It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! While it may not be the winter season, it was the Fall Internal Conference season. Last Friday, a group of RSA members, NRHH members, and Hall Councilors embarked on an adventure to Camp Hi-Rock in Mount Washington, Massachusetts. 

The evening began with a classic icebreaker of “Where the Wind Blows.” This activity starts with one person standing in the center of the circle and sharing a fact about themselves. If that fact applies to other people, those people will run to different spots in the circle, and the last person left in the circle shares a fact about themselves. This icebreaker is a classic at many of the past internal conferences as it gets people moving after a long bus ride and we get to learn about the ways that we are all connected. The remainder of the night was dedicated to the hospitality suite and free time. Think of the hospitality suite as just a room full of all the snacks your parents wouldn’t let you have as a child – everything from Fruit Gushers to Oreos to Doritos to donuts–but rest assured there were plenty of freshly picked apples. While everyone enjoyed their snacks, the whole group participated in perhaps the largest game of Mafia we have ever had and perhaps the only time that the mafia won. As the night went on, people trickled to bed in preparation for the next day.

The next morning started with breakfast, but the morning really began with NEACURH wake up where we all participated in our favorite NEACURH cheers and had us questioning “where is the party” and how to really pronounce NEACURH. We were then fully hyped and ready for the ropes courses. There were three different ropes course activities that our three groups (Nerds Candies, SweeTarts, and Pixy Stix) participated in: the rock climbing wall, high ropes course, and low ropes course. One of our members commented “I learned how to challenge myself, especially knowing how scared I was of heights.” Each activity encouraged our members to push their limits and face their fears, through challenge by choice, while other members cheered them on. 

The rest of the day was spent attending leadership programs. Nine of our members planned and presented their own 45 minute programs on various topics ranging from communication to inclusion to leadership. The rest of the group was able to attend three of the nine programs through rotating sessions. During a short break, we returned to the main house to find not one, but two rainbows and made some of the most amazing pictures of the weekend! Later that night, the RSA executive board presented an additional three programs that are designed to be more reflective programs.

After a long day, we returned to the main cabin and back to the hospitality suite where people began working on homework, playing board games, and working on peace trees. What are peace trees? Well, in a nutshell, they are appreciation notes that can be completely anonymous–or not–and one can share a funny memory they shared together that weekend or something they really admired about the person. The bags of peace trees are then handed out right before we get on the bus on Sunday so that we can read them quietly on the way home and reflect on the weekend. This is a keepsake from conference that you can keep and remember how you “really enjoyed meeting new people and being able to share experiences with others” like one of our members said.

In the blink of an eye, it was already Sunday. A group began their morning watching the sunrise over the lake, while others caught up on sleep, but soon enough, people began to wake up for the final day of conference. The group went to breakfast and many sought out caffeine to help them stay awake after a long night of peace tree writing, games, and conversation. After breakfast, we came back as a large group to present team dances that we had prepared. The task was simple: each team needed to come up with an Oompa Loompa dance just like in the movies to explain why Marty the Moose (our regional mascot) was taken away from the chocolate factory. Each group took their own creative freedom with the dance. Some groups used props while another group put together a rap. After the fun of the dances, we came back together to reflect on our weekend. NRHH began the reflection with “Tap Someone On The Shoulder” and allowed each of our members to tap someone who they felt embodies the prompt they provided. Some prompts included: “tap someone on the shoulder who is a friend,” “tap someone on the shoulder who grew as a leader,” and “tap someone on the shoulder who is trustworthy.” This activity showed us how appreciated each of us are, even if we may not realize it. Lara, our advisor for the weekend, followed up by leading a reflection that made us think how we were going to share and implement the skills we learned this weekend when we returned to campus.

Overall, it was an amazing weekend where our members were able to make new friends, grow as leaders, and expand past their comfort zone. As one of our members put it: “I had the opportunity to do things I would not normally do in the city or during the regular semester.” Another one of our members thoughtit was an unforgettable weekend and I would love to go on another internal conference!” Sound fun and want to join us in the Spring? Contact Steph Palis at for more information, and we hope to see you in the Spring!