We may not be up on the zip lines in this chilly weather, but we’re still adventuring! This year, the Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure Center team has spent January and February working with groups all over the Northeast in developing their team building and leadership skills.

Check out some of the programs we’ve been up to in 2019:


Archbishop Williams High School Girls Basketball Team – Braintree, Massachusetts

For the second year, the EMPOWER team partnered up with Coach Matt Mahoney and the Archbishop Williams High School Girls Basketball Team from Braintree, MA as they road tripped to an annual tournament in New York City. 

Making a pit stop in Middletown, CT for some mid-season team building, the team worked to strengthen their relationships, improve communication, and develop a greater understanding of individual accountability towards team (shared) goals.


Smith Middle School – Glastonbury, Connecticut

Over the course of two interactive presentations, one for 500 7th Grade students and another for 500 8th Grade students, EMPOWER facilitated a program to facilitate the school’s “Core Values” and how they are important in their students’ leadership development.  

The 7th graders focused on a “School Core Value” self-assessment, evaluating how Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, and Safety can contribute to their daily actions as leaders.  Students discovered that Leadership, Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, and Safety are not “large projects” that should cause stress and pressure; they are all character traits that are represented in our personal actions and their daily interactions with others at Smith Middle School.

The 8th graders were assigned a pre-presentation prompt that required them to write a personal “Letter of Credit” to evaluate their “Core Value” performance.  The interactive presentation focused on Grit/Mental Toughness to achieve personal goals, recognizing “positive risk challenges” as opportunities for personal development, and becoming more accountable for their actions as they prepare for the jump to high school.


Xavier High School Sophomore Saturday Retreat – Middletown, Connecticut

Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure Center partners with Xavier High School annually to facilitate a 4-year leadership development program that engages students during each of their four years in high school. The initiative with Xavier High School includes the following programs:

  • All Freshmen participate in a fall Team Building/Relationship Development Program and a springLeadership Reflection Program.
  • All Sophomores participate in a Team Building Program during their Sophomore Saturday Retreat.
  • Juniors apply to join the Empower Leadership Club at XHS, with 24 selected each year. These Juniors then go through a 24 hour “Leadership Intensive” at EMPOWER each fall.
  • Seniors who participated in the Junior Empower Leadership Club learn to facilitate different EMPOWER Leadership and Team Building Activities. These Senior Facilitators then help deliver the Freshmen and Sophomore Programs

In early 2019, EMPOWER worked with the annual Sophomore Saturday Retreat, a retreat that all sophomores must attend. The overall theme of the retreat is Relationships (Relationships with Classmates, Relationships with Family Members, Relationships with God/Spirituality, and Relationship with Self).


Gideon Welles School – Glastonbury, Connecticut

Each year, for the last several years, EMPOWER has worked with the Gideon Welles School Student Council, comprised of (24) 6th grade students and two faculty/staff advisors. 

Each fall, Gideon Welles School Student Council comes out to Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure Center for an introductory Ground Based Team Building Program.  Following this program, EMPOWER goes to the GWS each February to lead an iterative program that focuses on Community Building. All the activities focus on what it means to truly lead in the school; individual accountability, getting buy-in from classmates, and appreciating/celebrating individual differences and the unique qualities each student brings to the GWS community

To celebrate their team building and leadership development success, the GWS group then comes to EMPOWER each spring for a celebratory Zip Lining event.


New Britain Parks & Recreation After School Enrichment at Slade Middle School – New Britain, Connecticut

New Britain Parks and Recreation leads after-school enrichment programming for students at Slade Middle School in New Britain. The after school program is designed to provide students with a positive environment to socialize/build relationships, complete school work, and participate in enrichment activities.

As part of a 3-part iterative program with Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure center, New Britain Parks & Recreation After School Enrichment Program identified the following program outcomes:

  • Set goals and a path to goal achievement
  • Become more emotionally/socially aware
  • Embrace challenges as growth opportunities
  • Resolve conflict and problem solve with classmates

Team building adventures were designed to facilitate these outcomes, including:

  • An ice breaker activity with introductory problem solving facilitation
  • Overcoming social/emotional barriers to work effectively with teammates
  • Breaking through the perception of what an individual and/or group can accomplish
  • Shared their personal challenge experiences and being vulnerable within a group
  • Group debrief session intended to extend the groups understanding of what they learned during these team building adventures
CT RUSH Shoreline Girls Soccer Club

This EMPOWER Sports Leadership Program was designed for 10 high school girls who are team members on a travel Soccer Club. The girls all play at different high schools in the Fall and then play together for CT RUSH Shoreline during the winter and spring.

The Ground Based Team Building Program at Camp Niantic focused on:

  • Self-coaching and how to lead oneself through adversity and challenge
  • Developing the mentality of focused-intensity during training
  • Recognizing that sometimes we fall short/fail (natural part of sport) and that if we use those shortcomings as opportunities to get better, we will!
  • Focus on controlling what is in their control
University of New Haven Womens Soccer Program

Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure Center teamed up with the University of New Haven Womens Soccer Program to deliver a facilitated sports leadership program to help them improve their performance.  Working with the University of New Haven staff, EMPOWER helped develop the following program objectives:

  • Leadership – of both self and others.
  • GRIP Teamwork Model implementation
  • Empowerment for personal and team development

Within the custom program, the athletes learned to focus on performing their role to the best of their ability for the sake of achieving team goals, the impact of positive vs. negative mindset/attitudes, the importance of productive communication, as well as other leadership principles that helped them emerge better than ever, together.

Contact Us Today

If you want to grow your leadership skills and confidence in an exciting way, contact us today. We want to EMPOWER you with our empower zip lines and adventure park. We are the number one zip line in Connecticut for empowering individuals and developing leaders of all ages.

Contact Dan Jaskot (860-638-4754, dan@leadershipsports.com) or fill out the form below for more details.