From Missouri to Colorado to Illinois and back to Missouri the last eleven days has been amazing and exhausting to say the least.  I have spent the last week or so traveling to connect with professionals and share Calos mission, purpose and vision for our students and their families.

As part of my travels, I had the privilege of being able to attend the Naropa Wilderness Symposium in Boulder, Colorado. This visit served a dual purpose as it also allowed me to visit my old stomping grounds since Boulder is my hometown. It was amazing to see all the changes and growth in the local area as well as the majestic beauty of the Flatirons which never changes. It was an opportunity for me to learn how to support and utilize nature to enhance and benefit our families experience at Calo. The symposium was centered on learning from others collaboratively for a mutual gain. The symposium provided an opportunity to connect with programs and professionals from across the nation all coming together to learn from each other.  It was a great experience on a number of levels.

My second stop along the way was Chicago, Illinois where I co-chaired the third annual Midwest Regional NATSAP Conference.  Patricia Wilcox from The Klingberg Center in Connecticut provided the keynoted presentation titled What Is Trauma Informed Care, Why Does it Matter, and How Can We Get There? as well as a workshop titled The Restorative Approach©: A Trauma Informed Treatment Model for Children and Adolescents. Both sessions were engaging and greatly informative. The sessions provided some great tools for working with adolescents with trauma based issues. Karen Doyle Buckwalter from Chaddock then took the forefront and examined  the in depth process for evidence based practice with her presentation titled Whats the Evidence for Evidence-Based Practice? and last but not least, Calos own Caleb Cottle helped the conference participants to understand the importance of  Living in the Growth Zone.

Traveling has been amazing and allowed me to spend time enjoying my professional life as well as sharing and connecting with family along the way. It was amazing how much being away from Calo made me miss everything about Calo, the students, the staff, our families. It reminded me how much I love coming to work every day.

Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.