The Leadership Challenge is designed to encourage pupils to think 'outside the box'; in other words to be creative and show us what they are really made of.
We hold exercises every year and, with the help of evaluations we ask them to complete after each event, we can assess their readiness to assume those lead roles both in their final year at Glenalmond and beyond.
To give you an idea of what's involved, here's a summary of a previous exercise.
All our leadership exercises have a story line and this one was entitled 'saving the school population from being poisoned'.
So it was that 67 Lower Sixth Formers assembled in George Square in Glasgow. They were confronted with the latest leadership exercise consisting of three days of challenges, the first day involving tasks based in and around the city centre.
The pupils were divided into small teams and had to get themselves around Glasgow by completing a treasure trail, an orienteering exercise and two command tasks, helpfully provided by the Army. Clues derived from the successful completion of these tasks, which, when assembled correctly, led them to the first of our 'secret agents', in this case Lady Hilary Menzies. Lady Hilary gave the teams an envelope with instructions to take the train to Crianlarich.
There the challenges continued - the first teams to correctly wire a plug secured themselves seats on a waiting bus, those who failed embarked on a 14 mile walk to Killin. So impressed were the instructors by the stoicism of those who accepted that they had to walk that the bus came back for them after all. Army NCOs then gave the teams food and shelter and they bivvied for the night in woods above Killin.
The next day the teams made their way through the hills or paddled up Loch Tay to eventually locate the hideout where the antidote was hidden. This all involved intense teamwork and support.
They were given raw food to cook on an open fire and then were presented with more bad news….their route back to school had been compromised and enemy agents were on their trail!
Early on the morning of Day Three they set off for school but were intercepted. However they had hidden their vials of antidote so well that they were not discovered and the school survived.
The result of this leadership exercise was that there is now an unbelievable spirit among those who are now senior pupils in the school. They experienced the hardest three days that many of them will ever endure. More importantly they discovered just what they are capable of and that how, with the power of teamwork, you can overcome almost any adversity. These are lessons they will carry with them into their adult lives.