#9 – November Retreat: My Thoughts

The November Retreat was our first retreat, and was really amazing. At first I was extremely nervous because of our presentations and pretty much shook all of Saturday. Only until the very end of Saturday did I really calm down and relax, realizing this wasn’t something to fret about, but something to cherish. This is a fantastic opportunity and I don’t want to miss any of it because I was too scared to share my ideas. I think speaking in front of the group really brought me out of my shell.

After the final presentation, when we started to form groups, I really didn’t know if my idea of creating a program that provided migrant workers with nutritional counseling and fresh produce was realistic. I still don’t know if it’s something that really fits the idea of this program, to tell the stories of people who can’t tell them themselves. I think it would be beneficial to the cause, but I don’t think I’m the right person to really make it work.

I loved the independence of the whole thing. We still had help, we’re only teenagers, some younger than others, but even the help from the adults was at a minimum to really maximize our independent learning progress. I loved how we were given a schedule with free time that we could manage on our own time to really show our responsibility. We were allowed to explore and be kids, but on the other hand we were given the privilege of being able to spread our wings and take off without someone dragging us down, which takes a substantial amount of maturity. The adults in this program trust us to be responsible and that trust is what allows us to be creative and adventurous, to allow us to find our passions on our own. And that’s what I really think this program is all about.

I’m really excited to start working with my group, Nigel, Justin, and Brennan, with help from our mentor Brad. We have a really organized and detailed plan laid out, and I think it’s a really great way to start off. We will be pondering one question a week and then sharing our thoughts through Google Hangouts. We will rotate who will summarize our conversations on their blog post each week. This will provide a way for equal work load and for everyone to have a turn doing a little extra work.

By December, if our plan works, we should have a pretty strong idea of what we want to do and who we want to interview. I felt that we collaborated really well, and at first I was a little worried about being the only girl on the team, but I now don’t think it will be a problem. When we first met, we had no idea what our end product wanted to be, or where we wanted to take our topic. We started thinking of a documentary that mixed with interviews to sort of vouch for our stories of what has happened to these migrant workers. I think it’s a really good idea, and I really like it. I’ll be happy working on this topic and with this as our end goal.

I think I’ll be able to juggle all of my commitments and this and I’m really excited to work through the log and through my own thinking and research. I think I’ll be able to contribute a few sources for interviewees and along the way I will hopefully have ideas that propel the team along. I really look forward to the second retreat in December and I hope to really accomplish a lot in between these two get away’s.




Photo by Bill Rich

Elsa Lindenmeyr

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