Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Laying the foundation for Love.

Over a long weekend in late May 50+ of us gathered together at Buckhorn Camp, Idyllwild Ca. for an in person teen Advisor Intensive Retreat. The word retreat is often associated with relaxation. This is not that. This retreat is geared to lay the foundation of what it takes to be an advisor at at CSL teen camp. As a CSL advisor we are required to take an in-person training, at minimum, every 3 years with on-line refresher training in the in-between years. Every bit of it is necessary to do this work.

We sleep (as best we can) in bunk beds in cabins (or a bunkhouse) just like we do at summer camp. Our schedule, while slightly lighter than camp, is very FULL. From our very first meal together we began the process of engagement, learning about each other, finding common interests and making connections. It's so great to meet other youth leaders as well as witness young adults/former teens who are stepping into advisor rolls. We are a unique bunch of people that share a dedication to support, guide and spiritually nourish youth and teens. It is in these moments where we find our expanded tribe, we speak the same language, we network, we learn from each other and we are reminded of why we do what we do.
The CSL adult leadership team did a fantastic job of guiding us through intense and important training on mandated reporting, suicide awareness, gender expression, how to be an engaging and effective workshop facilitator and so much more. We also have a bit of fun participating in ice-breaker activities, mock workshops as well as nurturing activities to feed our soul. On Saturday we took a perimeter hike of camp boundaries. It was a beautiful day and the views were breathtaking. A highlight for me was spending time at and around the Labyrinth. It's location on the mountain and knowing that our CSL teens had a hand in creating the space always warms my heart and reminds me to breathe in deeply.               
We will gather again in a few short weeks in the middle of July for our week long adventure on that beautiful mountain. I am so grateful to be a part of this experience. Grateful for all the families and communities that come together to support and send their teens to these camps. We are prepared and ready having created the foundation for summer teen camp 2017, Love is Love is Love is Love. 

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