Who: All high school and college students who are interested in becoming more efficient, effective, and strong leaders who have an interest in Operation Smile (Even those who don't are invited!)
Where: ISLC '10 will be held in Denver, Colorado
When: August 1-5, 2010
What is ISLC?...
ISLC-Only 4 simple letters, yet so hard to describe.
The Operation Smile International Student Leadership Conference is held each August in a different University around the world. Hundreds of students from the United States and Internationally join together for a 4 days of becoming inspired, motivated, taught and creating life-long friendships along the way. Students are roomed on-campus and randomly placed in groups which are lead by a member of the ELC (Executive Leadership Counsel). These groups will become your family over the conference. Team names and colors are assigned, and bonding activities are held like team cheers, dances, and a major highlight of the conference- The Games. As the theme differs yearly, so does the name of the games. However, one things that stays constant is the team unity and spirit you feel as you take on challenges in a “Mini Olympics” against other teams.
Speakers are brought in from all over the world to share inspiring stories and advice to become the best leader and person you can become. Among the favorites is acclaimed speaker Robert Pruitt, who recently came home from a mission to Cambodia and has served several missions for Operation Smile. Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee, the co-founders of Operation Smile, also make a point to come speak to the students.
A service project is held each year
Breakout Classes are also offered that are centered around club awareness, fundraising, missions, leadership, self-empowerment and unity. These breakouts are a great place to share and learn ideas to better yourself and club in the future.
Aside from the learning parts of the conference, ISLC also offers several huge fun events. The main one being an Iparty, or, International Party. Because the conference attracts students from all around the world, each student is invited to bring items to show and sell fro their specific area. In the past, jewelry, papyrus, food, souvenirs and other fun items are brought to be sold to other students with all proceeds going towards Operation Smile. There is also an auction held with donated items from students. The Iparty is always a hit and proceeded with a dance party. You’ve never seen a dance party until you’ve been to an ISLC!
Each year, students are taken off campus to a local attraction specific to the area. In 2008, it was Sea World in San Diego, and last summer, Busch Gardens in Virginia. This is just a few hours to go have fun with new friends and enjoy the surrounding area.
Overall, the ISLC is a life changing experience. Personally, I have met best friends there that I will always have for a lifetime. The students you will meet at ISLC have been through everything. They are your inspirations and mentors. I could not believe that people my own age could be so motivational and accomplished. Your knowledge about other cultures and your respect for yourself, as well as the world, heightens enormously. The reason why I attended my first ISLC was quite frankly because I had nothing else to do that summer after being denied by another camp I had wanted to attend. It was there that I first learned about Operation Smile, and from then on I fell in love with the organization. Helped start a club at my school, worked really hard, attended 2 ISLC’s, and even applied for a Medical Mission and got accepted. I recently came home from my mission to Amman, Jordan which drastically changed my entire outlook on life for the better.
Operation Smile is not just a charity that gives others surgery for free. It is a message of love and inspiration.
Attending ISLC is always a high experience for me and I look forward to it yearly. I can confidently say that it has changed my life. No matter how strong your involvement with Operation Smile is, I would not hesitate to attend. It will change you. It will give you the gateway into the thing that has brought me the most happiness and joy in my life.
ISLC Early registration closes on May 31, after which the price will increase and your chances of being accepted will be smaller. ISLC gets better and better each year. This year, you will definitely be inspired to Be the Change.