Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Race Is About to Begin

This morning found me in Ostrava, getting on a three hour train bound for one of my favorite cities.

But I'm not here alone! Claire is with me...

...and 148 other people, most of whom just arrived from the States today to be JV summer interns!

She and I are here as helpers for our JV Amazing Race, the intern team building event that takes place over three days, in three cities, and in three countries at the beginning of summer camps season.

During the next three days, they will receive clues (just like the tv program!) for getting from one place to another. There they find stations that all of the JV helpers are manning, and must complete tasks before heading on to the next one.

The purpose of the race, which can be quite challenging, is to build community (often times they are meeting each other for the first time when they arrive!), and for teams to know each other before the summer begins. We hope they get to know each other's strengths and weaknesses before they are under the stress of camp season, so that they can work through those things together, and thus build a team who will be most effective at camps.

Claire and I headed to the underground metro, in order to head towards the youth hostel where we we're meeting up with everyone.

We had our own challenge in reading the directions for how to reach the hostel! Would you know where to go?

With rain threatening, we came out of the metro and wandered through an ordinary Vienna neighborhood, hoping we were in the right place.

Walking through a normal neighborhood, we saw a normal sight.

For Vienna. 😉

There are beautiful cathedrals everywhere here!

We made it and found many friends, JV staff and interns, there to give hugs to!

Two of Claire's dearest friends from the Chicago area are here as interns - one for the summer, and one extended for six months. They didn't know Claire would be on the Amazing Race so were completely surprised to find her here. That was a happy greeting!

We met together with our JV staff who are all running the race as helpers, led by Zuzi who put together the race this year. She and Adel, another one of our staff, have worked on this for months, looking for locations, making up challenges, contacting hostels, arranging transportation, writing all the materials we're using, having them printed...and on and on. It's a LOT OF WORK!

But they do it so cheerfully, with servant hearts, in order to give the interns the very best experience.

This is the first time I've ever helped at one of our Amazing Races and already I am so impressed with our team, and how well organized everything is.

I can't wait to start tomorrow!

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