We started off Spring Community Day with a dare: can you go the whole day without saying one of the banned words? We were all given five clothespins, and told that we could take someone else’s clothespins if we heard them say: Scholar, Judi, Wily, Coach or College.
It was a challenge. It’s hard to spend a day with Wily Schol… college stud… the people who participate in our organization without using those words.
Some strong contenders for most clothespins
We played some get to know you games, lost a few clothespins along the way, and got to know new Sch individuals we’d never met in person before! The Middlebury crew, which we don’t get to see often, was able to join us in Boston. Their spirit was contagious, and several Middlebury students even stepped up to help run an activity. Their leadership and laughter helped make the day!
Members of the Middlebury group pose for a photo
We did suspend the clothespin game for one part of the day: Student Centered Interviews. This was a moment for Scholars to take over and speak the truth about Wily and their college experience. No topic was off limits. The goal was to learn from Scholars – to let them help us modify the program to better meet their needs.
The interview process involved using open-ended questions to draw out stories, thoughts and feedback that would be missed by a traditional survey. We asked Scholars about their experiences with coaching, community programming, care packages and more. The result was extraordinary. The heartfelt and thoughtful feedback we received will help us shape our program for the future.
After the interviews, the clothespin competition was back on. We shared a delicious lunch, and spent the afternoon doing activities: coloring, cornhole, bracelet making, card games, and some competitive rounds of Heads Up and musical chairs.
Scholars enjoy some post-lunch games
We were lucky to have two incredible photographers with us! Kristie Dean, who has been doing Wily’s photography for six years, captured so much of the joy and excitement of the day with her beautiful photos. Isora Lithgow also joined us to take graduation pictures for Wily’s seniors. Isora went above and beyond to make sure every student left with photos that they were happy with, even staying late after our event ended. Thank you so much, Isora!