Saturday, January 24, 2009

Touching Base! Part 24

At Bethel, teams are incredibly important. But we often find that our weekly staff meetings do not provide the time needed to pursue one another. Weekly meetings are frequently full of “business” items, thus not allowing as much time as may be needed to pursue getting to know each other. And yet, high performance teams must be, first and foremost, connected at the heart, prioritizing building strong relationships and attempting to pursue each other!

So this past week some of the Bethel staff took off for a day to spend it at Camp IAWAH. The following is Carmen’s (our office administrator) reflection on the day together.


January 22

I spent the day with my colleagues yesterday at Camp IAWAH near Westport (about an hour from Kingston)... and no, for those of you thinking it (as I did), IAWAH is not named after an Indian tribe or anything, it's an acronym for In All Ways Acknowledge Him!

A wonderful, simple day of getting to know Fred, Pam, Tara and Mark better through a great format: we all sat together in front a cozy wood stove and each person got asked a question by the other four, and then we could ask clarifying questions as needed. No matters were off the table unless we felt uncomfortable answering, and it led to some really interesting discussions as well as and prayer for each individual.

I would wish that kind of level of relationship and trust existed in all workplaces, because it surely would change how people work together, and probably how people view work at all.

Then after an awesome lunch (soup, salads, burgers and sausages... IAWAH is very good at that!  ), the 5 of us took off on a long rambling walk through the snow, led by Mark, who has known IAWAH since he was a wee tot, and Fred, whose job at Bethel actually involves spending his summers working at the camp... we wound up on the (now frozen) lake (who says people can't walk on water?!) and we trudged down to Fred's ice-fishing shack, a cozy box for two, including a small wood stove to keep you warm while you're waiting for 'em to bite. I learned that walleye is one of the best fish you can catch and eat (if you can catch and eat 'em that is: the other night Fred was close to finally landing one when, just as it came out of the hole, it fell off his hook right back into the water! Very annoying...)

All that through some pretty snowfall all the way... before heading back to the main building, having a quick cup of tea and then saying goodbye to Fred (he was going to stay behind and do some fishing before heading home - apparently, fish can tell the time because they bite best after four o'clock) and the rest of the IAWAH crew, we headed back into Kingston.

Tara took some great pictures and video, and I hope to be able to put 'em in my blog and on the Bethel website when she sends them over.

Just one question remains: Hey Mark, how about doing an overnighter next winter?!

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