Yesterday I took Opal to doggie heaven on earth – also known as Days Park in Hamilton, or Opals Wonderland.
Days park is an amazing area where dogs can roam off leash through a huge park filled with trees, bush walks and can even frolic in the river.
This is Opal’s FAVOURITE place and every time we start to drive down River road she gets really excited and can’t wait to race off into Wonderland. There are a variety of nice paths to walk around – the top loop takes about 20 minutes at a casual pace, there are many shortcuts down to the river side walks, and a huge drive way at the entrance that leads down to the river too. It is quite a nice place for owners to relax, with picnic tables and chairs that have been donated by families of those who have passed on and want others to enjoy the park as much as they did. I usually take Opal here on a Sunday as it is the most time I have to just let her play and relax without being on a schedule. We always meet different people and a wide variety of dogs and puppies in Opals Wonderland. Most dogs like to play and they can chase each other for miles, or race each other to the stick in the river. It is such an amazing place, our dogs are so lucky that the council has grounds like this they can roam free and play to their hearts content. This is my favourite place too, it always helps me relax as I am surrounded by nature (it is a very picturesque environment) and the most loving creatures on earth (DOGS of course!). As well as being a great bonding time with Opal, I also find it takes me away from reality just watching the dogs enjoy the simple things like discovering new smells in every inch of the park, stopping to greet every dog and human they pass and getting pats galore! Through the different seasons you get to see the trees in bloom, watch their leaves change colour and drop, see the river rise and fall and see what shapes it leaves behind. In the summer you also see a lot of rowing crews and water skiers enjoying the river and runners making the most of natures pathways. Each trip here always reminds me how beautiful our country is and that we really do need to step back and (like the dogs) take the time to notice the small things that make the difference to our every day lives.
Your 2014 hostesses are…
Leadership is an interesting concept. In life we have many different leaders, and therefore many different interpretations of what makes a good leader. I have been a leader in the form of netball team captain, netball coach, junior rugby team manager, president of the university communications club, a big sister and training staff. These are each different in their own ways and I have learnt a variety of skills from each role.
This year I have decided to look deeper into what makes a good leader and how I can improve on what I have already learnt from these experiences to make myself a better leader in the future. I am taking a university paper in leadership (which happens to be coded 111!), I have also taken the opportunity to participate in a six day leadership camp through the NZ Rotary Club (which starts on Saturday). I thought it would be good to compare my current views of leadership with those I have after attending the camp, and finishing my uni paper.
The leadership lectures at uni focus a lot on our own personality and combine it with the research theory that has been done on leadership qualities. One study we were given showed that New Zealanders ranked the following four characteristics as most important in a good leader:
- Honesty (86%)
- Forward-looking (86%)
- Inspiring (78%)
- Competent (53%)
These are very similar to the top four characteristics I would have chosen for a good leader. It is however a challenge to have a strong balance of all of these characteristics in every leadership role. I think attending the Rotary camp and completing the uni paper will help me to cement my own personal leadership style and fine tune how I use each of these characteristics to best serve in different situations.
The Rotary leadership camp is next week and before I go I have to make a one minute presentation with voice over on ‘what leadership means to me’. I have used my previous sporting and club experiences to demonstrate what I think a good leader is and how I attempt to demonstrate those skills. This is a good starting point and I will be interested to see how my views expand and alter during the camp.
I will report back after camp. Wish me luck.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”. Robert Louis Stevenson.