Youth Council Summit
The weekend of July 1st was an adventure for the ReachOut Youth Council, who ventured to the West Coast for some ReachOut team bonding and R&R at the Still Heart Institute in Woodside, CA. We took part in ice breakers to get to know each other better and learned about how each of us could make a contribution to ReachOut. We participated in activities such as mock-interviews, round table discussions and our own attempts at the age-old classic “Big Booty.”
One of the highlights for me took place on Saturday when those with a strong will—and the ability to adjust to time zone changes—joined staff members Emily, Alex and Susan on a 7:30am hike around the grounds. After some interesting detours, we ended up at the Buddha statue, which was set against the backdrop of a gorgeous waterfall. More council members, led by Anastasia, who had left only moments after we did joined us in front of the statue – no one said patience was our strong point. We pointed out different plants and creatures to each other, took pictures together, and watched the rising sun glint through the tops of the trees, gathering in rays of light above us. Despite our exhaustion, we were able to clearly see the beauty we were engulfed in, surrounded by the perfect strangers, including the Inspire staff and other council members, who would over the course of the retreat become close friends.
One of the most impressive team building activities was agreed to be when we were divided into random groups to create a collage of what we saw the future of ReachOut to be. Most teams discussed the social networking and viral aspect of our efforts, while others took a more “vagabond” approach–word of mouth and the possibility of ReachOut communities in our home towns. We discussed all of our collages extensively, committing ourselves to the future of the cause.
The atmosphere of the retreat was one that could not be created elsewhere—fountains, delicious food, several meditation areas and a pool surrounded by glass walls, the entirety set within the redwood forest. We were lucky to be in such quality company, volunteering our time to propel the future of ReachOut and the council members who represent the site.