Pre-Dawn Thoughts Before Another Youth Retreat

I’m up before daybreak on a Saturday. We’re putting 12 jr. high students on a bus at 9:00 this morning to spend a weekend together–and with us three leaders–at a YMCA camp north of the city. It’s the seventh overnight event of the year. No big deal.

But it is a big deal because these students don’t know each other and these leaders have never led together. Eight students are from one program, four from another. The goal of the weekend is to be make new friends across the lines of school and neighborhood that have kept them from ever meeting, as well as to practice some cross-organizational collaboration.

I’m excited and nervous. I lead retreats all the time, and I have come to accept the role of being in charge of everything that goes wrong and everything that goes right. I’m not in charge this weekend. I’m one member of a leadership team of three. I know almost nothing about my other two leaders and they know the same about me. We know enough, though, because we know we want to work on this together. That’s not nothing.

Seth Godin likes to say that “This might not work” is the slogan of all meaningful projects. This morning in the dark I take comfort in that.

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