YMCA Childcare Blog

Casey, A YMCA OSHC Inspired Leader

YMCA Inspired Leaders is a four day long residential leadership and personal development program. It is run by the YMCA which aims to build strong and effective community change makers.

The program seeks to engage with young people aged 18 to 28 from across Australia; those who have an association with the YMCA or simply those seeking to take up the challenge of being community change makers.

Casey, was nominated by her Area Coordinator to attend the YMCA Inspired Leaders Camp, this is her article.

Earlier this year I was nominated and accepted to attend the YMCA Inspired Leaders Camp at Camp Leslie Dam in Warwick. I had learnt more than I ever thought possible and a significant amount of what I learnt has been highly beneficial to me both personally and professionally. Every minute of the day was spent getting to know everyone, engaging and building strong bonds with people we’d never met and learning helpful and powerful things with the help of incredible mentors and facilitators.

We were given the significant opportunities to self-reflect, become self-aware, engage with others on a personal and professional level and engage with ourselves spiritually. During the camp the most memorable event for me was when I could finally put a title to experiences that I sometimes struggle with and that is called “Intention Versus Perception”. Intention versus perception means: what you said/did or how you behaved and how you think it comes across versus what you said/did or how you behaved and how another person has taken it. For example, you could make a joke at work that you think is hilarious (intention: to be funny) but a colleague has been offended by your joke instead (perception: offensive). Intention versus perception was spoken a lot about at camp and I found it integral in my personal and professional development throughout the camp, simply because I know that sometimes I struggle with my own intention versus perception on occasion. I have discovered several things that help me prevent situations of negative intention versus perception from happening in my life and career and these things are:

  • Show reflective listening to whomever you are interacting with (this can show respect, courtesy and appreciation to people)
  • Get to know your colleagues on a personal-professional level so that trust and rapport is built (this could help build the team and help enforce trusting and confident relationships with people)
  • Make eye contact (this can show receptiveness and attentiveness to people)
  • Understand what appropriate conversation and interaction is within your workplace and colleagues (this can help prevent inappropriate conversations or situations happening)
  • Communicate effectively within your team (this can prevent misunderstandings and wrongful receipt of communication)

I have also found that it is important to know that not everyone will perceive what you have said/done or the way you have behaved in the way that you intended them to. When this happens I have also found it highly beneficial to address the situation if you can see that negative intention versus perception has taken place. Addressing the situation with importance will help build good communication and respect within your team, audible feedback and addressing the issue can also help prevent these situations from happening again.

Throughout the YMCA Inspired Leaders Camp we not only had the opportunity to be taught and mentored by amazing facilitators but we also had the opportunity to build our professional and personal character by interaction and information sessions provided to us. The learning’s that were provided to us were not just things on paper, but learning’s that had personal contribution and familiarity by the facilitators which made everything more beneficial and integral to our development and learning throughout the camp. I had taken so much away from this camp and I can honestly say that it not only has helped me every day upon my return at work but also has helped me become more self-aware and reflective within my personal life.

We all started the camp as YMCA employees, we were all curious about what the camp would hold in store for us. We all accomplished different things, worked through ourselves and our thoughts, we all succeeded in different ways and we all left with a new sense of self and a new feeling of empowerment – But most of all, we had left the camp not just as YMCA employees, but as an indisputably strong part of the valued YMCA family. Never in my life so far have I worked with a more integral and opportunity providing organisation with a large string of servant leaders ready to help and empower you.

I am over the moon with all the opportunities that I have been given in my twelve months at the YMCA. I am so thankful that I work with such a great team of people all across the board - from my colleagues and coordinator, to the admin staff, to the area coordinators and all high level management. I can express my joy every day throughout my career because we don’t work for the YMCA, we work with the YMCA and for anyone who thinks that they would benefit or are interested in what the YMCA Inspired Leaders Camp could have in store for them, I highly recommend participating and experiencing something totally out of your normal realm.

Written By Casey Holloway, YMCA Dutton Park OSHC Educator.