Nearly every Tuesday, our staff holds a meeting to discuss how the term is coming along and any upcoming events. Usually these meetings are held in the brick house, but once renovations on the white house are complete, we plan on moving the meeting space there. I’m secretly hoping we can fit an extra couch up in the white house, as we have a strict divide between “couch-sitters” and “table-sitters” during our meetings. Shockingly, the couches tend to be the more crowded locale.
A typical meeting begins with each of the team leaders addressing any news or issues with facilities, horses, or programs. We then go through the “scrum board”, a board filled with index cards containing individual tasks or goals that are either on the backlog, in progress, or completed. After adjusting the cards and cheering for the completed tasks, we move on to the meat of the meeting. The flavor can vary from week to week. Sometimes Mama Joy will share one of her world famous power points with us (these have been the backdrop of some of my greatest battles against the couch and its hypnotic spells), other times a staff member will present a lunch and learn, and occasionally we’ll have a guest speaker from another organization.
The meeting this past Tuesday was a bit different. First, we gathered for a staff photo, and then we spread out in the brick house to sign thank you cards for this past year’s donors. By the time our hands were all gnarled from scribing a thousand thank yous, lunch was ready. Lunch is usually prepared by Mama Joy and shared with the whole staff. As a 20-something single guy living by himself, I have to admit that having a home-cooked meal is my favorite part of any meeting. We followed up lunch by quickly running through the scrum board and then scurried back to the white barn to prepare for the afternoon lessons.
Staff meetings allow for all members of our staff to remain in the loop and to prepare for any future happenings. It creates a routine time and space for staff bonding, too. Most of my outside friends tend to dread meetings at their various workplaces. So I find it kind of awesome that I actually look forward staff meetings at the Red Barn.