Ballina Empower U - My biggest challenge to date
Another Empower U program complete. Another group of lives changed. However the road to get there was a different one altogether. Over the years I have had many challenges crop up over the weekend. In many ways not matter how much you prepare the nature of a course like this challenges will pop up and you deal with them as you go. Having said that I have never had so many in one program. Let me list off some of the bigger ones.
1. My mic died. Had no microphone for 90% of the weekend
2. One channel mixer so all sound from various outputs had to be the same level
3. No extension for dataprojector so it had to sit on my table for me to run
4. No sound for board break visualisation
5. Amp blew just before board break
6. Wrong track played for visualisation
7. Power to the entire town went down on Sunday after a car hit a telegraph pole
8. As a result of the above point we did the first dance session of the day with no music or lights. A silent dance session
Now most of these points may not make sense to you but normally there is one or two challenges to overcome. This was quite overwhelming especially given the fact that there were no senior assist members for the first time in our history. Fortunately the team that was available really stepped up and did a sensational job. Every challenge we faced was met with a real commitment to solve it. I cannot speak highly enough about the effort my team gave to the weekend.
As for the participants themselves there was a feeling of uncertainty and skepticism on the friday night. To everyones credit they got over that mindset fairly quickly and got engaged in the experience. Having so many revisits who attended before was a huge help as they really raised the bar for the rest of the group. There were so many amazing outcomes and breakthroughs that I have no doubt that it will have a lasting impact on the lives of all that attended.
Coming to Ballina over the past 12 months has been a huge success and the local community is certainly getting behind it and spreading the word. As a result we are going back to do it all again in November.