This past month Strong Women, Strong Girls had the special opportunity to engage in a cross-city staff retreat in Pittsburgh to discuss the current outlook of the organization. As the new Communications & Development Intern in Pittsburgh, I was excited to join the staff on their retreat and gain new perspectives into the organization as a whole.The two-day retreat brought together the Boston and Pittsburgh staff and was facilitated by Dana Gold of the Mentoring Partnership of SWPA. Both cities were eager to reconnect and collaborate with each other about new ideas. For many of our staff members, this was also their first time meeting their city-counterpart in person!
The retreat focused on topics like communication strategy, city planning, and safety. The cross-city staff also had the unique opportunity to participate in knowledge swaps to share insight about future training, field trips, curriculum, and programming. By bridging our teams together, it is our hope that the work of Strong Women, Strong Girls will become even stronger!IMG_4329
As a newcomer to the organization the cross-city retreat opened my eyes to the values, mission, and culture of Strong Women, Strong Girls. I am amazed by the way in which both cities remain true to SWSG’s  organizational identity while embracing the local cultures of their cities.
The retreat also allowed staff to participate in team building exercises in order to bridge the Boston and Pittsburgh staff together and develop a deeper understanding of how our model works in each city we serve. To mark the close of their first day together, SWSG staff participated in a Pittsburgh scavenger hunt….despite the rainy weather!
At the end of the retreat team members engaged in a wrap-up activity to share lessons learned from the two days. With the cross-city retreat falling on the second week of my summer internship at Strong Women, Strong Girls, I received a complete overview of the organization as a whole and learned the benefit of speaking up to ask questions in order to collaborate cross-city.
Both teams are inspired to plan the next program year and are seeking the best ways to serve their communities!
Written by Emily Drabeck