A Word from our Dean of Students, Erika Tobin

Hello everyone!

We are off to an amazing start! I am Erika Tobin, the Dean of Students this summer and I have been so proud of and energized by the students that have come from literally all over the country to this year’s Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) and Sounds of Summer Institute (SOSI)! This summer, our Student Life Theme is “The Story of Us” which we are approaching from the starting point of Pixar Movies. Each counseling group is called a “Story Group” and the different movies that our Story Groups are representing are: 

Wall-E (the Garbage Boys)  –  T.J.’s Story Group
Cars (the Law Abiding Drivers [the LADs])  –  Drew’s Story Group
A Bug’s Life (the Beautiful Butterflies)  –  Michael’s Story Group
The Incredibles (the Incredibles)  –  Katie T.’s Story Group
Finding Nemo and Finding Dory (the Ocean Explorers)  –  Katie P.’s Story Group

Toy Story (the Aliens)  –  Sammi’s Story Group
Inside Out (the Emotion Control Room)  –  Admissions Office, Dietrich and Kristina
Up (the Rising Balloons)  –  Dean Erika, Nurse Leah, and Intern

Through these movies and through our lives here at LSM and SOSI, we have begun engaging in story telling, speaking, and listening. We are telling our stories and it has been so powerful to hear our students stand up and share pieces of their lives with us. They have articulated that it takes courage to share part of their lives with the large group, and it also makes the large group feel more like a family when they do so. 

This year being the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, as a church we have been talking a lot about this macro story of the tradition. This was our departure point for our Student Life Theme. Alongside telling the macro story of the Lutheran tradition, within Student Life, we are also telling the micro stories of our lives so we can see how we fit into the macro story. When talking, texting, or FaceTiming/Skypeing with your kids, ask them for stories from their time here at LSM and SOSI, ask them about their Story Groups, and ask them about the Staff and Faculty versus Students Beachball Volleyball game!!

We are so grateful that all of you sent your kids to be LSM and SOSI students! It is such a blast playing IDIOT and Hearts and ERS with them, randomly bursting into song with them, and talking about life with them. It has been such a privilege and blessing to witness friendships being formed and personalities emerging as our students get more and more comfortable in this community. Each year, the student body has a different interest and vibe, and this year, the physical activities like soccer and kickball have been HUGE hits! It’s always awesome to see our students engaging with their body in such amazing ways. I was so excited to come back to my seventh LSM and my first SOSI because I couldn’t wait to be with and work with your kids again. My excitement and anticipation has paid off. Your kids are rockstars!

Grace & peace,

Erika Tobin