From Choir to Camp
HtH Impact Story - Alanna Waines
It has been said before that Harmony through Harmony (HtH) is no ordinary choir. Anyone who has been part of it will attest to that fact! It is true that it involves singing, which is common to all choirs, but HtH exists for so much more than just to bring people together to sing. HtH seeks to impact the lives of those who are part of it in such a way that they will go on to impact the world around them, even after they leave HtH. One definition of the word ‘impact’ is to make an impression of one thing on another in a significant way. One of the best ways to know if HtH is truly having an impact is to hear how it has made a difference in the lives of its participants. Over the next few months we will hear stories from HtH alumni whose lives were shaped by their time in HtH, and what life looks for them now.
Alanna Waines first joined HtH in 2010. She heard HtH sing at the church she was attending, and felt as though it was a group she’d like to be part of. Seven years later that was still true! Alanna kept coming back year after year because in HtH, she had a faith community where she experienced belonging and purpose. She had relationships that were meaningful, deep, and consistent, with people she could partner with on exciting projects. And she had fun! Each Tuesday was a highlight and memorable, and yearly retreats brought new adventures. Over the years, acquaintances turned into soul filling life-long friendships.
So what was it about HtH that had the greatest impact? Alanna believes it was the simple consistency of spending time with people who cared about her, singing fun music, and having meaningful discussions. These experiences, and the relationships she developed over the years, really shaped her personal wellbeing as well as her character. She felt HtH was a safe place to process, grow and take risks. Over the years Alanna grew in confidence, self-awareness, musical ability, public speaking, teamwork, and communication. She also learned a lot about leadership, which gave her the opportunity to discover her own strengths and weaknesses in regards to leading others. Alanna was on the leadership team for the last few years of her time in HtH, and she feels it was “an incredible privilege and honor to learn from and lead alongside leaders that were generous, talented and humble”.
In 2017 Alanna moved to Sundre, Alberta with her husband, Daniel, to become staff at InterVarsity Pioneer Camp Alberta. In this role she has the opportunity to put a lot of the leadership skills she learned into practice as she oversees summer programming, seasonal staffing, and assists with the 8 month internship program. A lot of her work involves equipping others in their own personal faith and leadership journeys, and Alanna believes that HtH provided her with the tools and skills she needs to do that work well. “My time in HtH really established the need for building trust in teams, focusing simultaneously on the needs of the whole, the individual and the mission, with intention.” That approach is helping Alanna to have a significant impact on the young people and children that she works with each year, as she in turn passes on what she learned.
Alanna’s experience with HtH is one that has clearly left a significant impression on her life, both in personal and practical ways. HtH is a community that provides space for individuals to develop their leadership, interpersonal, and task-based skills. Below is just a sampling of what skills an HtH participant can develop: cooking for large groups, event planning, conducting, hosting, public speaking, script writing, music writing, strategic planning, volunteer coordination, communication, marketing, and teamwork. It is worth repeating (again) – HtH is no ordinary choir! As HtH continues to send out equipped participants into the world, it will continue to make an impact. In the words of Alanna, “may there be may more years of Tuesday night singing on a full stomach, with plenty of laughter.”