class returned to the Gwazi Pavilion where the fun REALLY began!  Each team presented a team skit themed around “What will your Tampa Connection year look like” and also kept the energy up with a team cheers.  The Blue Team came out on top as the winner of the skit and the Purple Team’s cheer, complete with gymnastics, was the clear winner in this category!   After some closing remarks, the class enjoyed a well-attended happy hour until Busch Gardens closed at 6 PM.  Truly a day to remember!

Fun Group Shot 2017




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