TRAIN program marks 30th anniversary

Student Leadership’s annual retreat helps new students connect and develop leadership skills.


About 100 students marked the 30th anniversary of the Training Radical and Involved New-Students (TRAIN) retreat program Dec. 18-20 in Oak Glen, Calif.

The annual retreat hosted by the Student Leadership and Involvement Center helps new students make friends, grow personally, and identify and hone leadership skills in an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie. Retreat activities are planned and led by University of Redlands student leaders who serve as facilitators.

Nominated by Redlands faculty and staff, facilitators not only help participants to recognize and develop their leadership skills but also serve as a resource to help the new students acclimate to campus life.

"By offering the TRAIN retreat, the University of Redlands provides an opportunity for current student leaders to help build new student leaders," says Dan Burfeind, assistant director of student activities. “Its investment in the program also shows new students just how valuable they are to this University.”

Students participate in a variety of retreat activities, ranging from solving puzzles collaboratively to actions done while blindfolded. They also receive training in time management and explore subjects such as diversity and self-perception.

Participants often describe the experience as life-changing.

“My favorite memory of TRAIN was engaging in activities that strengthened teamwork, unity, bonding and perspective,” says Brianna Brullo ’19. “I truly learned that I can choose to love others and respect them, even when they may share different opinions and beliefs.”

Taiga Gamell ’19 says the program helped him to connect authentically with others.

“You get really deep and close with other students from the University of Redlands,” Gamell says.“These people are going to be future leaders and also wonderful friends and influences that will positively impact my life.”

TRAIN is one of several programs offered by the Student Leadership and Involvement Center (SLIC). SLIC strives to promote involvement by providing guidance, resources and hands-on experiences that help students discover the leader within, while bringing out the best in each and every individual.