I drove up the dirt path leading to the Barbara C. Harris Episcopal Camp and Conference Center for our overnight retreat feeling like it was my first day of school. I was nervous and excited to be a part of the Leadership Greater Nashua Class of 2022. Those nerves quickly dissipated as all eighteen of us stepped out of our comfort zones and started the morning with icebreaker games led by Whit Mitchell and John Kerrick. We then spent time discussing our behavior styles and ways to effectively communicate and support those individual styles. My biggest takeaway was realizing that there isn’t one that’s better than another – each has unique strengths that can support the growth and success of a team.
Following an afternoon doing team-building activities with Lynn Boyer, Executive Director of Youth Development for the YMCA, we had the remainder of the night to connect with our classmates. We didn’t let the rainy weather deter us from having a good time. We played cornhole in the gym, made smores at the fire in the lodge (kudos to Chuck Mattia for his master fire making skills), and just chatted for hours before heading back to our cabins for a true camping experience.
On Friday, we had the privilege of hearing from Moe Arel, former Nashua Mayor, about the rich history of Greater Nashua and Liz Fitzgerald, Director of Community Impact for the United Way of Greater Nashua, about culture and diversity. Did you know that there are 70+ languages spoken at home by Nashua Children aside from English? We should celebrate and learn from the beautiful diversity that Greater Nashua offers. Finally, we closed out the retreat with an impactful presentation from Paul Hebert focusing on legacy. It’s something we should all reflect on. What legacy do we want to leave in this world?
Despite having met many of my classmates for the first time on Thursday, I left Friday knowing that this wasn’t only an opportunity to grow as leaders and support our community, but also create lifelong friendships. I am grateful to the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce for providing us with this unique opportunity, and I sincerely encourage anyone who has the ability to apply to this program in future years.
By: Kameo Chasse, Manager of Volunteer Services, Southern New Hampshire Health