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Leadership & Wellness

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

“Leadership is not about titles or the corner office. It's about the willingness to step up, put yourself out there, and lean into courage. The world is desperate for braver leaders. It's time for all of us to step up." --Brené Brown

As always, I will be taking a page out of Brené Brown's book when it comes to talking about leadership and teamwork. But first, why is leadership important in the context of CAN's summer programs?

When we are working with children and youth, it is our goal to role model healthy behaviors like communication, boundary setting, follow-through, self-awareness, self-love, and vulnerability. We set the tone! And when we are healthy and engaged, our students will be too.

  1. You can't get courage without rumbling with vulnerability. Embrace the suck. Once we have the skills to practice vulnerability and ask questions to learn or cultivate positive change, we will be able to develop skills like living into our values, trust one another, and learn to rise.

  2. Self-awareness and self-love matter. Who we are is how we lead. The greatest barrier to courageous leadership is not fear -- it's how we respond to our fear. Our armor - the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that we use to protect ourselves when we aren't willing and able to rumble with vulnerability - move us out of alignment with our values, corrode trust with our colleagues and teams, and prevent us from being our most courageous selves.

  3. Courage is contagious. To scale daring leadership and building courage in teams and organizations, we have to cultivate a culture in which we brave work, tough conversations, and whole hearts are the expectation, and armor is not necessary or rewarded. We need to remain vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected.

In the context of working at CAN, if we can ask questions, find solutions, and kindly speak up with our supervisors and fellow-team members with specific feedback creating space for growth, we are moving everyone toward a better horizon, including our students.

What is the best way to offer solutions-focused feedback?

  • Call in, don't call out. Bring someone aside and privately communicate observations or concerns if you believe you can collectively find a solution or come to an agreement.

  • Be specific. Feedback is always helpful, but whomever is receiving the feedback can only change or grow if they know what specifically was and wasn't working.

  • Be kind. As Daniel Tiger says, "We like different things and that's just fine, but remember to be kind." We might have our own opinions about the way something should go, and it's important to communicate our ideas, but make sure to do so respectfully!

This aligns with our theme for the week: Wellness. If we can better understand ourselves, our team, and our students, we can know what we need and what our colleagues & campers need to be healthy and successful.

It sometimes takes an intentional effort to find a place of wellness and create healthy, welcoming spaces for everyone, which is why we're practicing it this week and what each person needs to feel well is different. What helps you feel "well"?



  • Welcome Summer Staff 2021! We are so excited for this year's summer camp!



  • CAN is closed June 18 and July 2

  • Summer Camp: June 21-July 29 (Summer staff wrap up and clean up August 2-6)

  • YouthWorks: July 12 - August 12 - If you're curious about this teen summer program, ask Danielle to learn more!


Tips & Tidbits

This Week's Strive to Thrive Theme: Wellness

  • Mindfulness Focus: Basic breathing, types of breath, and awareness of breath

  • Thematic Projects: Welcome Wellness, My Personality, Emoji Emotions & Pop Art Emojis, All About Me

Our thematic focus is on defining "wellness" and what it might look like to maintain a positive mindset. We seek to understand what makes us tick and how self-awareness can help us understand what "healthy" looks for each of us and how we can achieve it.

Find Resources on CAN Academy!

CAN Academy General Resource Page
CAN Academy General Resource Page

Access Your Online Training Materials

Access The Orientation Materials


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Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments (or highlights, announcements, etc.), please email Katie at

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