Youth Services Annual Retreat A Success!

By Carol Hendrycks, Youth Services Communications Manager

IMG_7441After months of careful planning by our Youth Services Employee Relations Committee, we held our annual division training and retreat on Tuesday, September 22 which was a beautiful fall day – the weather was perfect! About 120 staff were welcomed at the IMG_7433Cottonwood Country Club in Holladay for a full day of training, activities, food and fun. Here are some excellent comments from our staff.

Maria Drummond, Recreation Therapist says, “the retreat and training event this year was spectacular with mother nature providing a beautiful day making the outdoor patio a gathering place during lunch and breaks. IMG_7447The day started out with a nice welcome from SLCo Mayor McAdams, followed by Pat (our director) giving us a warm welcome and overview of the agenda”.

The morning training workshops included: Keynote Speaker/Dr. Paul Jenkins,IMG_7465

Liz Rivera/Circle of Security, Candice Metzler/Practice with Gender and Sex Variance, Gang Task Force/Youth Gangs, Rachel Peterson/Creating Safe Places for LGBT youth and SLCo/Active Shooter Training. Workshops held 50 staff IMG_7476per class – survey says…all the breakout sessions and keynote speaker were engaging and provided valuable information all staff can use in their workday.

The lunch time music  was a treat provided by cover band CryWolf. IMG_7478Ken Pena sang Lead Vocals; Jim Teahan played Lead Guitar; Dave Vawdrey was Rhythm Guitar and low Back-up Vocals; and Youth Services’ Shane Pond, Youth Services was Cajon (Drummer) and high Back-up Vocals.  Shane Pond says, “The members of CryWolf brought many years of collective experience of playing in electric bands to the table for a feast if not a smorgasbord of rockin’ acoustic delights. I sincerely hope everyone there relished CryWolf’s auditory desert desserts. The food was a relished token of appreciation and the scenery was an incredible backdrop/environment for submerging in the music of yesteryears. Thanks to all who recommended CryWolf, who helped schedule the band, and who helped with set-up arrangements”.

IMG_7526And next to the band out on the green, a game of volleyball was taking place. Couldn’t say who was winning or losing but with cool tunes and sunshine everyone wins!

JD Green, Program Manager for Crisis Residential and Juvenile Receiving Centers writes,IMG_7505 “The training I received at the retreat was great! The two-part session discussing the “Circle of Security: Parent Attending To The Child’s Needs” is always good. It talked about the parents or caregivers as the secure base as the child explores the surrounding world and the parents or caregivers being the safe haven for the child to come back to just to check-in or when the surrounding world gets a little too scary. One of the points made in the training was how important it is to be with the child emotionally, recognizing the feelings of the child instead of telling the child not to cry or be angry. It is all good information! In my opinion, and for this paragraph is the opinion that counts, this retreat was the best! Great job team!

IMG_7489Food was delicious…a treat to enjoy a hot buffet, plenty of beverages and ending this day with cake and comedy was a good finale to a long day of training! The perIMG_7482formance company Quick Wits gave us hilarious interactive skits that played out using our own organization background information and every day dialog about what we do at work. They brought everyone to tears laughing so hard without offending anyone or anything and had nothing but positive reactions from everyone! It was fun to see our directors and staff involved in the skits to add their own spin on standup comedy! Good work! IMG_7598Carolyn Hansen, Clinical Services Director IMG_7597says, “It was good to look around the room and see people truly having fun and having a good laugh. We do serious work 40 hours a week and it’s nice to have had that reward for a day. Laughter adds years to your life. Check out this article.

IMG_7501Other activities included card making, Thriller dancing practice (look forward to IMG_7518another stellar Youth Services performance this year closer to Halloween – stay tuned! And of course karaoke with excellent performances from Youth Services staff. You haven’t IMG_7558heard anything until you’ve heard Jan, Mark and Tavita sing “Like A Virgin”…yep that’s right people. You had to be there. IMG_7554And Rob, Jeff and Charlie gave a great rendition of “Friends in Low Places”. And of course Michelle was on her game delighting us with her excellent voice. Thanks to the many staff who were bold and brave to stand up and shout out some great tunes!

All in all the retreat and training day was a success! Again, we appreciated everyone participating and understand the logistics to coordinate staffing to accommodate our clients and keep business at our 24/7 agency going. And thank you to our guests and speakers for helping to entertain, enlighten and encourage our good works. The Employee Relations Committee really collaborated and gave us the best offsite retreat and training day possible. Applause! We look forward to another great retreat next year!

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