There were 14 of us in the class. Some, especially those who grew up in this area, already knew a few of the others, but I was among those who knew no one else before beginning the class. By the end of the first class and the weekend retreat, however, we were all well acquainted, and more excited than ever about what we were going to accomplish.

I wrote about this class a few weeks ago. It’s a Leadership program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, and one of the graduation requirements is completion of a group project. During our first day-long class, we visited a number of local nonprofits, and met with representatives of others in order to learn more about what they do, whom they serve, and what some of their needs were that we as a group might be able to fulfill.

During our retreat, we spent some time getting to know each other and learning more about each other’s – and our own – strengths and skill sets. We also discussed various projects we might take on, and did a lot of activities that explored our individual and collective leadership styles, and provided lessons in trust and teamwork.

One of the last things we did before the end of the retreat was for everyone to say one word about how they felt at the start of the retreat, and one about how they felt now, as it was coming to a close. In referring to how we felt before the retreat started, many of us used words like “nervous” and “apprehensive,” since we had been told that everything we needed over the weekend would be provided, but were given very little information about the schedule itself, or what the sessions would involve.

The words that described  how we felt at the end of the retreat included “confident,” “eager,” and “excited.” Although we haven’t finalized our project, we’re all rarin’ to go, and eager to work with each other.

What most impressed and excited me in all of this was seeing how a small group of people who didn’t know each other well, or at all – people of various ages, backgrounds, professions, and personalities – could come together so well and so quickly with the intention of working together on a common goal, before even determining what that goal would be. In this day and age, when it often seems difficult to even say hello without offending or angering someone, it was inspiring and energizing to be a part of something that I know is going to be a positive and powerful experience for all of us, and will make a difference in the world – or our little corner of it.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

November 15, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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