Last month I was able to spend a week in my home town, Virginia Beach, VA, teaching a workshop to a group of folks most of whom worked for the City Parks and Recreation Department. The workshop was held at one of the city’s recreation centers and brought back many childhood memories.

When I was a kid, my friends and I would ride our bikes about five miles from my grandparent’s house to the closest recreation center and spend the entire day swimming, shooting basketball, and playing billiards and ping pong. I had not thought about this particular part of my childhood in a long time, but as I reflect on it now, I only have positive memories. It was a safe place for me.

One of the discussions we had during the workshop was about how some employees at the recreation centers didn’t understand why they were required to be trained in Mandt. They perceived their roles to be minor enough for to it not be necessary. I have heard these same sentiments from many different folks I have trained at the student level over the years.

In the Mandt System, we talk a lot about teamwork and consistency in how we interact with the people we are serving and our co-workers. Everyone in an organization has the opportunity to have a positive impact on the people around them regardless of their specific role or job title. It’s great to see organizations realizing this and investing the time to train their employees so that the people they serve and their employees can experience safe and positive environments.

Doug ZehrVogt, Mandt Faculty