One of the best things about joining a company in it's infancy is being a part of all the "firsts". This past weekend I flew to Dallas, Texas to participate in Birth Boot Camp's first company wide retreat. There were approximately 60 Birth Boot Camp Instructors and Doulas in attendance, so it was intimate and non-intimidating. Over the last 2 years since I certified as a BBCI, I have met so many other BBCI and BBCD in our online forums. It was so wonderful to put actual faces to names, and make some new friends who share my passion for birth.
One of the biggest reasons I chose to certify with Birth Boot Camp, was that not only does it offer students a fully comprehensive class with continuously updated, evidence based information, but they also support their instructors so much. They know that without our success, they won't have success. During training we spend a day on marketing, and the retreat was no different. Birth Boot Camp puts as high a priority on educating their instructors on birth topics as they do educating us on how to grow and sustain a business. The retreat had topics ranging from pelvic floor health and pregnancy exercise and nutrition, to teaching tools and how to build our SEO and web presence.
It's hard to narrow down what I think the best part of the weekend was. Getting to reconnect with the women I certified with in 2013 was wonderful. Meeting and making new friends topped the list. But the speakers and things we learned is ultimately what I valued most. We had several speakers I knew of and was excited to hear and meet (Dr. Adrienne Carmack, intactivist urologist; and Theresa Morris, author of Cut It Out: The C-Section Epidemic in America), but it was the unknown-to-me speakers who had the biggest impact on me.
Hands down, my favorite speaker of the weekend was Lisa Van Gemert. Don't know who Lisa Van Gemert is? I didn't either. Donna Ryan (founder and CEO of Birth Boot Camp) introduced her as someone she knew from church, so upon introduction I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. But as soon as she began to speak, I was enthralled. Lisa gave a presentation called "The Essential Brain," teaching teachers how to best reach their students. Learning how the brain works, we can learn how best to have an impact. Never before did I know exactly how the pre-frontal cortex pairs with the amygdala and hyppocampus to aid in learning. Intrigued? You should be. And you should find somewhere to hear Lisa speak!
My second favorite speaker was Pablo Calvo of Plugin Group. Pablo is married to a fellow BBCI, Carmen Calvo, who owns The Nurturing Root in Baltimore, MD. Pablo spoke to us about building our business through our online presence. How to create and sustain that presence, focus on our SEO, and be successful without ever needing to spend a dime on advertising if we choose to. I walked away feeling like I was much more prepared to make a strong digital impression for myself.
Of course, the talks from Dr. Carmack and Theresa Morris were wonderful too, and I was so honored to meet both of them and get autographed books.
It was a whirlwind weekend with several long days, but it was so fulfilling and I'm so thankful I was able to attend. Every time I pick up our materials to show to someone, or to teach a class I am reminded why I chose Birth Boot Camp. I am passionate about offering the absolute best education and support to my students, and Birth Boot Camp has created a program that allows me to do that, while also offering me amazing support.
Interested in becoming an instuctor or Birth Boot Camp DOULA so you can join me at our next retreat? You can find out more about the programs here, or shoot me a message with any questions you might have! You won't regret it!
What better way to finish off the weekend than with a Texas waffle?