Article: CityServe Team Retreat – Care Camp 2022

10.26.2022 [SH]

Care Camp 2022 – Breaking Away from the Everyday

Our annual retreat was bigger and better this year because CityServe became bigger and better on Sept. 8, 2022, with the welcome addition of staff and programming from Senior Support of the Tri-Valley! 

Our all-hands, all-day “Care Camp” retreat on October 5th brought the teams of CityServe and (formerly) Senior Support of the Tri-Valley together as a combined team to learn more about each other, about our programs, and our vision for the future. We spent all day learning more about each other personally, and gained a deeper understanding of our programs through presentations, sharing sessions, and icebreaker games.   

While there was already familiarity among the teams, since CityServe and Senior Support shared office space in Pleasanton this past year, it was exciting to have everyone in the room from both the Livermore and Pleasanton sites. 

Everyone was met at the door with a smile and a ‘goodie bag’ – which included new team t-shirts and metal water bottles personally designed and fabricated by our own April Thayer – then enjoyed a light breakfast. 

The day began with two ice breaker activities: What animal are you? (If you know… you know!) and “Dice”-Breaker Bingo. After a presentation on “Teams & Dreams: Inspired Reorganization” (Are we Storming, Norming, Forming and on our way to Performing?), Andrea Escobedo our Sr. Program Manager and part of the Health Education Team got us up and moving with a tai chi-inspired seated workout. 

When it was time to shine the light on our organization, Christine shared our history, care model, values, and structure, and our care model, the “Care Wheel,” a six-section wheel diagram detailing the six sectors of living CityServe addresses: Basic Needs, Community, Physical Health, Emotional Health and Well-Being, Vocational and Education, and Financial Stability.  It was gratifying to see how these sectors impact all of our vulnerable populations, including seniors – which makes the addition of Senior Support to City Serve so important to our entire community.   

As each program leader took us through their operations, activities and the impacts they’ve seen, it was great to see that the two teams were already integrating and operating seamlessly. In several cases, team leaders from CityServe programs and those from Senior Support programs gave a shout out to each other for sharing knowledge and assistance that helped bring a service or assistance to a client faster and more efficiently than before! 

Right before lunch, we took a group photo and headed outside for a Taco Truck feast by Ulises Sanabria’s catering for a lunch break, (because, well, food trucks make everything possible!). Once camp resumed, we launched into internal operations, first sharing best practices when working with clients – from their intake story, through the actions necessary to achieve the desired outcome in the client’s best interest. 

Then April Thayer, our Data Manager provided an overview of our APRICOT case management system, which makes internal and external operations more streamlined and efficient. For each client, it tracks and logs our interactions and creates goal-based outcomes for case management. For internal activities, APRICOT can be used to create and assign actions and tasks; track purchase requests; and even manage events.   

The last session of the day started with our Health Educator Lynn Pidoli, who has served for over 15 years at Senior Support, as she gave us a 10-minute version of her senior chair workout to get us ready for the big  REVEAL of our Strengthsfinder test results to see how our individual, team and organization strengths will benefit the cause and help us to work together going forward.

By the end of the day, it was clear that with our combined resources, shared knowledge and mutual enthusiasm for serving vulnerable populations, CityServe is in an even better position than before to elevate our service delivery to improve the lives of our clients throughout the Tri-Valley! 

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