by Jamie Pickering, Program Quality Director
Everything I ever needed to know I learned from Muppets, and you! On November 10 the gavel went down on a new destination for District 25, the Summit. Dana Morgan Barnes, Past District 26 Governor, dialed in our compasses to a new direction. All eyes were on her In the Big Bird room as she reminded us of the lessons learned from our felt-lined friends, culminating in a quote from Kermit, “I guess I was wrong when I said I never promised anyone. I promised me.”
Summit Ave was filled with Toastmasters networking, participating in Bert and Ernie’s selfie contest, and trying to decide among all the great educational sessions. Toastmasters were seen in the Count room, the Snuffleupagus room, and Sammy the Snake room learning, growing and connecting as the Talent truly earned their titles in the magnitude of the material presented.
Lunch brought a special guest, Cookie Monster, to help welcome all first-timers to the Summit – which was everyone in the room! I think I saw Cookie Monster signing an application after he got off stage…
Our perception of leadership was forever changed by past World Champion Jim Key. He presented us examples of what we can expect as leaders – things don’t always come out the way you mean, just because it worked before doesn’t mean it will work again – and left us with a powerful message using the analogy of a napkin to leadership; Where do you wear your napkin? As a status? As a blindfold? As a whip to get your way? Or, do you wear your napkin securely tucked in at the waist ready to be of service?
Later that day, the Scooter Room was abuzz with everyone primping for the World Famous DTM Ceremony. Smiles, giddiness, and anticipation swirled around the room as everyone dressed to impress. Past District 50 Governor and long-time friend of D25 Susan Gardner inspired us to live like no one is watching. Nineteen Toastmasters crossed the stage to receive Toastmasters’ highest honor Saturday night. One by one we were inspired, encouraged and uplifted by those honored.
Then the gavel went down to end our day at the Summit, leaving heads full of memories, friendships, and a strong drive to serve. As I congratulated each new DTM the words of the great muppet, Yoda echoed through my head, “… we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”