Hey Everyone! I hope you are all doing well! I’m Jaydon! As we all know Disable the Label 2016 is coming up very fast and I’m sure most of you are pretty excited, I know I am! As we grow even closer some of you might even grow a bit anxious over this event, which is totally normal. I felt that way too at my very first Disable the Label event back in 2013. So I’m just going to give you all just a little heads up on what to expect at a Disable the Label gathering.
The thing that I love the most about Disable the Label retreat is the people and the environment when you are there! This is my fourth year going and I’ve only met some of these people like five or six times and some of you I’ll meet for the first time in July. But it doesn’t matter because The New Mentality is like a family to me, they are people that I can trust and that I can count on. But most importantly these are people that I can be myself around. The New Mentality and their Disable The Label Retreat have changed my life. And if I was never introduced to this organization I don’t know where I’d be today without the support from this community. Most of the activities and conversations are completely optional. But I highly recommend that you do come and participate, have meaningful conversations, and build new relationships.
What to expect as a whole?
- Love, Hugs, and Smiles
- Fun Workshops & Activities
- Meaningful Conversations
- Welcoming and Understanding Environment (Safe Space)
- Amazing People
- Helpful & Caring Hosting Team
- Lots of Sharing
- Beautiful Views such as Nature Trails and even a Beach!
Is focused on basically welcoming each other, we will have time to meet and mingle with old and new friends, checkout the beautiful landscape of Geneva Park, and check into your rooms. New to Disable The Label? No problem! There will be an Opening Circle during the evening where you will receive an outline and find out exactly what you will be doing for the next three days. You will even have some time to meet some new friends after our Opening Circle! Are you a little shy? Again, no worries! There will be plenty of time to socialize with these amazing people over the course of the next three days.
In the past I have noticed that Days 2 & 3 can be intense as well as covering some sensitive topics. So if at any time you’re uncomfortable in a conversation or would like to not participate in an activity that is totally cool! Just let your Adult Ally know so that someone knows you are okay! It’s very important to Self Care when you’re having these type of conversations and dealing with mental health related work. So please don’t feel guilty if you need to take some time for yourself if need be. We totally understand!
In the past Day 2
Has been focused on exploring! During the day we will be exploring the emotions within ourselves, learning new ideas to Self-Care, building new relationships, as well as sharing about ourselves! You’ll also get a chance to speak about the work you’ve done in your community! Don’t feel like sharing? Well that’s 100% cool! You also can have the option to sit in and listen to see how other New Mentality Groups are doing. Who knows! Maybe it’ll spark some ideas. To end off the day we’ll have an awesome group camp fire! Which often includes Smores, Singing, and lots of laughs!
Day 3 is focused on learning! Day 3 will cover a variety of interesting areas with mainly teaching people new leadership skills, cool workshops, and other cool things that you can take back with your groups and into your communities when you leave. Some of the activities in the past have included World Cafe, Event Planning, Storytelling, Public Speaking, and other cool activities! To end off our last night together we’ll have a Talent Not Required Show! So it’s pretty much like a Talent Show but better! You can either have talent or not have talent! Everyone is welcome and usually ends with lots of laughs!
Is the final day we will be together and will be mostly focused on reflection and looking ahead. There will be chance for everyone’s group to showcase and sell their merchandise! The remaining part of the morning will be focused on reflecting what we have learned from our days together and what our next steps are! Also exchanging conversation about how we are going to take this info and apply it to the work we are doing! There will also be time for everyone to say their goodbye’s to everyone before all parting ways. (Note: There will be lots of hugs!)
Disable the Label from what I’ve witnessed and heard has changed the lives of many including my own. It really is beyond an organization. It’s a family and I hope to see more and more of you join this big family. I hope this gives you all a better understanding on what to expect at Disable the Label 2016! I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your day and I hope to see you at DTL in July!
– Jaydon, DTL 2016 Apprentice
To learn more about the youth experience at Disable the Label click here for Jaydon’s 2015 reflection and here for April’s 2014 reflection! Also feel free to browse our Disable the Label pages for videos, poems, and previous years programs!