While the official first day of summer isn’t until next week, we are already well into the season at Blue Ridge. As usual, our busiest time of year kicks off with Orientation Week, an essential time for both year-round and seasonal staff to get acquainted with Blue Ridge (and each other).
International and collegiate staff arrived over the course of 3 days (May 30- June 1), from all over the globe! Our seasonal staff hail from Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Turkey, China, and Taiwan. We also have several collegiate staff from North & South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Mississippi, as well as volunteers from Tennessee, Colorado, and Texas.
Orientation Week kicked off with an evening climb on the Odyssey course, a high ropes activity as a way to “break the ice” and get staff excited for the adventures that await this summer. The following morning we all met at the Lake Laurel where the leadership team was introduced and Kurt Eckel, in his first summer as CEO, presented the beloved “Eureka Story” and discussed Weatherford’s founding principles. After a touching prayer service (and skit) from our Chaplain, the Program Department led several fun and challenging team-building activities for the staff.
Throughout the week staff also attended several training sessions to review Blue Ridge facilities, services, policies, and procedures. We were even able to practice our Assembly-wide fire drill to prepare for emergency situations. The busy week concluded with a cookout at the lake, and before we knew it we were all back to the grind preparing for the first conference groups of the summer!
On Wednesday, June 9th we featured “Sun Safety” as our health topic for the month. The information table was set up on the staff patio during lunch, and Nurse Nancy was available with important facts about protecting your skin from the sun. Louis Rhinehart, a local AVON representative also joined us and graciously provided several gift baskets as door prizes. Samples of summer skin necessities like sunscreen, insect repellent, and SPF lip balm, as well as refreshments were also enjoyed by everyone.
Once again, a warm and friendly welcome to all of our summer staff & volunteers joining us this year. Let’s make Summer 2010 the best one yet!