Orientation and Communication
 during an Alternative Spring Break Work Retreat

We have put in place a few tools that will facilitate good communication between your community and the Good Works community. What follows will give you an idea of what you can expect after you arrive with your group at Good Works. We view these not as an end, but a beginning toward developing a relationship with you and the members of your group. Underlying these structural attempts to facilitate communication is a commitment to a relationship with you that is positive, constructive and addresses problems in a healthy way.

Before you arrive, please plan to have dinner with your group. This significantly helps with the process of getting you settled and doing the orientation. If this will not work for you, please feel free to talk with Paul about this.

After you arrive, a GW representative will be present to welcome you. Who this is will depend on when you are arriving. It could be an intern, the House Manager, Paul or some other designated staff person. First, they will show the group leadership where the kitchen facilities are and where your food can be stored. They will also show you the dorm rooms in which you will be staying. After that you can direct the group to unload and bring items to the appropriate places.

One of the individuals welcoming you will the be person designated to “Host” for the evening. This person is a key, go-to person for your group. Each evening you are in the house, there will be someone assigned to generally oversee the activities of the house. Often the hosting intern is the one who welcomes the group who will provide an orientation for your group. He/she will also be available to answer questions about the kitchen, chores, the food pantry and Good Works in general. Please do not hesitate to seek assistance from this person. They are present to help you.

After you get settled in, an orientation to Good Works in general and the Hannah House in specific will be given to the entire group. This will take 30-45 minutes. This is intended to be a welcoming of your community to our community. You will be introduced to those living in the house and we will go over some guidelines for living together for the week. We would actually like for this to be a review for the members of your group. It is important that you go over the Participant Packet information with the members of your group prior to coming. This will prepare them for the Work Retreat and gives them the opportunity to process some of these things before they get here. This is a great time to ask questions. We would encourage you to have the members of your group ready to participate by preparing five questions to ask during their time with Good Works.

On Monday morning following the Morning Conversation, Paul will meet with the leadership of the group. During this meeting, we will briefly discuss issues of communication and your expectations. Please bring up any concerns you have at this time.

Mid-week, we will have a check-in time. The intent is to give you an opportunity to discuss any problems that have come up and to try to make any adjustments that we can. We will also share with you any concerns we might have. Our desire is to keep the lines of communication open and flowing freely.

Finally, on Friday an evaluation will be done with you, the group leader. This is your time to tell us about your experience during the week. Your honest feedback is a gift to us, enabling us to grow and develop Work Retreat opportunities for groups. We want to resolve any problems that have come up. If you have been frustrated by your experience with the projects, staff, interns, residents, neighbors or Good Works in general, we want to know about it. We want to talk through any concerns that you have had during your time with us.

A word about living in reconciled relationships

Living in reconciled relationships is a high priority for the staff of Good Works both with one another and with the larger community. We are committed to resolving any conflicts or issues of concern that come up while you are with us. We have attempted to put in place a structure that will facilitate this, but our efforts to reconciliation must go beyond just following a structure. Together we must commit to one another to live in a reconciled relationship. You are free and have our permission to approach us at anytime about any issue that comes up during our time together. Our desire is to provide you with a positive, life-changing experience of relational service. But these efforts will be undermined by unmet expectations and unresolved conflicts. Please help us to not let this happen by talking with us about any difficulties that are surfacing.

Thank you for helping us to communicate well!