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Thursday, January 22, 2015

What We Did: Inter-Org 2015

On January 9th-11th, the Campus Sustainability Office planned and hosted their 5th annual weekend retreat for a variety of organizations. The beauty of the Inter-Organizational retreat is that attendees' primary focus does not have to be sustainability. Groups with a variety of interests and foci were in attendance. The unique point of view that every organization brought made for a far richer experience. The first night, Friday, took place on campus, while the remainder of the retreat took place in Boulder Creek, California at the YMCA Camp Campbell.

Friday night began in the Stevenson Event Center with a delicious dinner prepared by volunteers, and the Inter-Org Foods subcommittee. The planning team would like to thank PICA for letting them use their kitchen and supplies to cook the meal on Friday evening. The meal consisted of delicious, spicy vegan chili and tortilla chips. Dessert was a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free brownie. There was assigned seating so that attendees were forced out of their comfort zone by being required to meet new people and mix and mingle with other organizations and individuals. Thanks to Lily Urmann and Chris Kane, two UCSC student leaders, we were all able to silk screen our white t-shirts after dinner, with the weekend's motto: "Communi[ty]cation!"

Next, we were introduced to the Recreation Department's Experiential Leadership Program. It consisted of an awesome group of student leaders who taught us activities that allowed us to practice the skills necessary to working well in a group. One activity that stood out as particularly fun was the blind-fold maze. We were placed in groups of two, and one member wore a blindfold. The other member of the pair had to guide the blindfolded individual across the maze through their directions- no physical guidance was allowed! If you stepped on the cones, you were frozen! Communication and trust were absolutely integral to playing this game; just as communication and trust are an integral part of working together in an office and organization!

Friday night ended with fun skits! Each of the team building groups were given about 15 minutes to create their own original cheer, chant, rap or story that was representative of their evening at the Inter-Org kick off dinner. Shortly after, most went home to pack and get their camping gear in order for our early morning the following Saturday.

Saturday morning kicked off with a great seminar by Generation Waking Up, led by Mira Michelle of PICA, Tawn Kennedy of Green Ways to School/People Power/Sierra Club, and Maiya Evans of UCSF. Generation Waking Up is an open source curriculum that works to ignite the passion in young people to bring forth a more sustainable world.

After Generation Waking Up, attendees were treated to a variety of workshops presented by our fellow student organizations. Some workshops topics included Cultural Resilience, Biomimicry, and Compassion. The workshops left everyone feeling energized and full of new knowledge and understanding. After the student-led workshops, everyone shared a delicious dinner together and then gathered at the campfire for the annual talent show! It is amazing how much talent each and everyone individual who attended possesses!

The following morning, the retreat wound down with a delicious breakfast and break out sessions for individual organizations to gather and discuss ways to incorporate their newfound knowledge and inspiration into future projects. Inter-Org ended with a group circle where everyone shared a word that personally summed up their experience at the retreat.

Thanks to Lauren Korth for the photographs, and to everyone who made this retreat possible! If you are interested in getting involved in planning next year's retreat, please email Melina at mmeserol[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Don't know why i just saw this <3