Strengthen team bonds, help a non-profit and gain photo skills in this unique experience led by John and Lisa Merrill. For over two decades John and Lisa have helped social impact organizations in the Pacific Northwest and around the world tell stories of their vital work. They will arrange for your team to volunteer at a non-profit which is tackling a challenge of high interest to the team, and provide hands-on coaching the participants, who will take turns photographing the action.
Build bonds while volunteering and learning together. Your team will come away from this experience inspired, and gain new visual storytelling skills which they can contribute to other groups tackling our community’s challenges.
Please click on the "express interest" button below to connect with us to discuss the specific needs and interests of your group! The Merrills believe in the missions of the following organizations, and know first-hand that they offer fun and inspiring volunteer experiences, as well as great photo opportunities. A sample itinerary is outlined below and can be customized to meet your group's needs. Click on the optional experiences to learn about each of the non-profits that the Merrill's work with and the option to include facilitators.
This tour is one of our Compassionate Community Tours & Team Building Experiences click here to learn more!
TRIP HIGHLIGHTS are below, click on ITINERARY to see all the details.
Global Family Travels
Much more than a traditional tour operator, Global Family Travels’ mission is to “Learn, Serve and Immerse” through community-based travel programs. In partnership with non-profit organizations and schools, we offer family-friendly and sustainable travel experiences in support of education, gender equality, access to clean water, preservation of local cultures, conservation and economic growth, all of which foster cross-cultural understanding and global citizens.
Our trips include a unique mix of cultural and educational activities, homestays and participation in local service projects aimed at improving the lives of people in the communities we visit.
Expect to expand your family circle when you embark on a Global Family Travels trip! Visit our website for more information: Global Family Travels
ABOUT MERRILL IMAGES
Photo Courtesy Merrill Images by Bruce Hudson
John and Lisa Merrill create images to evoke wonder, inspire action, build businesses, and strengthen communities. In addition to non-profits, their specialties include travel and adventure photography. Their photos have been featured in National Geographic Traveler, other magazines, books, and websites around the world. The Merrills enjoy helping others cultivate their creativity via private coaching, workshops and photo tours to favorite destinations including Cuba, Ecuador, India, and Vietnam.
Day At A Glance : Team Bonding Photography for Social Impact Volunteer Experience
Photo by Merill Images
The designated non-profit organization will be determined upon learning your group's needs and our non-profit partner's schedules and volunteer capacity.
Your group will meet Merrill Images at the designated non-profit in the Greater Seattle metropolitan area.
At the start of the volunteer experience (or on an earlier day), John and Lisa will provide tips for creating powerful photos using examples from assignments. Team members will be learning about composition, perspective, and lighting, and get tips for capturing the action. Participants can use any type of camera, including a cell phone.
A member of the non-profit’s leadership team will be on hand to discuss the organization’s work including recent successes and challenges.
After the volunteer experience, John and Lisa will edit images created by your team and provide them to the non-profit for use on their website and in other communications, and create a photo book and web gallery for your group.
Experience Option 1 - Eastside Baby Corner
Photo by Merrill Images
Founded in 1990, Eastside Baby Corner's mission is to help kids reach their full potential tomorrow by meeting basic needs today. This experience could include sorting donated clothing, toys, and books for distribution to over 53 social service agency partners who work with families in need.
Experience Option 2 - Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
Photo by Merrill Images
The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust leads and inspires action to conserve and enhance the landscape from Seattle across the Cascade Mountains to Central Washington, ensuring a long-term balance between people and nature.
This experience could include planting native seedlings for stream restoration, clear invasive plants to preserve habitat or maintain trails in the Greenway. As a follow-up to your this experience, biking and hiking photo workshops are available.
Experience Option 3 - HopeLink
Photo by Merrill Images
Since 1971, Hopelink has served homeless and low-income families, children, seniors and people with disabilities in King and Snohomish counties; providing stability and helping people gain the skills and knowledge they need to exit poverty for good.
The experience will be at one of Hopelink's food banks. Activities could include sorting and repackage groceries for distribution to our community
Experience Option 4 - Tiny Trees Preschool
Photo by Merrill Images
Tiny Trees Preschool makes high-quality early learning accessible via 12 outdoor classrooms in public parks, enabling children to reap the many benefits of nature-rich and inclusive education. While in joyfully muddy classes, they explore the natural world and gain the social, emotional, and academic skills needed to thrive in kindergarten and life.
This experience could include building a new outdoor classroom in a Seattle or King County Park or help refresh an existing classroom by spreading wood chips, removing invasive species, making signs, or laminating books.
ABOUT OUR NORTHWEST TEAM FACILITATORS
Meet our Northwest Team Bonding Facilitators! They are here to help asses your organization's philanthropic approach and how it relates to overall team effectiveness, communication strategy, and engagement with the local community. They will help your organizational team address issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusivity, tying in corporate challenges to community issues.
LORI MEYERS | BLUE SKY COMMUNICATIONS NW: COMMUNITY RELATIONS & PHILANTHROPIC PARTNERSHIPS
With experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, Lori works with organizations to create a philanthropic strategy and build a culture of supporting the community through strategic alliances with Puget Sound area non-profit organizations. Driven by a passion for helping companies define and realize their business and communications goals, Lori launched Blue Sky in 2013. She is a Seattle native, with more than 20 years of experience working with clients to develop and launch successful and meaningful campaigns, create strategic alliances, and develop communication and community relations strategies that result in positive perception, philanthropic corporate cultures, and employee satisfaction.
Lori has experience working with local companies like Taco Time NW, The Hope Heart Institute, and the City of Renton Community Services, among others, to make meaningful connections with local non-profit organizations.
DOUG NATHAN: TEAM BUILDING & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
Doug provides leadership development, team-building and conflict engagement services. He works with individuals, teams and organizations to create opportunities for learning and inspired results by helping them gain knowledge, self-awareness and best-practice skills. Doug uses this approach as a consultant designing change interventions for non-profit and corporate clients; as a training specialist facilitating classroom experiences for employees and managers; and as a mediator helping disputants find common ground.
For many years, Doug explored the power of poetry to teach leadership and team-building skills to MBA students and business professionals. I have designed innovative classroom and online training solutions for employees, managers, and leaders across corporate, government and non-profit agencies.
Doug’s whole-systems approach to design and delivery addresses the complex nature of employee, management, and leadership development issues. Fields of inquiry that influence my work include systems thinking, creativity and innovation, appreciative inquiry, and conflict and communication theory. Learn more about Doug here.
Seattle, WA, USA