At our monthly team meetings, one of our crew members discusses some of our five values: strength, courage, commitment, heart, and spark. This is Lesley’s reflection from this month’s meeting.
Courage, basically, is to act in the face of fear. This does not mean fear does not exist; the fear is felt and you decide to act anyway.
Each year at this time, I am always amazed by the applications for our Survivor Conference. When you break the stats down, it is usually a 50/50 split on “newbies” and alumni, and this year is no different. This means that close to half of the people who applied for this event have never been to one of YACC’s national four-day face-to-face events. With over 150 applications received to date (this blog was written in mid-May) that means 75 people had the courage to reach out and apply to an event hosted by a group of strangers. This number doesn’t even include the applicants who are considered “alumni of YACC,” but who have not been to Survivor Conference before. This takes courage.
We are no longer of the age where our parents take us on playdates where the decision to be friends is made for us. We are at an age where we are able to make these decisions for ourselves — and that kind of makes it tougher.
What does make it easier is the community these new YACCers are coming into — a community of their peers who know what it feels like to need that extra bit of courage at a first-time event, who know what it feels like to have an alumnus introduce themselves, and who know what it feels like to leave the event at the end of the weekend with the feeling of knowing all of these strangers their whole lives.
Yes, YACC’s staff has the heart, commitment, and spark to make the Conference happen, but the magic is found in the community.