Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures Custom Group program!
Here are a few things you can expect:
We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
Blog updates sent on weekends may not be posted until Monday.
Due to many factors, including but not limited to internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our team updates the blog.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JANUARY 8
The Atmosphere Academy has arrived in St. Petersburg, Florida!
It’s day 1 and this group is already engaged in meaningful conversation and activities.
The students are particularly excited about seeing manatees and experiencing the marine life that Florida’s crystal clear waters have to offer. We had our first mentor group, in which students shared their hopes, fears, and goals.
The historic Crystal Bay Hotel is setting the perfect environment for learning and team-building. The staff is eager to partner with GLA and Atmosphere Academy to make the students feel welcome and comfortable. The halls are full of softly playing classics from Frank Sinatra, reflecting an era from when Babe Ruth, Marylin Monroe, and even Al Capone stayed in this hotel.
To top things off, Chef Marcus has been brought in especially for our group. We had quite the banquet tonight. We are well fed and ready for bed. Tomorrow, we anticipate rain, but our hopes are high and our backup is looking fantastic. If it’s sunny, we’ll head to the beach. If it is raining, we will check out the Museum of Salvador Dalí.
BLOG POST FOR JANUARY 9
Today we woke up to a big breakfast with a waffle maker which was a lot of fun! We learned more about Global Leadership Adventures and created Community Agreements together for our time here. We practiced getting comfortable being in the water with some pool time before it got too windy. Due to stormy weather, we visited the famous Salvador Dali Museum instead of going to the beach. There was a neat virtual 3D experience that most of the students tried out where Dali’s artistic themes were illustrated.
Back at the hotel, we talked about what leadership is and went over the different types of leadership. We enjoyed a dinner of delicious hamburgers and macaroni salad. Tomorrow is an exciting day where we will be going out on a boat and swimming with manatees!
BLOG POST FOR JANUARY 10
We woke up this morning and got prepared for the breakfast before leaving on a long drive to the “Birds Underwater” Manatee Tour near Crystal River. When we got there we had to put on wetsuits, they were constricting and tight at first but soon we were used to it. We were divided into teams and went out on boats to look for the manatees. Trying out the snorkel masks to see underwater and breathe was hard at first but so cool. The manatees were so friendly and peaceful.
On the drive back, we stopped at a famous rest stop called “WaWa” which was fun to get some snacks. There was some good discussion in the evening about why the protection of manatees and marine life is important. Tomorrow we will be going to visit a research-based marine center known as The Mote and will be given guided tours with marine biologists.
Written by your student leaders of the day!
BLOG POST FOR JANUARY 11
Today On January 11th 2024, we woke up and had an amazing breakfast which left us full enough for our adventure. We then went to the MOTE marine laboratory and learned about the history and origin of it. Then, we had entertaining activities about learning more about sea turtles and other marine life. Eventually, we went to a lagoon nearby to catch different types of sea life. We found animals such as crabs, sea horses, shrimp and more. It was very nerve racking to go out into a local lagoon and catch sea life but with a lot of support from our guides, we were able to successfully face our fears into going in the lagoon around animals.
After, we went to visit the MOTE aquarium and got to experience meeting different sea animals. We were also able to touch different sea life such as sharks, stingrays, starfish, crabs, and more. Throughout this day, we all learned something new that could be valuable to us in the future. Written by leaders of the day (Emily, Devon, and Emilie)
BLOG POST FOR JANUARY 12
Today on January 12, 2024 we took a trip to downtown Tampa for a Black History Walking Tour. During this trip we were able to learn about historical buildings that were important to the community and that some of the old buildings are getting refurbished. On the tour, we learned about how the history of New York and Tampa Florida are connected. In the Tampa area, there has historically been a lot of spirit and community related to music. Lots of famous musicians spent time in Tampa on Central Avenue.
After lunch, we went to the beach! Even though it was a little foggy, the beach was an important part of the day and we were able to connect as a group. A lot of people swam in the waves. When we went to the beach we were able to have fun with each other and relax. Then we all got ice cream before heading back to the hotel.
From you’re leaders: Zoey, Evelyn, Dorian
BLOG POST FOR JANUARY 13
Today, we woke up at our own preference, enjoying a delightful breakfast and connecting with our peers, setting the tone for a fun-filled day ahead. The previous night, we were informed of a schedule change due to weather conditions, heightening our anticipation for the unknown adventure.
Our GLA leaders surprised us with a bowling excursion on Saturday morning, igniting excitement among everyone. Splitting into teams, we embraced the joy of strikes and shared memorable moments in the bowling arcade. Following the alley excitement, our next destination was Walmart, offering students a chance to socialize and make personal purchases. The day concluded with reflections at the hotel, highlighting the spontaneity and enjoyment of the day. Despite the initial plan of visiting an uninhabited island being thwarted, the impromptu bowling experience turned out to be an absolute delight.
Spending time with friends like Emilie, Fallon, and Evelyn added to the joy, and the Walmart visit, though simple, contributed to the overall fantastic experience. Sunday continued the adventure with a relaxing start, providing us with the responsibility of choosing our breakfast time. The highlight of the day was the bowling activity, complete with arcade fun, a trip to Walmart, and free time back at the hotel. The day ended on a serene note, preparing us for the exciting days that lie ahead on this memorable trip.
By Fallon, Chace, and Kira
BLOG POST FOR JANUARY 14
Today we ate breakfast at 7:30 am, it consisted of eggs, bacons, and waffles. We all headed to the Clear Water Marine Aquarium in the vans at 8am. We arrived in 30 mins and had a brief lesson on dolphins and how to identify fins of the different types of dolphins. We got on the boats at 10 to observe wild dolphins and identify their type, we saw a variety of 3 dolphins and a few birds. Due to the windy weather the boat ride was cold but everyone came in warm clothes. After the boat ride we witnessed a dolphin show and learned how the rescued dolphins were rehabilitated and trained by specialized trainers. We then played a trivia game to test our knowledge from the morning. After lunch we went on a fake rescue mission to save stuffed animal dolphins, everyone worked together in two different groups and had many roles to improve in the rescue. Then we did activities like fake urine sample testing and fake blood testing. We also took everyone’s blood pressure.
After the experience we went to the actual aquarium and saw dolphins, fish, otters and sea turtles. We also had the opportunity to touch sea creatures. After that we went to the gift shop to buy souvenirs then we went back to the vans to go to back to the hotel. Then we had free time with our phones and time to play with friends. For dinner, we ate tacos and journaled for an hour. At the end we had more free time before bed to play games.
Dylan, Nessiera, and Waleska