Bread Loaf: A Place of Invention

I’m writing this post, thinking of youth leaders arriving here to Bread Loaf, this strangely named mountain campus where serious magic has been happening for years. I imagine some of you might be a little nervous, or asking yourself, “Why did I decide to do this? What is this Next Generation thing?” and maybe “Wait, what? A place named after a loaf of bread?”

Bread Loaf Mountain!

If it helps at all, I remember having similar thoughts coming here to graduate school after my first year of teaching. I could go on about how that summer changed me as a teacher, and changed my life, but here’s the important part: The life-changing thing I learned is that teaching begins with LISTENING to students and learning together.

What an amazing moment it is sure to be when we welcome you, Next Generation Leaders, and begin to talk, and to listen, and to ask questions together. If my experience translates at all, you may not leave this green space below Bread Loaf Mountain with a bunch of answers, but I’ll bet you’ll leave changed by conversations with members of our newly forming network. I’ve never completely figured out the magic here, but I know a main ingredient is that people here take your words and your ideas seriously (and playfully).

So, welcome. Let’s invent!

-Tom, Director of BLTN Communications

Tom McKenna

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