Written by Juanita Fox
On a crisp Friday morning in mid-October I joined about 60 Garden Spot Communities team members and leaders as they gathered at Refreshing Mountain in Stevens, Pa. We immediately signed release forms and split into groups. One group headed to Refreshing Mountain’s adrenaline-inducing zip line course, a second group headed to the fun-yet-physically-challenging ropes course and a third group headed off to complete team-building activities with their feet safely on the ground.
As the next hour unfolded, the unique culture of Garden Spot Communities emerged. Encouragement fluttered through the treetops as team members, safely tethered on the ropes course pushed their limits and took physical and emotional risks at 25 feet in the air.
“You got this!”
“You’re almost there.”
“Just one more step!”
“Don’t worry. I’m coming to help you.”
The sense of community was tangible. Relationships were deepened as people depended on each other to finish the course. Laughter and stories followed as we descended the steps, ready to have both feet safely back on the ground. As the activities came to a close, we lingered in the cool morning air, sharing stories and experiences. And most importantly, building community.
As we headed back to the conference room, we shed our coats and sweatshirts and began to uncover our Enneagram numbers, which were boldly printed on custom t-shirts, made just for the day. Little did we realize how well the following hours would shed light on our numbers, our personalities, our work experiences and the words our souls long to hear from God and others around us.
Brett and Susan Payne, Rhythms for Life Soul Care, Downingtown, Pa., served as a resource team for the day, walking us through the Enneagram Personality framework and explaining the strengths and challenges of each personality type.
Six hours later, after hours of teaching and sharing, a laughter-filled lunch, and multiple “5-minute breaks” that stretched a little longer and were punctuated with conversation and sharing, the participating managers and directors reflected on the day.
Katie Mable, who works in Wellness, said, “I appreciated this time to stop and learn. So often we are striving and planning on days when we are off-site. But today felt like soul care.”
Dawn Brady, household coordinator in Fallcrest, responded, “Can I have a sign with my number? That way when Becky asks why I’m doing what I’m doing I can just hold it up and say, ‘I’m a 7! It’s ok.’”
Everyone laughed, but the truth was, sharing our Enneagram numbers was freeing and enlightening. It helped us understand who we were, who we can be and how, in relationship, we can most effectively build community together.
Reflecting on the day, CEO Steve Lindsey said, “I was once again struck by what an amazing group of people—composed of many different personality styles—we have in our GSC community… and I am confident that we can continue to do amazing things in the future as we each live into the way that we are wired and use the talents and gifts that we all bring to the organization.”