Today’s post comes from Rachael, one of the awesome directors at LiveUp Philly!
As I put together my enormous Sams Club grocery list, sort out the Holy Family University housing grid and repeatedly chant myself reminders to not forget the Phillies tickets sitting neatly atop my dresser, I know that LiveUp Philly is quickly approaching. Through my years of directing LiveUp Philly, it is an honor to watch the program and its members evolve. There are always blasts from the pasts to look forward to, like going to see Comedy Sportz’s Improv Comedy Show, annual favorites, such as the epic dinner/dance, and new excursions to be discovered, like our trip to the Aquarium this year.
The weekend is jam-packed with other empowering activities, such as painting, cooking, and daily wellness. We will learn from Penn Dental students more about dental hygiene and taking care of ourselves, we will learn from Walnut Street Theater actors how to sing and dance (or maybe we will teach them!!), and we will get lost in the Philly food scene at Reading Terminal Market. The weekend is always filled with laughter, support, and endless karaoke (who else is glad we have let go of Frozen’s feature song, “Let it Go”?)
As I gear up for the weekend, I should be worried that everything will go smoothly, that everyone remembered to pack their sheets, that I will buy the perfect amount of bananas for morning breakfast that meets the daily demand, but after years of directing this program, none of these fears take control of my thoughts. And here’s why: LiveUp is community built on friendship, creativity and joy. If we run out of bananas, I guarantee you that someone will come up with an elaborate pitch for why strawberries are equally as awesome as bananas and everyone will be clamoring for more strawberries. If someone forgets sheets, I promise you that someone will offer their own sheets to that person and make a makeshift set of sheets for themselves out of their towel and LiveUp sweatshirts. If a program is not running as smoothly as it could, I know our group will come together and collaborate to ensure we are including everyone and having nothing short of a terrific experience.
As a director, I am grateful to the partners in the Philadelphia, both new and old, who continually provide us with fantastic programming, to the staff, whose generosity and leadership leave me in awe year after year, and to the participants, whose energy levels and genuine celebration of life teach us in a short weekend how we should live throughout the rest of the year. I cannot wait for this weekend!