We’re one week into the New Year which means many people are thinking about their health and wellness while they strive to keep up with New Year’s Resolutions.
Here at Excelsior, we understand and value the importance of wellness. The physical and mental wellness of our girls is a top priority – that’s what we’re here for after all! Additionally, the wellness of our staff is highly valued and we work hard to consistently provide the resources and activities necessary to promote all-around wellness among staff and clients alike. Here are just a few of the ways Excelsior promotes comprehensive wellness throughout the year.
Nature Wellness Trail – In September, Excelsior unveiled our new Nature Wellness Trail, made possible by generous grants from the Colorado Garden Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation. The Trail utilizes the full 33-acres of Excelsior’s campus, providing the girls with extensive open space to explore and appreciate the outdoors. This 2/3 mile trail circles Excelsior’s campus and features ten exercise stations and five education stations integrating the various components of wellness. This structured “breathing room” gives our girls the freedom they need to be active and contemplative in a safe, open space. Additionally, the education stations along the Trail and Outdoor Classroom provide opportunities for the girls to learn outside the classroom. Read more about our Nature Wellness Trail here.
Compliance with USDA Regulations – Regarding food, we strictly comply with USDA Regulations according to their National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program. This means our cafeteria adheres to calorie requirements and had decreased sodium content, saturated fat and trans fat in meals. We have increased the availability of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The nutritional value of each meal is closely monitored, with each meal component being prepared in healthiest and nutrient-rich manner possible.
Girl Sprouts Garden Harvest – Perhaps one of the most cherished places on the Excelsior campus is the thriving Girl Sprouts Garden from which abundant fruits and vegetables are harvested. Community volunteers, as well as Excelsior girls and staff, tend to this garden which not only provides fresh produce for the cafeteria, but also provides an opportunity for reflection as our girls learn to nurture and care for the plants.
Weight Watchers – Excelsior offers an organization-wide Weight Watchers program, through which staff are given the opportunity to attend weekly meetings and receive special meals aligned with the Weight Watchers program. This program provides a support system, motivational tools and resources to help staff work toward their physical wellness goals.
Walking Contests – The Wellness Committee at Excelsior hosts Walking Contests to encourage staff to get out and walk every day. Participating staff are placed on teams who compete to walk the most steps throughout the month. Only steps taken at work count, so many staff utilize the Nature Wellness Trail daily in an effort to win the contest.
Health Screenings – Excelsior offers all its employees the opportunity for health screenings which includes reviewing Cholesterol, Glucose, Bone Density and other useful information. This year volunteers from Cigna conducted these health screenings and gave tips and advice to all participants regarding how to improve various components of their health.
Flu Shots – The flu is a widespread concern these days, so Excelsior offers free flu shots to all of its employees every year prior to flu season!
Peer Support – Peer Support is a committee of Excelsior peers that allow staff an outlet to discuss confidential or difficult issues as needed. Peer support also reaches out to any staff who have been involved in difficult situations on campus to ensure they feel properly supported. Additionally, peer support sends cards to staff who are experiencing difficult situations outside of work.
Stress Management Seminar – The Wellness Committee understands that Excelsior employees are often under a lot of pressure, so they offer regular stress management seminars. These seminars offers advice, resources and strategies for managing the stressses of the job.
Bible Study – Excelsior employs two chaplains that are available to staff or students interested in growing spiritually. The Chaplains offer various groups and programs to meet the spiritual needs of everyone on campus.
Financial & Legal Health
EAP Benefit Presentation / MyCigna.com Training – Sometimes all that benefitted employees know about their benefits is that they exist. Excelsior wants its employees to be as informed as possible about their benefits and opportunities as an employee, so we offer regular trainings about benefits and insurance.
Retirement Savings presentation – Excelsior encourages all its employees to start planning for their financial future, so we offer presentations to explain the benefits and details of setting up a Retirement Savings account.
Gooding Financial Literacy Tour – This year, we were thrilled to host the rock n’ roll band, Gooding, for a Financial Literacy rock show! They performed for our girls, using the power of a live rock performance and our own personal story to inspire young people with lessons of finance and discipline to help them see their own dreams as possibilities.
Just Plain Fun Health
Field Day – This summer, the Wellness committee hosted a staff and student Field Day. On a beautiful Colorado Day, everyone had fun playing various field day games – like Giant Trike Races, Scuba Relays and Egg Balancing Games – before enjoying a BBQ lunch hosted by the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.
Halloween Contests & Potluck – In preparation of October 31, our girls decorated their cottages in in hopes of winning the Halloween Decoration contest. Staff also participated in a little healthy competition by donning Halloween costumes that made the girls giggle while they were dressed as pirates, Ninja Turtles and their favorite super heroes.
Cupcake Truck – To keep spirits high, the Wellness committee brought in a cupcake truck one day that was parked in the parking lot giving out free cupcakes! J
Ugly Sweater Party – Celebrating the holidays is a huge deal for the Excelsior family. Just one of the many ways we show our holiday spirit in December is with an Ugly Sweater party. Sweaters of all kinds, adorned with ribbons and bows, or displaying reindeer and snowmen, are donned at a potluck where they compete for the ugliest sweater!
Staff Chair Massages – Working at Excelsior can get stressful at times, so the Wellness committee coordinated 15 minute chair massages, so staff could kick up their feet and relax in style to take a break from their busy days.