Ironwood Maine Web Update

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and they shine when the sun is out but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

            This week has been a good week and fairly busy. There have also been several changes. This week, I will be talking about experiences on the campus that have demonstrated communication and teamwork through both peers and staff.

            A big change that happened this week is that our Farmhouse and Frye managers have switched positions. This is a big change for the kids, staff, and managers. This shows teamwork and communication because every manager is different and when you are used to one manager’s way of doing things and then, the managers get switched, it requires even greater teamwork and communication. Looking ahead on Sunday, we are going off campus for a community service project to help out around the local Fire station and then enjoy some down time inside the Fire trucks.  Rumor has it that we will be putting on equipment to understand what a fireman has to go through when responding to emergencies.  On Saturday, the mini horses were brought up from Frye because ‘Fancy’ did not have a good reaction from the shot she received from the vet. This required teamwork and communication because we had to prepare for guest horses coming up to the barn. For example, preparing stalls, bringing up their grain, communicating to the barn lead and the person on grain duty, that there are two guest horses on their way!

             I’m a level 4 resident and last Sunday, I went to Frye to mentor during a wilderness group. We hiked behind the beaver pond where there is a wilderness tent campsite. We took the tent down and that required a lot of teamwork and communication.  Afterward, we brought dough out from our packs and put it on a stick and then, cooked it over the fire. It tasted so good.  On Monday, we took a lot of plants from the hoop house and then we planted them. We put in corn, peas, lettuce, cucumbers, and chives. We had to communicate about how we were going to set the plants up and share information about how to put them in the ground. On Tuesday, we had chicken cacciatore with orzo and it was delicious. It took all day for the sauce to cook and we had to plan out how we were going to delegate when we were not present or in a group.  I am outdoor lead this week and we are learning how to set up the sprinklers to water one half of the garden in a way so we do not have to do so much watering during the day. It is a very large garden and it takes a lot of time and good communication so that things get done properly.

            On Wednesday, I did my own mentor group at Frye. I did an egg toss, where you have people in two lines and you throw your egg to your partner, each time taking a step back. This activity works on communication and teamwork. It was really fun, and it showed me that the Frye kids’ are great people and how joyful and positive they are when they are having fun. They have good personalities and sometimes they make mistakes just like all of us. In conclusion, the week has been very successful with great teamwork and communication throughout the campus.

This Level 4 resident is right in that it has been a busy week at Ironwood…as always.  New arrivals, a Friday graduation, several promotions, a few individual setbacks and also change…lots and lots of change.  One of my favorite quotes is by George Bernard Shaw and I share it often at Ironwood: “Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.  So relevant for Ironwood residents, family and staff and when I look back at some of the very best Ironwood stories over the years, a global acceptance to change has always been present.  Openness in this way creates an environment that is far more positive than the contrary and opposing view…especially when modeled by the leaders within the family. 

I was commenting just yesterday that Ironwood’s resident population is currently looking extra strong, with so many unique, young personalities offering up enormous future potential.  All are working hard, they are surrounded with like-minded people in a safe environment, each learning new skills that will serve them long after they head home for good.  It’s great to get to know these kids for a time here in Maine and we know that you are looking forward to having them back with you ASAP.

Oh…and one more thing…late yesterday, Phoebe returned to me covered in smelly egg shells and yolk and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what had happened…now I know! 

We all wish you a great weekend.