When you walk into the Explo office in Norwood, MA, the open office concept and the numerous dogs wandering about gives it a welcoming feel. However, I had no idea what to expect from the two days of conferences and seminars with their senior staff. Now back in Delaware – in the daily grind of my position as School Site Director – I am just so grateful for my time spent in Boston with The SLC and EXPLO.
Working so closely with leaders from other Wilmington area community organizations was eye opening. It was extremely helpful to have engaging conversations with colleagues from different organizations about issues that we all manage everyday: organizational structure, scheduling, and the logistics of moving large numbers of kids while allowing for choice and ambitious academic outcomes.
One on one consulting with Explo’s senior staff was so helpful. Their leaders were insightful and always willing to delve into camp specific issues while helping us keep the bigger picture and a bigger vision of what’s possible in mind. Elliot’s presentation on project management provided very tangible solutions to issue that we all face daily. Finding the balance between work and home is critical to keeping your sanity. The folks at Explo not only value, but encourage their employees to find and maintain that balance.
The session I found most enlightening was the one on feedback. Like most of us, conflict is one of the most difficult things I deal with in my professional life. Setting a tone and culture of positive feedback makes camp and other organizations a more pleasant and rewarding place to work. Having the courage to accept the feedback as a gift, and acknowledging that we are all on the path to improvement really struck a chord with me. I hope to become better at giving and receiving feedback based on the things I learned from David.
The journey we took to Boston to meet with the fine folks at Explo was full of fun, learning and new skills that can be carried over into my day-to-day professional life. It’s rare that someone in my position gets the opportunity to have direct access to people who are not only so giving and kind but are full of extensive professional knowledge on summer camps. I consider myself lucky to have been able to be a part of the trip.
With much thanks,