The power of disconnecting and reconnecting (plus s’mores)

Cassidy Hyde (IL Spring '19), Development Officer, Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana

Cassidy Hyde (IL Spring ’19), Development Officer, Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana

Wow! I thought I knew myself and even Louisville pretty well…until I attended the Ignite Louisville opening retreat! From basic tips about introductions and remembering names to key insights on who you are as a person and how you operate, we were all amazed by how much we learned in two short days.

The newest session of Ignite Louisville kicked off this October with a group of young professionals in our community who are eager to get to know each other, get involved, grow and be a part of something larger than themselves. The opportunity to be in a room with these brilliant people would have made for a great couple of days on its own! But—when you add that to having intentional time spent disconnected from technology and the everyday stressors of the office, that’s where true transformation begins. The unique set up of the opening retreat allowed for a deeper dive and more brain space to really dig in and learn about ourselves and each other.

As with any new venture, it started with the nervous excitement that comes when you’re driving to a new place, (will there be coffee?), unsure what is in store for the two days, (I wish I could’ve brought my dog…) to take on a new project, (am I going to be underdressed?), working with a new organization (how many emails do you think I’ll have by lunch?), and spending lots of time with a group of people you haven’t even met yet (did I remember deodorant?). Little did we know that as soon as we get there, we are told that we’re going to know the names of everyone in the room (there’s like 44 of us) in the next couple of hours…yeah right, right? WRONG! I can’t even make it up, but I could recite the names of everyone in my class before lunch!

We were already off to a strong start within the first couple of hours and the rest of the retreat did not disappoint. Alumni came in to share their experiences and advice, nonprofits across the community shared powerful projects that we get to be a part of and we learned how to work together as a team, by first learning about who we are and how we operate on a team. And, I mean, there was a campfire…and s’mores. Where else are the best relationships built but around a campfire? What more could you ask for? At this point, not much, but true to Leadership Louisville Center fashion, there was more! And this is only the beginning!

Learn more about the Ignite Louisville experience