I started working with NYFC Youth Advisory Board (YAB) back in the fall of 2012, when they were undergoing a significant transition period. Here they are almost a year later, with another round of elections under their belt (and thankfully with a codified system for breaking ties this time!). YAB has never lacked for enthusiasm or ideas, so their project list for 2013-2014 is already very long. In order to start the school year on the right foot, the group could use an opportunity to gather their energy and reflect on the path they want to take.
For this purpose, YAB is headed out to their first group retreat in a couple of weeks and I have the good fortune to be invited along. The weekend promises to be a mixture of relaxation, recreation, and work. The work part, if it isn’t obvious, is where I step in. I have three big objectives I want to hit with them: to foster group bonding; to improve their inter-group communication skills; and to help them think through the project management process. Now that I typed that all out, it seems like a tall order for the weekend, but Amy, Lindsay, and I are enthusiastic, optimistic, and open to the unexpected. My minimum hope is to get through a weekend bunking with one other with smiles on everyone’s faces and no broken bones.