We recently headed back to camp for our annual fall weekend retreat. On these retreats, the directors convene to reflect on the past season, share ideas for the future, tie up any loose ends on the facilities, and generally bond as we bask in Ghany one last time for the year.
This year six out of the seven administration team members were there this year. We had Sam, Bonnie, Elizabeth, Taylor, Garrett, and BA. Our new Office Manager, Louise (who I told you about in a recent blog post), technically started work this month and she’ll join us on these retreats going forward.
BBQ and banter
We all arrived at BA’s river cabin in Alderson, West Virginia on a Friday around 6:00 — just in time for a cookout dinner! The weather was gorgeous and her cabin overlooks the Greenbrier River, so it’s a perfect spot for a working weekend where we can get a lot done amidst a beautiful setting.
Our first night was devoted to some professional development. Being the open-minded risk-takers that we are, we had each taken a little personality assessment quiz prior to the weekend. 🙂 We got our results and of course we’re all (thankfully) quite unique! So, we did some activities and discussion about working on a team with people who all work differently and have very different styles of communication, different things they value in a work setting, etc.
It was eye-opening and very productive to learn more about each other even after years of knowing one another. It also helped deepen something we all value which is understanding and respecting one another.
Lots to discuss
Saturday we started off with a two-hour discussion and thoughtful review of the parent and counselor surveys. This spawned lots of discussion and decisions, which you’ll hear more about in a near-future series of blog entries on individual survey issues. (If you don’t already follow us in the RSS feed, just enter your e-mail address into the field on the right hand side of the blog just under the Camp Alleghany video and the blog will be delivered to your e-mail. You can also like us on Facebook to see when blogs are posted.)
Next we moved into Taylor’s reporting of all the departments and programming areas, and then Garrett’s facilities updates and a 5-year facilities plan.
We also discussed overall what I call the two WWWs (what went well, and what went wrong) in 2013, exploring how to continue or change/ and improve those things. For example, we’ve gotten our Opening Day down to a pretty good science, but Closing Day needs some work, and Garrett has an awesome vision for making it a lot better so stay tuned to learn more about that.
This weekend retreat and another in the spring really are times to seriously review and analyze everything, to learn and to grow, to plan and to strategize.
We reflect and share our own experiences and combine this with the parent and counselor surveys and any other feedback we’ve gotten during the summer. All of it is in a conscientious effort to always make Alleghany better and better each year while maintaining the integrity of our program and traditions.
The weekend work ended with a discussion of the annual American Camp Association National Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida this coming February. We’re all attending and we can’t wait!
Saturday evening was spent in a celebratory dinner at one of our favorite spots in Lewisburg, Stella’s Tea House restaurant. After breakfast on Sunday we all headed home filled the joy of one season closed and yet brimming with ideas, excitement and an eager anticipation of the cycle of a new season beginning again!
–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany Blog