It could have been a disaster. The morning of our biggest event of the year the man in charge of Lighthouse Festival, our Director of Operations, was kept home by a gastro-virus. Our LAMP staff was less than a week away from co-hosting a large Marine Archaeology Symposium, we were in the process of installing the first phase of what will become a major exhibit on the history of the St. Augustine shrimp industry, a flu bug was wreaking havoc on the staff, prep for a major reception on the grounds was in full swing, our Education Director will be leaving today for a great new opportunity and the everyday problems and crises involved in running a historic site seemed to be mounting faster than we could count them.

One of my favorite quotes (from some ancient Roman whose name escapes me) translates into English as: “Crisis= Opportunity”. This was brought home to me again in the past week. Our team was so well-prepared for Festival that everything went like clockwork. Our volunteer staff jumped in and filled important roles and the staff picked up the loose ends without missing a beat. A fantastic symposium was pulled together with only a few weeks’ notice, the exhibit was installed beautifully and on time, Paul, the Education Director will go on to Orlando secure in the knowledge that we’ll all cover his duties until a replacement is hired and a lovely time was had by all during a splendid evening event.
We’ve learned from this. We’re always prepared for problems and we plan carefully for every contingency but this month has given us the opportunity to sit back and look at how well we work as a team. It gave individual employees and volunteers an opportunity to test our skills. We’re prepared in fact as well as in theory, we work wonderfully together and we can depend on each other to carry on under stress. We’ve always thought these things to be true but now we know. We really do embody the spirit of the Lighthouse Keepers who came before us.