Last week I wrote you my first letter form summer camp all about our camp values and the importance of courage (one of my core values). I will be writing this month from my annual summer service project working at a summer camp for youth.
Values are the mast you tie yourself to in a storm.
I've been coming to this camp for almost ten years now, and my life has changed drastically during that time (divorce, new homes, graduate school, moving out of state, another new home, a wedding...). The camp has transformed as well, getting its nonprofit status, forming a board of directors, fundraising, changing locations and leaders and so on.
And yet, even amid all these changes we've stayed committed to one another. I attribute a large part of our commitment to our aligned values. Even as structures changed for both of us, our stared clarity and understanding of what we want to support in this world has stayed steady.
When the camp starts a new program we ask how it aligns with our values. Does it develop leadership? Will it support camper health?
When we change the camper registration forms we make sure they support our values. Are they inclusive? Does is support our families' needs?
When I apply to volunteer each year, I consider how it aligns with my values (my values for service, community, play, ad nature usually win out here).
I think of this a lot when I work with pre-marital counseling couples. So often clients want me to predict whether or not their relationship will work out. And truthfully, with clarity of values and commitment to them staying together gets a lot easier (this is true in non-romantic relationships too).
But most of my clients come in and can't actually tell me what their values are. And without clarity about what our values are there is no way we can communicate them to the people who matter in our lives, or make integrity-fueled decisions based on them.
I created this tool to help clients get clear about their personal values and thought it may be useful to all of you. Enter your information below to get the free download Personal Integrity Checklist.
If you have interest in deepening your connection to your own core values, I highly recommend joining me for one of the Desire Map retreats I have planned this fall. The Desire Map tool is specifically designed to help adults live in integrity and move toward a life they want to live. Its a little like camp for grown ups.