Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Team Training 2011: A great time

Team Training 2011 was a wonderful time of reunion and meeting new friends! Approximately 60 team members converged upon the Hyatt Place in Grapevine to learn about the camps, the Ukrainian culture, and to prepare for their respective trips this summer.
The sessions focused upon Ukrainian culture and religion, the 2011 curriculum, how to prepare for the trip, what to expect, connecting with the children, and how to work with translators/co-teachers.

This year there were some changes. Teams were given more time to meet together as teams for their own specific planning, communication, and prayer. Since many teams have team members scattered across the US, this change was enthusiastically welcomed.
Team Training also has gone digital. In order to streamline costs (and save some trees), team members were encouraged to bring laptops and were provided flash drives with the Team Member Handbook, required documents, and curriculum uploaded.

A huge "thank you" goes to those team leaders and members who made presentations or assisted in the presentations: Terry Kile, Sue Ann Mills, Gabe Fisher, Brian Durgin, Joe Mahaffey, and Viriginia Stubbs. Also a special thanks to Felton & Betty Smith and Todd, Virginia, & Madison Stubbs who came early to help with setting up!

I would like to thank Inna Kuzmenko, my assistant from Ukraine for her energy and tireless work. She flew in several days early to help get everything ready, from shopping for groceries to setting up and making presentations.
There is one other person who deserves recognition and thanks. Denise Baggett served as the founding Director of the EEM Youth Camp Program from 2006 to 2009.  All of this was while she organized and led the WEEM program, worked in the Benefit Dinners across the South, and served as Richard's assistant (just to list a few "hats" she wore). She recruited and trained me to take her place by the Fall of 2009 and I went full time as director in January 2010.

Because of her visionary leadership, tireless effort, love, and dedication the camp program has been successful. People throughout Ukraine and the United States have been influenced for God. Denise has always demonstrated a special love for orphans and children and it is clear the Camp Program would have been nothing without her. Denise would also be the first to give all credit to God and the first to say this was a "God-thing"--that only He deserves credit. 
Even so, she was the willing instrument in God's hands. Denise's last day as an employee for EEM will be March 31. She still plans to work as a volunteer along side her husband, Richard who is VP of Advancement.
We love you, Denise. Please know that you are appreciated and respected. 

2011 is going to be fantastic! I am looking forward to a wonderful year and I cannot wait to hear all of the amazing stories you will be ready to tell when you return. God's blessings upon you.

-Darryl Willis-

No comments: