Complete strangers to friends in less than 36 hours

Lindsey Gumer

Lindsey Gumer (IL Fall 2018), supervisor, pediatric surgery fellowship program, Norton Healthcare

After a rainy drive to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, I found myself anxiously awaiting the start of a program I had long been anticipating. Forty-one new faces in the room, each with their own stories and own reasons for being at the opening retreat for Ignite Louisville.

Questions I had: What will I learn? Who will be on my team?  Enter the name game, where, by the end, we could name most if not all of our class by first AND last name. I felt at ease. Everyone in the room knew how to say my name – correctly! Finally! In such a short time, these strangers were new acquaintances and on the way to being friends and teammates. Learning about where each of us come from and the reasons we are there – not only for our personal development but to impact some part of our community- was really special.

The campfire at Wooded Glen has a long tradition of sparking great friendships.

The afternoon was spent learning about Ignite from former graduates and participating in fun team building exercises with them. The rest of the evening we were able to get to know more of our class and the staff in a casual, relaxed environment hanging out by a campfire. Since Louisville is such a “small town” there were connections from each person I encountered. As reported from Jo on Day Two, we now know there is a time when the keycards get cut off from accessing the building where the rooms were! That is the sign of a good time if you ask me.

Day two brought out a full morning of really getting to know ourselves. What a fantastic way to meet your team by first learning about yourself then how you will interact with others.  The Leadership Louisville team sets you up for success from the beginning and allows you to navigate the challenging parts of being on a team by giving you the tips and tricks on how to do it the best way right out of the gate. We met ten wonderful non-profits who all were incredibly impressive. I can’t wait to see who is chosen and how each team will work to accomplish the non-profit’s goals.

As the day was winding down, we were able to meet closely with our teams, come up with a game plan and thoughtfully narrowed down our non-profit choices.  The day closed with a feeling of excitement and anticipation of all the great things our team can accomplish together. My original questions were answered beyond what I imagined. This is only the beginning – the best is yet to come!

Learn more about the Ignite Louisville experience