Dear Mountain Family,
I am writing to share with you, my beloved community, news about an exciting new opportunity for me. As of September 25, 2020, I will be leaving my position as Programs Director at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center. As I write this letter to you, I can not help but be filled with love, warmth and gratitude for the six truly fulfilling years I spent working with each of you. As I move forward in my career, I can honestly say that The Mountain started me on a path in my life that I would have never dreamed before driving on to Little Scaley Rd in May of 2014. In my time on this Mountain, I have learned so much from each of you but especially from my MountainCamp family, the youth and staff taught me so much and opened a world of knowledge that I had no idea about before committing to MountainCamp. All of the little things have added up to a big move for me in different ways.
I am grateful to MountainCamp for being my first teachers in social justice. The amount of passion and patience of the youth in our youth programs opened my eyes to a world of injustices that had not been at the forefront of the world I lived in, until joining this beloved community. I would not be taking the next step in my career toward justice if it were not for the youth of The Mountain.
To all of my Mountain people, guests and staff alike, I hold you as dear as family. No matter the time and place, I always found encouragement and excitement in my job at The Mountain. Of all the things I have accomplished while in this position, I did it because it was personal and because I know you and allowed you to know me.
I am entirely overwhelmed with love and respect for Ted Wisneiwski, who when I told him my ultimate goal was to be the executive director of The Mountain one day, did not take offense but started taking steps to mentor me and plan strategies to build my skills to make that happen in the future.
Which leads me to the reason that I am leaving employment at The Mountain for the next step in my career and passion in my life to help people.
I have accepted the position of Community Engagement Officer in the Highlands/ Cashiers Plateau for Pisgah Legal Services. In my new position, I will be working to connect low income people and families with the resource of free civil legal help to improve their lives and create safety and security for those in need as part of the Plateau Poverty Law Initiative.
I have already started on-boarding with PLS and could not be more excited to join a team of people whose mission and vision aligns so well with my UU values and passion in justice for all.
While I close the chapter of being an employee at The Mountain, please know that this is not the end of me at The Mountain. The Mountain is a home to me. I will be involved in as many ways possible. I will still see your faces as I will be a guest at programs. I can come eat a meal with you in the dining hall because I will still be in the area. I will be a resource for the youth programs that I so lovingly planned for many years. This community is still my community.
With all my love,
Megan Quattlebaum Van Der Linde