My Thoughts On Community

How important is “community” to anyone of any age? Last night, my mind would not turn off, and I saw that almost everything we did for children beginning in 1947 had something to do with building community. This meant activities, safety, listening, storytelling, and simply seeing to their needs.  

In Southern California, while I was a full-time student at UCLA, our Day Camp, Purple Sage, created a community for up to 400 children and 100 staff. I did not see or understand this aspect then and for many years to come. However, today I know this is what we did. Then, fun, learning, safety, and relationships were always front and center.

So now, as I ponder the concept of community and what it entails, I realize that it resulted from how we operated everything we did. We created community at our camps, which today, in my mind, means inclusion, being cared for, and caring for others. Also of considerable importance was ensuring that everyone’s voice had an outlet and was heard and understood, even if not agreed with. 

These earlier experiences significantly influenced me when I began to work with professionals, entrepreneurs, and organizations, lowering the pyramid and improving communication. 

Dialogue between two or more people is not an issue of, maybe, feeling safer but of knowing you are safe to say what you need and want to say. An essential part of our workshops was to ensure personal safety when expressing one’s opinion. As a result, staff often felt safer at work than at home. And guess what? The safer we feel, the more a part of the “action” we become. That’s what’s community ought to be.


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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