Working at Cheley

Building Resilience


On Saturday, we hosted Dr. Deborah Gilboa, who guided our staff through her renowned resilience training in order to “do stress better” — her tagline. The training aimed to prepare counselors and support staff to handle stressful situations better when they arise during the summer terms. Resilience, the focal point of Dr. G’s presentation, is a crucial skill to have – and to instill in campers. 

In the morning, she outlined the eight skills which build resilience: building connections, setting boundaries, managing discomfort, setting goals, finding options, taking action, persevering, and being open to change. Afterward, staff and counselors broke into groups to get comfortable utilizing the stress-busting skills. One station involved navigating change, where staff brainstormed options for moving an event due to weather. Another involved roaming around the Chapel finding spaces and describing how they make us feel.

“I’m a big believer in interactive learning,” said our Experiential Learning Specialist, Benton Hall. “I like how she had us act upon the lesson afterward, as opposed to just giving a standard seminar and then leaving.”

Hall led a breakout group focused on the perseverance skill where groups cooperated to place a pencil in an open bottle by guiding it with string wrapped around their waist. “I kept presenting challenges where the groups had to keep working towards the same goal, and when they did, I would add another challenge,” said Hall. “It was great watching everyone work together towards the same goal.”