by Bailey & Spencer Amaral

September 24, 2019

The Windrose family is growing faster than ever! 

What a summer for Windrose!  We are so excited to share that Windrose is now impacting students from coast to coast. Three years ago, we brought just 40 students to our first DC Summit.  Later that year, we launched 2 local chapters in Dallas and Houston, Texas. Two years ago, we started 2 more chapters in Chicago and LA.  That fall, we organized a small leadership retreat for our first 12 chapter officers.  Last summer, 60 students representing 6 chapters gathered at our first national officer retreat.  Since then, our team has been working overtime to reach new students and new states!

Recent Highlights:

  • Mar. 28 –  4th Annual DC Leadership Summit
  • May 25th – Cherry Hill, NJ Chapter Launch
  • July 27th – Charlotte, NC Chapter Launch
  • Aug. 7 – National Officer Retreat 
  • Sept. 15th – Bakersfield, CA Chapter Launch

Earlier this year, 125 students attended the 2019 DC Summit, more than 3 time the number in 2016! This summer, over 100 students braved the Texas heat for our second national officer retreat. In the past 4 months, we have also launched 3 new chapters in New Jersey, North Carolina, and California. The Charlotte and Cherry Hill chapters represent our first official chapters on the East Coast, which is a big milestone for Windrose! Furthermore, Groups in Reno and Grand Rapids are preparing to launch their chapters this fall, so stay tuned.

National Officer Retreat: Passing the Baton

In August, we trained 100 student chapter leaders at an unforgettable 2nd national officer retreat.  During the week, we witnessed constant team-building, selflessness, and leadership in action. We ate together, studied together, played together, and prayed together. For a few short days, we lived life in community on a campground in Dallas, Texas. 

Officers who had served during the 2018-2019 term trained new officers elected to serve their chapter for the coming year. They passed the baton to a new generation of leaders. But the retreat also helped give Windrose a sense of national identity. The Windrose Project is bigger than just one chapter; it’s a national movement of students taking responsibility for their lives and and taking action to strengthen the future of our nation.  Officer teams from east to west formed lasting connections and shared ideas.

Our three goals at the retreat were personal leadership growth, spiritual growth and team-building. The cabin kitchen presented one of the most challenging, but practical team-building exercises.  Each chapter was responsible to prepare and serve at least one meal for everyone else.  Yes – you read that correctly – the students made every single meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner for over 100 people for 4 days!  But the team-building didn’t stop there…

Life Together at the Officer Retreat

Every morning at the retreat, we started off the day with a devotional and prayer.  Then, after private reflection time, students gathered for a lecture, followed by thought-provoking workshops on history, philosophy and professional development.  Over lunch, the officers gathered in small groups to plan for the coming year.  In the afternoons, we broke up into groups to compete in team challenges, sports, and even karaoke battles. 

Evenings were filled with inspiring talks by Spencer about our God-given rights and responsibilities. One evening, we also enjoyed a special presentation by Bailey’s father, retired US Air Force Col. Mark Arlinghaus.  To close the day, we separated the guys and girls for deep conversation and prayer.  As a result, each day and night, we had the privilege to watch the creation of strong character, deep friendships, and lifelong memories. Overall, the 2019 officer retreat represented a time to foster growth in our chapter leaders, but it was also a time to forge the path ahead for our chapters.

Fall 2019: Much to Look Forward To!

As we enter the fall season, we have enormous hope in the future of Windrose, our students and our nation.  This month alone, our student officers are hosting 10 seminars in 7 different states. At the most basic level, they are reaching out to teenagers around them to communicate that “God made you for a purpose, and your life has value.” 

Throughout September at our events, we are specifically highlighting the foundation of our great nation, because September 17th marked 232 years since the US Constitution was signed.  The Constitution established a brand new system of limited government, designed to secure the God-given rights of every citizen.  The new republic would change the course of history forever.

So today, we are grateful for the new generation of Windrose students who are honoring our history by becoming leaders of character, ready to write the next chapter.  Finally, we want to thank all of our students, parent volunteers and sponsors for your faithful partnership with us. You have made this growth possible.