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  • Summer staff retreat

    Jul 18,2016


    I thought twice about sharing this post with you. “Why?”, you may ask. I wonder if you really want to know about time away from work that the staff spends with one another. I decided that I value this time and it’s worth mentioning here. Each summer, our staff takes a day for a “retreat”. My sentiment is that we work hard, we must enjoy some “down time” together.

    To set the stage, we spend time at the lovely home of a former staff member, a most gracious host. The morning is devoted to team building exercises. This year, the focus was on “group decision making.” We formed two groups and did a sort of “survival” simulation. What was astounding was the outcome. In both groups, staff learned of the power of the group. Had any of the individuals been on their own, they would not have survived. With the wisdom of the group, they each had better chances of survival.


    We then all enjoyed a wonderful spread of food that we prepared for a potluck lunch. After lunch, we devoted discussion to learning about cultural equity, specifically among the LGBTQ population. Fred Mayo, the Board President at the Hudson Valley LGBT Center facilitated a meaningful session. We engaged in stimulating discussion of the ever changing language and climate. This sort of learning experience could not have occurred during the typical Monday through Friday at the office.

    While our summer retreat is not directly helping serve others, it is a time for the staff to be nourished in a different way. We can apply lessons of group dynamics and cultural equity to the work we do. This certainly feeds us. It expands our awareness and resources as we are more available to meet the needs of those we serve.

    So cheers to working hard, and yes, here here, for “playing” hard, too!

    (Note, some staff were regrettably missing from the photo.)