Leadership Weekend: A Parent Perspective

So, what is it like to make the transition from parent to staff at Bryn Mawr?  This past weekend I had an insider’s view and was so impressed that I wanted to share some thoughts with you.

As a parent, I felt completely confident in my decision to send my girls to Bryn Mawr.  I knew that the philosophy represented the same values that my husband and I shared at home and it was clear that my girls were well cared for in a safe environment. But this weekend, I had the opportunity to see Bryn Mawr from a completely different perspective.

Of course, in the winter that never seems to end, last Friday was a cold, snowy day even though the calendar reminded us that it was April.   But, this was a weekend I didn’t want to miss. My first stop was Dan and Jane’s house in New Jersey for a day of professional development with Bob Ditter.  Wow…honestly, that is all I can say.  I knew that Bob served as a consultant to our camp but didn’t really know the depth of his connection.  He is a clinical social worker extraordinaire and I wish he could come live in my house.  Since that is not likely, I feel so fortunate that he comes to camp during the summer to work with our staff and children. Bob only works with a few select camps and we are extremely lucky to benefit from his expertise.

Then, after an enriching day with Bob, it was time to go to Bryn Mawr.  As I drove on the familiar roads up to camp, the trees were all bare, the sky was grey and everything looked quite different from the summer.  I pulled into the empty parking lot and I must admit I was a bit nervous.  Dan, Jane, Britton, Drew and the rest of the leadership staff were meeting at camp for Leadership Weekend.

From the moment I arrived, the atmosphere was as warm and welcoming as the environment that my daughters experience during the summer.  The leadership at Bryn Mawr is a close group of intelligent women and men.  Everybody took the time to introduce themselves and gave me an overview of their role at camp.  I was immediately struck by the genuine affection, admiration and respect they all seemed to have for each other.  What a wonderful example for my girls.

As we participated in team building activities and discussed ideas for the summer, I was overwhelmed not by the challenges that were ahead of me, but by the strengths of the team that leads our camp.  Their dedication to our children, and to the staff that takes care of them, is incredibly impressive.  Through each discussion, they tried to anticipate everybody’s needs and continuously asked, “How can we do this better?”  As a person who has always relied on her instincts, it felt so good to have all of my feelings validated.

I drove home this morning exhilarated by the weekend and excited to take on my new role within the Bryn Mawr family.

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