2012--The Year Of Intentionality

This will probably be my last post of 2011 for Camp Business, and with that I thought it might be a good time to talk about some goals or resolutions for 2012.

I have never been good about making resolutions and, to be honest, I can only remember having one in my lifetime (I did not keep it), so putting this down in an article might help me stay on track for 2012 and help motivate others to pursue their resolutions.

My resolution for 2012 is to be intentional .

This might not seem like a big deal to many people, but I need to do a better job of living my life on purpose or with intentionality.

I need to be more intentional in my personal life (not just let things come to me and react) and in my professional life.

I don’t know how my intentionality will look in my personal life, but in my professional life, I have picked out a few areas where I will be more intentional in my work with the YMCA, with summer camp, with my co-workers, with customers and with volunteers.

Intentionality of leadership: To be more intentional in my leadership, I am going to have to spend time with my co-workers and those I lead. I am going to have to listen to them (I can be a bad listener), provide opportunities for their continued success and challenge them in areas of potential growth.

Intentionality of recruitment: We are in the people business at summer camp, and because of this I am going to be more intentional in how I engage with our customers and continue to push our team to a higher level of service and involvement with our campers and their families outside of their summer camp session.

Intentionality of philanthropy: I want to create a culture of philanthropy throughout our staff and volunteer team. Philanthropy is not a six-week period every year when we ask people for money; it is a single thread of purpose that shows up in everything we do. A culture of philanthropy will drive us to better serve our communities and to always be looking for opportunities to share our stories of impact to connect and engage with our communities.

Intentionality of programming: This will be the easiest of my list because I think about program opportunities often, but I can be better. I can be more intentional about asking for and listening to the feedback from our customers. Am I delivering what our customers want or am I delivering what I think they want?

Intentionality of mission: I need to be more focused on what we are trying to accomplish at camp. I need to do a better job of articulating our mission, attracting volunteers to our mission and raising more money (philanthropy) to help fulfill our mission.

Intentionality of personal development: I need to become better, and the way this is going to happen is by being intentional about whom I spend my time with and what I read. I will take the next year to intentionally connect with great leaders and innovators so I can be the best leader I can be and that we can deliver the best programs we can deliver.

I don’t know if you are inclined to setting a New Year’s resolution or setting yearly goals, but I know that the only way that I am going to become the best I can be is to hold myself accountable by writing my resolution down and asking my colleagues to hold me accountable.

What will you be focusing on in the upcoming year? Who will be the people that hold you accountable?

I will be more intentional in 2012, what will you be?

Dave Bell has directed day and resident camp programs for more than 15 years. Currently, he is the Executive Director of Camping Services for the YMCA of Greater Seattle. He is a former American Camp Association Southeast Section board member, a certified Y-USA Day Camp Director Trainer and a Y-USA partner YMCA camp consultant. Reach him via e-mail at dbell@seattleymca.org.