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Coyle Outside, What's in a name?

When naming a child, a pet, a boat, a trail, a business or a program etc. there are various approaches given. Sometimes the intention is aesthetics, branding or attention grabbing, sometimes its simplicity and pragmatism, or it can be a sentimental or traditional theme. It doesn't end there, people name things as they do for almost unlimited reasons.


In my family's lineage it was tradition (several generations ago) to name, for example, one's first born son or daughter for their paternal grandfather or grandmother, the second born for the maternal grandfather or grandmother and so on. Such formal ways of naming, until recently, were exceedingly commonplace in most cultures and served particular thematic purposes.


Some naming strategies have become more or less comon-place. "(Name) Branding" is a process, for example, that is more commonplace in the twenty-first century than it likely was in the eleventh and naming as a way to honor ancestors is substantially less followed now than it was even a few decades ago, such as the example in the previous paragraph. Its interesting for me to think about the reasons for this evolution in how we approach naming.


Coyle Outside is named to reflect the larger mission of the Company. The "Outside" part is probably obvious, that's a big intention of all programming, to get people outside. The Coyle part is taken from the Founder's last name. So how do I use that to build on the mission of the company?


One of the goals of Coyle Outside is to be a place where participants and instructors become better versions of themselves. That includes becoming more responsible, resilient, persistent, considerate and accountable. The last one, accountability, is a part of leadership, becoming someone other's can count on, taking responsibility for your part in things. Naming the program after the name of my family is a way to keep myself "on the hook" for what we do. It enforces, for me, a personal sense of vigilance to attend to the growth and output of all programs, trainings, administration, communication etc. If people are happy or unhappy, inspired or disappointed, they know immediately who to talk to and who is responsible. The name is right out there as personal motivation for me to make my family proud, or at the very least not let them down.


Some of our program names are also on purpose in similar ways. As of the writing of this we have several programs named intentionally to promote a culture of interdependence. The kids in our programs increasingly come from smaller families who live farther away from relatives and may not have the experience of interdependence and community that their parents or grandparents might have had in their childhood. I believe the world will need them to have a sense of this as they grow into adults. To balance their own personal needs and wants with a sense of what they want for the greater world and community around them. To know when and how to make sacrifices that will/can pay big dividends for themselves, their world and their future.


Its occurred to me that the name of the company or a program might not speak for itself. Of course. But at Coyle Outside names occur as an opportunity to attribute meaning and create culture along the values we hope to promote. Thanks for reading.

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