Roundup – July 17, 2015

Hello mind/body/spirit warriors!

Well folks, we are halfway through July.  Grocery stores are starting to put out the school supplies and before I know it, I’ll be packing my oldest for his return to college.  Why does summer feel like it goes so much faster than winter?

I sat in on Holly’s “Changing Lives” training this past Monday (she gives an awesome presentation btw) and enjoyed the opportunity to see another group of new employees have their “light-bulb” moment in better understanding the mission of our YMCA.  Forgot exactly what the mission is, you say?  Here’s a refresher:
“To be the leader in creating community that builds better people.”
Wow.  That’s impressive.  Maybe a little daunting as well, when one thinks of trying to influence an entire community of behavior?
So how exactly do YOU, as an employee of Countryside, even begin to tackle such a goal? Maybe we can get some perspective from say… Mother Teresa.

“If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” —Mother Teresa

EXACTLY. How does change begin? One person, one gesture, one act at a time.

I’m focusing on one particular bright spot this week because it is an example of how, as an employee body, we are growing in this understanding. Kathy C. from membership reported the following:

“Member stopped by the welcome center to describe her experience(s) at the Y. When she first joined Countryside in 2005, her experience was unpleasant… she felt that she was a ‘nuisance’ to YMCA staff at that time. The front desk often seemed ‘put off’ when answering questions or helping her… the instructors didn’t seem like they wanted her in their class because she was overweight and recovering from cancer. The guards at the pool would not allow her 2 year old son to swim even though she had purchased a ‘coast guard approved’ flotation vest because it wasn’t the ‘correct’ type of coast guard vest. She eventually cancelled her membership and moved.”

Ouch. That doesn’t seem like a very bright spot. But wait, there’s more!!

“When she moved back to this area, she was reluctant to rejoin the Y because of her negative experience. Her sons really wanted to join, so she came back. This time, from the moment she joined, she felt welcome. Nancy signed her up for membership and told her about engagement coaching. She made an appointment with Julie Fennessey and Julie was WONDERFUL! She has helped her find programs and set goals, as well as made her feel like she is a valued part of the YMCA community. She has tried many classes and the instructors have gone out of their way to make her feel welcome, especially Sharon Burton and Gloria Bausmith. The front desk welcomes her cheerfully when she comes in and staff often greets her in the hallways. At the pool, a guard offered her son a life jacket and encouraged him to keep working on swimming. Another guard allowed her to borrow swim goggles rather than making her run back to her car. Her sons are taking gymnastic and swim lessons. She is amazed and grateful that things are so different at the Y than the first time she was a member.”

This is good stuff, folks. It shows a clear effort on your part to improve the member experience. This is one story, one member, but the influence of her experience has a ripple effect. “Connections” are more here than a symbolic leg on a stool; they are real, touching human experiences.

Some members here may not be looking for connections. They make make you feel like:

But most members/campers/employees ARE here because they are looking for a meaningful experience. You are on the right track. Way to go!

Have a great weekend,


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