Leadership Conference in New Mexico

Monday, June 22, 2015

Where do I even begin to talk about this trip. It was honestly one of the most exciting things I have ever done. Okay so maybe it's not risky exciting or I'm so happy I could just explode exciting, but it was definitely exciting. I looked forward to this trip for the entire year hoping that I would be one of the 10 students that got to attend. When I received the email notifying me that I had been selected I was so excited I could almost explode excited ;) I immediately responded that I would love to attend and so it began....

Santa Fe, New Mexico

We were to be in the downstairs lobby of our dorm building by 4:30 a.m. so that we could leave at 5 a.m. Once our coordinator arrived we all got in the van and headed off. We drove there in one of those 12 passenger vans. It was probably the longest 12-13 hour long drive I've ever been on, but nonetheless worth it.

There were a lot of mountains along the way, but they were very pretty! Much prettier in person though because you could actually see the reds and purples! :D As you can see it was pretty cloudy in some areas so the picture is kind of dim.

We stayed at the Drury Hotel which is where the conference was be held. This meant that all the other schools that attended were staying here as well, so you can probably guess how busy with teens and adults this place was. The schools that attended were from all across New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona (it was just our school from Arizona though).

When we arrived they had been serving dinner at the hotel. They had chicken tenders (my favorite!), Macaroni & Cheese & best of all NACHOS!! :D 
(and some other things that I didn't bother to pick up haha)

After we ate we all had to attend the orientation. They had us play those first day of school games where you have to interact with other people. They had us all stand up and began asking questions, if the statement was true for you then you had to move to an open seat at another table. It went on for a while until they felt that they mixed us all up pretty well. Then they had us meet a partner and then as a group (everyone at the table) had to construct a poster that resembled everyone in the group. Then they just had us do a couple of other interactive games. 

They had so many of these little balcony areas where you could go outside and enjoy the weather. 

One of the things that Santa Fe is most well known for is this cathedral which is called Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

At night (10ish) we all went out for a walk around the little town that was near the hotel. It was so much fun walking down here, especially since it started snowing! (very lightly but still snowing!) 
We were all very hungry and were hoping that we would find some place to eat at. We found a small pub that was open but (aside from the fact that we were all under age) it was pretty sketchy. There was a drunk women dancing by herself inside, a really scary screamo style rock band playing, and a bouncer. We also found a club (called Skylight I think) and we tried to get in but they wouldn't let us because again we were all under age. We only wanted food and to dance because to be honest it sounded pretty epic in there and it was apparently latino night. After our walk (since everything was closed) we decided to order pizza. 

Then the next day (before the event) we all went on a walk again but this time with one of our coordinators after breakfast. Then we came back to the hotel to attend the first conference. 

After the "educational" games that they had us play, they had us get into groups yet once again. Our groups had to design a sling shot out of the material that was provided for us. As many of these excursus usually end; no one at the table agreed and everyone had so many different ideas that in the end we just kind of put something together. Then they had a little competition to see which table made the best sling shot. 

As they were having the competition - it started snowing!!! :D I had to go outside, I didn't care about the game anymore, I just wanted to see snow. If you couldn't tell this was my first time ever seeing snow!! <3 (I think I may have shed a tear or two haha). 

As you can see... Snow is in fact not a myth, it is very much real!! 

This is our little snowman that we all built together haha. We tried to build a bigger one but we kept breaking he snow (plus it had just started snowing so there wasn't a lot of snow yet.

By night time, it started coming down!! <3 

And in the morning everything was covered in snow!! 

Just look at all that snow! 

Before the next days activities a couple of us went out onto the roof to get a better view. We heard people down in the courtyard and we decided to anonymously throw snowballs down at them. It was war. Some of the people that were down there came up to the roof and snuck up behind us and started attacking us from behind. 

During lunch time we decided to take another trip into town but this time with both of our coordinators. Look how pretty it is. Does this park not remind you of the Wizard of Oz?

This is inside of the church, it was very pretty and such a nice little experience. The fountain of water was where they had the holy water that they usually have by the door at other catholic churches.

There was a sock shop in town and of course we had to get some (the one on the right is mine - I went with a much simpler version, but I don't even wear them so I just waisted my money) 

The conference was only supposed to last two days. During that time we attended several work shops, interacted with students from different schools through educational games, had several keynote speakers, and they had a little dance thrown for us on the last night. The next morning we had planned to leave but lucky for us we had been snowed in!! :D So we ended up staying an extra day! <3 On the last day we all decided to go and enjoy the snow once again. We ended up getting into a massive snowball fight with everyone there. There were people attacking us from the roof, people outside of their balcony, and there was even an old couple that came out onto their balcony and started attacking us as well :') (it was so cute!!). Snow was coming from left and right, it definitely made up for all those years that I missed out on seeing snow. 

Overall the trip was so much fun and better then I could ever explain. This was my first time seeing snow which made the trip a million times better :D I have a gazillion more pictures but I decided to just include a few so that the post wasn't super duper long. I hope you enjoyed nonetheless :) 

I also wanted to add that at first the idea of going on the trip terrified me. I'm a very anxious person when it comes to going anywhere long distance without my parents or someone that makes me feel safe. There have been several times before when I have avoided going somewhere because of fear and in the end I always regret it after hearing how much fun everyone else had. Nonetheless I miss out on such an amazing opportunity. I'm so glad that I did not back out from the trip because it was such a good experience for me. So if you are ever given an opportunity to go somewhere new, don't say no because you're scared. Sure at first it might seem terrifying but I guarantee you that it will pass and you'll end up having the time of your life. Try to take more chances and say yes to more things. It really helps :) believe me 

What is a trip that was really memorable for you? Have you experienced snow before?

"Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience" 



  1. Looks like you had lots of fun, it sounds great! Living in England it is very rare to see snow - however one year it did snow quite a lot and we got a day off school!x


    1. It was :) I honestly used to think that it snowed often in England. That must have been so fun :D did you get to go out and play in the snow?! I know I went crazy when I saw the snow! I just had to pick up some snow and make my very own snowball :') I will forever remember how cool it felt to hold snow (pun intended;) haha. I hope you have a lovely day Erin :)

  2. How sweet I can't believe this was your first time seeing snow. Here in Slovenia we have it every year and it always irritates me because the roads are slippery and everything's wet. If I go out to have fun, I love snow. But when I have to go to school or something else, then it really bugs me. It looks like you had an amazing time. I'm really glad you decided to go and overcame your anxiety. I see it totally paid off. Lovely pictures.


    1. I know!! :D It was so beautiful! Everything was so white, I now understand why people dream about a white Christmas. That's so cool! but it bet it does I have heard how irritating it can get. I bet it's especially irritating once the snow starts to melt and you have all the brown snow everywhere. But like you said it still is a very fun experience :) Yeah it took a lot in me, but I'm glad I went through with it. Thank you <3 I hope you have a lovely day Leja :)

  3. Oh my that snowball fight sounds absolutely EPIC!!! I really love your overall message of this post about overcoming your anxiety, I'm proud of you and you inspire me! Often the fear in our minds rules us and in reality it turns out not to be as bad as we thought it would be and we actually end up enjoying ourselves, I too struggle with this and at times avoid outings but in the end we only miss out if we don't take that chance! Have a lovely day Crystal, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ;) xoxo


    1. It was :D It was like a total war zone people attacking from the roof and from behind us haha. Aww :) Thank you!! I think it really opened my eyes and showed me that it's possible and that when the worry sets in, breathing exercises really go a long way. Exactly! <3 our minds are so powerful! and though it can be a really good thing it can also be a bad thing but we can't let ourselves live in the fear of the unknown because well Oblivion is inevitable (I really felt like Augustus Waters right there haha). It's better when we learn to over come that fear and enjoy ourselves a little more :) It's nice knowing that you can relate :) This is the beauty about the internet, it really does a good job at showing you that your not alone <3

    2. Hahaha you just owned that Augustus Watersness! XD So very very true! <3

  4. That trip sounds amazing! The snow also looks so pretty x Glad you enjoyed your trip.


  5. It's so funny seeing snow pictures, here in England it's actually been quite warm. Haven't seen snow in ages! Love it though! :) http://coffeeatmidnight13.blogspot.co.uk/

    1. These pictures were from February :) I just burly got around to making the post haha but I know how you feel! These will probably be the only snow pictures on here for a while :( Sadly it never snows where I live so I was lucky enough to get to go.

  6. Sounds so fun and it's wonderful to hear that you enjoy the snow because in our country we get bored of it and hate it. But it's so weird to hear about snow because it's very warm in Europe. But I really like that you took the risk and went somewhere where you have never been before and enjoy it.
    Lovely post,

    1. I've heard how it can get pretty irritating! I think I was able to enjoy it because I don't get to see it often and it was my first time :D I pretty much live in the desert (Arizona) so even rain excites us here haha. The pictures were from February so it's been pretty blazing hot here too in the U.S. Thank you :) <3

  7. Oh my gosh !!!! The snow looks amazing ! I genuinely got excited just looking at the pictures haha :) I'm so glad you had a nice time :)

    Lots of love, Marianne xxx


    1. Thank you!! :D <3 me too! they take me back to when I was playing in the snow :') haha. Hope you have a lovely day Marianne :)

  8. Your pictures are incredible! What camera do you use?
    Great post xx


    1. Really? :D Thank you!! <3 I just use my iPhone 5s camera :) I wish I had a fancier one though haha

  9. I love the pictures! Especially the snow! :D


  10. great photos love x


  11. Congrats on being selected for this!! Looks like you had an awesome time!!
    Living in Canada, I definitely know a thing or two about snow ;) Glad you finally got to see some up close for the first time.
    Thanks for sharing!! Happy Friday! :)

    ~Lor @ lovelyandcozy.com

    1. Thank you! :D It was a lot of fun! haha Yet another reason why Canada just seems to be the place to live! During the Winter time a lot of people come in to Arizona from all across the U.S. but specifically from Canada. We call them snow birds because they migrate towards the south when it starts to get chilly haha. I think I'm going to be the opposite and migrate north towards Canada when winter comes. Hope you have a lovely day :)

  12. It looks like you had a lot of fun, I'm glad you got to experience snow! At the moment right now I'm feeling the same, sort of scare by the fact a friend of mine don't want to attend to a volunteering trip for a whole week with me for laziness & all the people that's going are native english speakers & I haven't spoke english in a while now. I know it's going to be awkward at the beginning but definitely the feeling & experience of helping it's going to be amazing. :)

    Mafer, Concientizando x

    1. I did! :D I know exactly how you feel!! I always feel so alone when someone I know doesn't want to attend with me. To be honest I would usually back out of going somewhere if I didn't know anyone that was going and I always regret it! I think you'd be missing out on so much if you didn't go. Like you said in the beginning you might feel a little out of place but trust me when I say this it's so much more easier if you let your self have fun and just get to know people :D Hey you might even make some new life long friendships <3 I'd love to hear all about your trip if you go! It's the first step to making stories so that you can tell to people one day :) Where are you going to be volunteering? if you don't mind me asking. I Hope you have an amazing time on your trip!! Take care Mafer :)